While various Roy Oswalt trade rumors swirl, Astros owner Drayton McLane denied that the team is close to dealing the veteran right-hander:
[General manager] Ed [Wade] and I talk several times every day, but nothing’s imminent. There is no imminent trade with the Phillies or anybody else. There have been lots and lots of discussions, nothing close to a trade.
Asked by Brian McTaggart of MLB.com whether he’s been approached by the team about possibly waiving his no-trade clause for a deal, Oswalt said:
I don’t know anything about it. I really don’t. I saw it on TV this morning actually. I’ve seen a bunch of other things on TV news and whatever. Until I get told something, I don’t know. Until they come up to me, there’s really nothing I can do. I don’t want to go up to them and ask them every time something comes across the ticker. So until they come to me, I’ll just wait and see.
Oswalt is scheduled to make his next start Saturday against the Reds and that would also be his final start before the July 31 trade deadline. Perhaps fittingly, a victory would move him into a tie with Joe Niekro for the franchise record with 144 wins.
Meanwhile, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com Oswalt is only willing to waive the no-trade clause if the new team agrees to pick up his $16 million option for 2012
John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.
The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.
Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.
The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.
Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.