The Rangers were trying to get Oswalt even after they landed Lee

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We knew that the Rangers were interested in Oswalt, but we didn’t realize he was this interested: according to Ken Rosenthal, the Rangers re-visited earlier talks with the Astros regarding Roy Oswalt after acquiring Cliff Lee.

There was no way it was going to happen — it was hard enough for them to take on the relatively minor money owed Lee, so putting Oswalt’s contract on top of that was a non-starter — but they pursued it anyway, Rosenthal says.

Animating the apparently hopeless pursuit of Oswalt? Nolan Ryan is simply fixated on the guy.  That’s what a little bird told me anyway. Ryan sees a lot of himself in Oswalt, both as a pitcher and as a guy in general, and has long wanted Oswalt to play for him.  Crushes die hard, ya know?

Astros assistant GM Mike Elias reported to be next Orioles general manager

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that Astros assistant GM Mike Elias will be the new general manager of the Orioles “barring a change of heart.”

Elias, 35, has been the Astros’ assistant general manager since August 2016. He had previously served as Houston’s scouting director and, before that, as a scout for the Cardinals. He was part of the team that came over from the Cardinals when Jeff Luhnow joined the Astros.

If he does take the O’s job his work will certainly be cut out for him. Baltimore was historically bad in 2018, finishing 47-115 thanks to a roster full of expensive, past-their-prime players and an underdeveloped farm system. He’ll have to hit the ground running too, as he’ll not join the team until nearly two months into the club’s offseason, having had no time to assess its needs and personnel. Oh, and the Winter Meetings begin in a little over three weeks.