Roy Oswalt is expected to make his long-awaited decision today and finally sign with a team, but in the meantime we know one place where he won’t be going: St. Louis.
General manager John Mozeliak appeared on AM-590 in St. Louis this morning and said: “Roy Oswalt is not going to be a Cardinal.”
Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch wrote a short time earlier that a friend of Oswalt “would not be surprised” if the veteran starter chose the Cardinals, but apparently that’s no longer an option.
That would seemingly leave the Rangers and Red Sox as favorites, although this morning Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported that “people who know” say “it is not the Rangers or Red Sox for Oswalt.” Heyman even put ‘NOT” in all caps.
Time for another big offseason acquisition by Mystery Team, perhaps?
Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.
When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.
Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.