Rangers “unlikely” to sign free agent Roy Oswalt

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Roy Oswalt’s options seem to be dwindling.

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington told reporters on Wednesday that it’s “unlikely” his team adds a starting pitcher before spring training, and now the Rangers are saying much of the same.

A source explained to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Thursday evening that the Rangers already feel like they have an adequate starting rotation for 2012 and don’t want to move left-hander Matt Harrison to the bullpen to clear room.

The Cardinals might still be alive as a potential landing spot, but Oswalt did not appreciate their initial offer. Picky, picky.

Royals sign Michael Saunders to a minor-league deal

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Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday.

After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.

With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.