Roy Oswalt thinks he’ll be ready to join the Rangers within a month

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Roy Oswalt held a conference call with Rangers reporters today and said he expects to be ready to join the rotation after just four minor-league starts, the first of which is scheduled for Saturday at Triple-A.

While deciding which team to sign with Oswalt was throwing regularly at his home in Mississippi and feels stretched out enough for 85 pitches, but he’ll start off slow with 50-60 pitches in his first outing.

Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram charted out Oswalt’s expected timetable and, if things go according to the 34-year-old right-hander’s plan, he’d be ready to step into the Rangers’ rotation during an interleague series versus the Rockies that begins on June 22.

Assuming he stays healthy and his recurring back problems aren’t an issue that would leave time for Oswalt to make approximately 17-18 starts, for which he’ll be paid $5 million and can earn an additional $1 million in incentives.

Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord

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John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.

The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.

Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.

The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.

Report: Rays acquire Lucas Duda from the Mets

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.

Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.