They talked with Houston, but they obviously didn’t like what they were hearing: Ken Rosenthal reports that the Cardinals are no longer involved with discussions for Roy Oswalt.
The latest: Rosenthal says that the Phillies are able to meet what Houston is demanding in return for Oswalt, but that (a) the price still may be too high; and (b) there’s still no strong indication that Oswalt would agree to a trade to Philly. Yes, he said the other day that “location” doesn’t matter, but that’s only relevant if you think that his objections to Philly are based on them being on the east coast. It’s possible, is it not, that he just doesn’t want to go to the Phillies?
Even if that isn’t an issue, with each win the Phillies grow less desperate to make a move, so unless Ed Wade ratchets back his expectations on Oswalt, he may not find anyone interested in talking to him pretty soon.
MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosh reports that the Cardinals are shutting down pitcher Carlos Martínez from throwing for two weeks because his shoulder strength isn’t where it should have been at this point. Langosch added that an MRI showed no structural damage in Martínez’s right shoulder.
Interestingly, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak didn’t sound too happy with Martínez offseason training regimen. Per Mark Saxon of The Athletic, Mozeliak said, “Obviously, there’s a history with Carlos’ shoulder and it would be probably in everybody’s best interest if he maintained a constant or perpetual approach to that program.”
Martínez, 27, battled oblique and shoulder injuries last year. He accrued just 118 2/3 innings, making just 18 starts. He was moved to the bullpen when he returned from the disabled list in August and finished out the season in that role. Still, Martínez managed a 3.11 ERA with 117 strikeouts and 60 walks.
Langosch reported last week that the Cardinals were considering using Martínez in relief again in 2019. The latest news may push the Cardinals to indeed use Martínez out of the bullpen once again. He will be reevaluated in early March, but there is a chance he won’t be ready for Opening Day.