I swear, someone decided this winter that we’re going to talk about Roy Oswalt like he’s a 17 year-old girl in the 1950s. First people were “eyeing” him. Now Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports that the Rangers have “made inquiries.”
Gee, I hope they talk to Roy’s father first and declare their intentions. We musn’t besmirch his good name.
Anyway, Oswalt on the Rangers is one of those things that always seemed to make sense because they always seemed to need pitching and he played in the state of Texas for so long and all of that. But assuming Yu Darvish signs — a safe assumption — Texas isn’t exactly desperate for starters these days, what with Lewis, Holland, Feliz, Harrison, Ogando and Darvish. Adding Oswalt would probably only give Ron Washington an excuse to return Feliz to the pen and that would just put me in a foul mood.
Anyway, here’s to watching for more reports on the courtship of Roy Oswalt. Perhaps the Cardinals will take him to a malt shop. Maybe the Yankees will ask him to the Sadie Hawkins dance.
Confirming a report from Tuesday, the Diamondbacks officially signed right-hander Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million contract on Friday. The 39-year-old stands to receive up to $4 million in incentives, per Jack MacGruder of FanRag Sports, with $250,000 kicking in when the veteran reaches 40, 50 and 60 appearances and $500,000 if he reaches 70.
Rodney came three games shy of the 70-appearance mark in 2016 during back-to-back stints with the Padres and Marlins. He put up a cumulative 3.44 ERA on the year, which effectively disguised the extreme split during his performances in San Diego and Miami. The Diamondbacks aren’t anywhere close to contending in 2017, but Rodney should stabilize the back end of their bullpen while providing Arizona GM Mike Hazen with a potential trade chip during next year’s deadline.
Hazen issued a statement following the signing:
With Fernando, we’re getting an established Major League closer and a veteran presence in the bullpen. It is helpful to have someone with his experience on the back end to slow the game down and get the final three outs.
The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.
The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.
For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.