UPDATE: No deal yet between Cardinals and Roy Oswalt

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UPDATE: Oswalt’s agent, Bob Garber, told Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors this morning that there’s “no chance” of his client pitching out of the bullpen.

8:31 AM: Hold your horses, everyone. When most of us went to bed, it appeared as though Roy Oswalt was St. Louis-bound. That may still be the case, but Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com has backtracked a bit from his previous report. He calls a deal likely to happen “soon” and was told by a source that it’s “not 100 percent” yet.

Meanwhile, Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals are insisting that no deal is in place with Oswalt. Any deal would be contingent upon a physical and the veteran right-hander has a history of back problems, so it’s possible some formalities are standing in the way of an official agreement. For now, we wait.

1:09 AM: Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com reports that Roy Oswalt is headed to the Cardinals. No word yet on the terms of the contract.

8:36 PM, Friday: Jim Duquette of MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM reports that the Cardinals and Roy Oswalt are close to agreeing on a contract. Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald confirms Duquette’s report, but adds that the process may take “another day or two.”

No word on the specific terms being discussed, but Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported earlier this week that the Cardinals made an offer to Oswalt a few weeks ago “approaching $5 million.” Strauss didn’t think that would be enough to get it done and even pegged the Rangers as the favorites.

As for Duquette, he hears that the Red Sox, Astros and Rangers remain in the mix. The Astros are a bit of a head-scratcher given that they haven’t been mentioned until this point and aren’t anywhere close to contending, but perhaps Oswalt gave some thought to going back to where it all started.

Of course, the interesting part of a potential match with the Cardinals is that they already have five starters and Kyle Lohse and Jake Westbrook have full no-trade clauses in their respective contracts. By the way, Lohse will make $11.57 million in 2012 while Westbrook is owed $8.5 million this season and a $1 million buyout on his $8.5 million mutual option for 2013. Oswalt has the potential to make them better, obviously, but that could be a messy situation.

Rob Manfred talks about playing regular season games in Mexico

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The new Collective Bargaining Agreement commits the players and the league to regular season games on foreign soil. Most of the focus of this has been on games in London, for which there has been a lot of activity and discussion.

Yesterday before the Astros-Tigers game in Houston, however, Commissioner Rob Manfred talked about playing games in Mexico. And not as just a one-off, but as a foot-in-the-water towards possible expansion:

Commissioner Rob Manfred said Tuesday that the time had come to play regular-season games in Mexico City as Major League Baseball weighs international expansion.

“We think it’s time to move past exhibition games and play real live ‘they-count’ games in Mexico,” Manfred said. “That is the kind of experiment that puts you in better position to make a judgement as to whether you have a market that could sustain an 81-game season and a Major League team.”

A team in Mexico could make some geographic sense and some marketing sense, though it’s not clear if there is a city that would be appropriate for that right now. Mexico City is huge but it has plenty of its own sports teams and is far away from the parts of the country where baseball is popular (mostly the border states and areas along the Pacific coast). At 7,382 feet, its elevation would make games at Coors Field look like the Deadball Era.

Monterrey has been talked about — games have been played there and it’s certainly closer — but it’s somewhat unknown territory demographically speaking. It’s not as big as Mexico City, obviously. Income stratification is greater there and most of the rest of Mexico than it is in the United States too, making projections of how much discretionary income people may spend on an expensive entertainment product like Major League Baseball uncertain. Especially when they have other sports they’ve been following for decades.

Interesting, though. It’s something Manfred has talked about many times over the years, so unlike so many other things he says he’s “considering” or “hasn’t ruled out,” Major League Baseball in Mexico is something worth keeping our eyes on.

 

Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig had a brutal collision in right center field

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The score was tied in the top of the 10th inning in last night’s game between the Dodgers and the Cardinals. Yadier Molina was up to bat, facing Kenley Jansen and drove one to deep right center field.

Yasiel Puig was in full run for the ball as center fielder Joc Pederson ranged hard for it himself. Puig caught the ball, but not before slamming into Pederson. Both men went down, but Pederson went down harder, taking an elbow to the face from Puig before crashing head-first into the outfield wall.

Watch:

 

Pederson came out of the game, apparently bleeding from his head. There will be an update on his condition today.

UPDATE: Oops, there was an update last night: