Red Sox, Cardinals again “reaching out” to Roy Oswalt

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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.

Joey Votto: “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently.”

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We’ve poked fun often at the spring training trope of players showing up to camp in the “best shape of [their] life.” Reds first baseman Joey Votto has turned that entirely on its head. Talking about his offseason, the 2010 NL MVP said, “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently. We did all the testing and I am fatter,” Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto, of course, wasn’t trying to say he’s not in shape; he was just using some of his trademark self-deprecating humor.

Votto did get serious when discussing the state of the rebuilding Reds. As Buchanan also reported, Votto said, “I think we’re starting to get to the point where people are starting to get tired of this stretch of ball. I think something needs to start changing and start going in a different direction. I’m going to do my part to help make that change.”

Votto, 34, is under contract with the Reds through at least 2023, so he still has plenty of incentive to help see the rebuild through. He has been nothing short of stellar over the last three seasons. This past season, he hit .320/.454/.578 with 36 home runs, 100 RBI, and 106 runs scored in 707 appearances across all 162 games. Votto led the majors in walks (134) and on-base percentage and led the National League in OPS (1.032).

Despite Votto’s presence, both FanGraphs and PECOTA are projecting the Reds to put up a 74-88 record. The club had a pretty quiet offseason, expecting to enter 2018 with largely the same roster as last year.