FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported Saturday in the first part of his weekly “Full Count” video that the Red Sox and Cardinals are among the teams with renewed interest in free agent Roy Oswalt.
The 34-year-old righty has been throwing regular bullpen sessions in anticipation of joining a team at some point this summer. Whether he’s ready to sign now or wants to continue waiting remains to be seen, and probably depends largely on the size of the contract offers he’s currently receiving.
Boston’s need is obvious given the team’s troubling 4-10 record and last-ranked 6.68 staff ERA.
And with Chris Carpenter still out indefinitely, the Cardinals also make sense as a landing spot.
Oswalt registered a 3.69 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 93/33 K/BB ratio in 139 innings last season for the Phillies.
Long-time rotation mainstay Tom Koehler was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on Monday and reliever Hunter Cervenka was recalled, the Marlins announced.
Koehler, 31, made 131 starts out of the Marlins’ rotation over the last five years, but his 12 this season have not been good, so the club hopes he can figure things out with a stint in the minors. He’s carrying a 7.92 ERA with a 44/29 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. Koehler battled bursitis in his right shoulder in May and June, which may partially explain his struggles.
Cervenka, 27, posted a 4.50 ERA with a 34/21 K/BB ratio in 34 innings of relief with New Orleans. He hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season, but compiled a 3.53 ERA over 43 1/3 innings in the bigs last year in the Marlins’ bullpen.
At the trade deadline, relief pitching is the name of the game and one of the names clearly available is Pat Neshek. Today Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the Nationals, Dodgers, and Red Sox are among the clubs who are closely scouting the Phillies reliever. Last week Ken Rosenthal reported that the Brewers and Rays were involved as well.
Neshek is an impending free agent, so he may come cheaper than Justin Wilson or some of the other bullpen arms available right now. The All-Star is 36 and is posting a fantastic season, featuring a 1.12 ERA and 45/5 K/BB ratio over 40.1 innings this season.