Nolan Ryan says the Rangers are interested in Roy Oswalt

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Oh, how the worm has turned.

Rangers president Nolan Ryan told T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com on Friday that the team does in fact have interest in acquiring Roy Oswalt from the Astros.

“You know, we definitely are looking to improve our ballclub, and when
you have an opportunity, or might have an opportunity, to acquire
someone like that, you have to look at it and evaluate it and see if
that’s a possibility and see if it’s doable,” Ryan said.

Ryan adds that whatever interest the Rangers have in Oswalt is strictly preliminary.

“There hasn’t been really any conversations I’ve been aware of here in
the last week to 10 days,” Ryan said. “I think, from the Astros’
perspective, that would pick up as we would get closer to the
[non-waiver] Trade Deadline in July.”

Again, we’re hearing the word preliminary here, but remember than this franchise has an entire fanbase and the commissioner’s office to think about, so they obviously need to measure their words carefully. The fact that Ryan was even this specific about another team’s player is surprising.

There’s little doubt that the Rangers have one of the best farm systems in baseball, so the obvious hurdle is the franchise’s current financial constraints. They can’t take on significant payroll right now, however if the ownership situation can be sorted out by the trade deadline — something that has a good chance of happening — they should be able to go out and add whoever they see fit, whether it’s Oswalt or Cliff Lee.

And for what it’s worth, Roy Oswalt wouldn’t mind coming to the Rangers.

“I’m open,” he said. “Just have to wait and see what works for both of
us.”
 

For those keeping score at home, Oswalt would consider a trade to pretty much anyone, inclduing the Long Island Ducks.

Shohei Ohtani no longer facing Masahiro Tanaka on Sunday at Yankee Stadium

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Shohei Ohtani has essentially become the Angels’ designated Sunday starting pitcher, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia announced Thursday morning that the 23-year-old two-way Japanese star will be skipped in the rotation this weekend at Yankee Stadium for “workload management” purposes.

Ohtani is fine to continue hitting, so there’s no sense of any physical ailment.

This decision will rob us — and the Japanese media — of a showdown between Ohtani and countrymate Masahiro Tanaka. And for that we are rather devastated, but you can understand the Angels’ concerns about overuse.

Ohtani has registered a 3.35 ERA, 1.066 WHIP, and 52/14 K/BB ratio through his first 40 1/3 innings (seven starts) as a major league pitcher and he’s slashing .308/.364/.582 with six home runs and 19 RBI in 26 games as a part-time DH.