Yankees contact the agent for Roy Oswalt, C.J. Wilson

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The Yankees’ search for pitching is now underway.

According to beat writer Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger, Yankees GM Brian Cashman placed a call Friday to agent Bob Garber, who represents two of this winter’s top available starters: right-hander Roy Oswalt and left-hander C.J Wilson.

The interest in Wilson comes as no surprise, but previous reports about Oswalt suggested that the Yankees were too frightened by his chronic back problems to make a legitimate run at the veteran righty. Maybe those reports were incorrect. Or maybe Cashman is simply covering all his bases. Either way, contact has been made.

“I’m in the process of talking with everybody,” Cashman told the Star-Ledger. “That’s the way the routine works. I’m not negotiating or offering anything to anybody right now.”

Oswalt, 34, posted a 3.69 ERA and 93/33 K/BB ratio in 139 innings this season for the Phillies. Wilson, 30, registered a 2.94 ERA and 206/74 K/BB ratio across 223 1/3 innings with the Rangers.

Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord

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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.

Report: Rays acquire Lucas Duda from the Mets

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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.