UPDATE: Or not St. Louis. At this point I think Oswalt is going to announce where he intends to eat lunch later today.
UPDATE: Signs may be pointing to St. Louis, as Joe Strauss of the Post-Dispatch hears. Heyman, meanwhile, is hearing that it’s not Boston or Texas.
7:46 AM: Roy Oswalt’s agent tells Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston that he’s going to make an announcement today. No one knows what that announcement is, however. Edes says the Red Sox still have an interest in him. Oswalt himself apparently has interest in the Rangers and Cardinals, though it’s unclear if they have space for him.
If you made me guess, I’d say that he’s going to agree to pitch for Boston. But I’m wondering if he’s not willing to go all Andy Pettitte/Roger Clemens with this thing and announce that he’s going to wait until midseason or something and be a hired gun for a playoff contender.
If he did that, I bet the money would be more or less the same as what he’d get by settling now. Of course that would require him expanding his horizons in terms of where he’d play. Not doing that is what seems to have gotten him where he is now: past pitchers and catchers reporting dates without having a team.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.