oswalt wide getty

UPDATE: No deal yet between Cardinals and Roy Oswalt


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.

MLB cancels its Dominican showcase after players protest an international draft

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - MARCH 13:  A fan flies the Dominican Republic flag during the game against Cuba during Round 2 of the World Baseball Classic on March 13, 2006 at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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Ben Badler of Baseball America Reports that Major League Baseball has cancelled its Dominican national showcase, which was scheduled for today and tomorrow. Why? Because, Badler reports, trainers and players in the Dominican Republic planned to  skip the showcase in protest over Major League Baseball’s push to implement an international draft.

The kicker: Major League Baseball explored bringing in lesser prospects to serve as replacement players for the showcase. MLB, you might recall, has a poor track record of getting replacement workers to fill in for picketing players.

As Badler noted recently, the international draft proposed by Major League Baseball is, despite whatever MLB says, all about paying international players less money. From the Players Union’s perspective, it’s all about selling out amateur players to the supposed benefit of current union members. The allegedly altruistic justifications for the draft simply don’t hold water.

They certainly don’t fool the Dominican players who, even if they are ultimately powerless to stop MLB from stripping them of their bargaining power, will not give it up quietly.

World Series Reset: Cubs vs. Indians Game 2

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 24:  Trevor Bauer #47 of the Cleveland Indians throws during Media Day workouts for the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on October 24, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
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The Game: Chicago Cubs @ Cleveland Indians, World Series Game 2
The Time: 7:00 PM EDT
The Place: Progressive Field, Cleveland
The Channel: FOX
The Starters: Jake Arrieta (Cubs) vs. Trevor Bauer (Indians)

The Upshot:

We get going an hour earlier tonight due to the threat of rain. As of now, that still looks like it will be the difference between getting this one in or not, as the chance of rain looks to be a lot higher after a 7pm game would reasonably end:


Still, it’s going to be dicey and the conditions will be less than ideal. It will be especially less-than-idea for Cleveland if the game is delayed early and they have to go to their bullpen earlier than expected tonight. Andrew Miller escaped some jams last night and did his job, but he used a lot of pitches to do it — 46 — and may be pretty limited tonight, if he’s available at all. That puts a lot on Trevor Bauer’s shoulders. Or, actually, his fingers, including the pinky finger on his pitching hand which is full of stitches. Those stitches not holding cost him his ALCS start. Terry Francona is hoping to get a lot more out of his starter tonight. Given how little he has pitched in the playoffs he should have the energy as long as his finger holds up.

As for the Cubs, teams that have lost Game 1 of the World Series are 40-70 and, in recent years, have a worse winning percentage than that, losing it all in 12 of the past 13 years. Eh, not too impressed with that stat as it doesn’t actually deal with the series at hand. At hand, the Cubs have superior starters set to go in each of the next two games, starting tonight with Jake Arrieta. He’s not been fantastic in the playoffs this year, but he’s capable of dominating a game any time out.

The Cubs figure to have a better night at the plate now that Corey Kluber is out of the way. Particularly a lefty like Anthony Rizzo, who is probably happy to see Bauer. Jason Heyward will likely be back in the lineup as well. They had better have a better night. Being down 1-0 is not a death sentence in the World Series, even if it has looked like one recently. Being down 2-0 is not something Chicago wants to chance.