Bill Ladson of MLB.com hears that Roy Oswalt is looking for a three-year contract. And after Bruce Chen, Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang have all received two-year deals this offseason, some team might be willing to go there.
Of course, the major concern with Oswalt is his degenerative back condition. While the 34-year-old right-hander had a respectable 3.69 ERA and 93/33 K/BB ratio over 139 innings this season, was he limited to just 23 starts and the velocity on his fastball (91.4 mph) was a career low.
Oswalt is a major risk on a multi-year contract, but teams like the Nationals, Red Sox or Yankees might be willing to take the gamble. The market has been pretty slow on him until this point, but things should clear up once C.J. Wilson and Mark Buehrle are off the board.
The Rockies announced a minor swap of relief pitchers on Monday evening. The Cubs sent lefty Zac Rosscup to the Rockies in exchange for right-hander Matt Carasiti.
Rosscup, 29, was designated for assignment by the Cubs last Thursday. He spent only two-thirds of an inning in the majors this year and has a 5.32 career ERA across 47 1/3 innings. Rosscup has spent most of the season with Triple-A Iowa, posting a 2.60 ERA in 27 2/3 innings.
Carasiti, 25, spent 15 2/3 innings in the majors last year, putting up an ugly 9.19 ERA. With Triple-A Albuquerque this season, he compiled a 2.37 ERA and a 43/13 K/BB ratio in 30 1/3 innings.
The Associated Press reported that on Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit affirmed a district court ruling which holds that the minor leagues are exempt from federal antitrust law, just like the major leagues.
In 2015, four minor leaguers sued Major League Baseball, alleging that MLB violated antitrust laws with its hiring and employment policies. They accused MLB of “restrain[ing] horizontal competition between and among” franchises and “artificially and illegally depressing” the salaries of minor league players.
The U.S. Court of Appeals said the players failed to state an antitrust claim, as the Curt Flood Act of 1998 exempted Minor League Baseball explicitly from antitrust laws.
This case is separate from the Aaron Senne case in which Major League Baseball is accused of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. That case was recertified as a class action lawsuit in March. In December, Major League Baseball established a political action committee (PAC), which came months after two members of Congress sought to change language in the FLSA so that minor league players could continue to be paid substandard wages.