There was increasing chatter late last night about Roy Oswalt closing in on an agreement with the Cardinals. Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com was even told by a source that the veteran right-hander was headed to St. Louis. Those reports were downplayed early this morning and now we have an official denial from the team’s general manager.
Matthew Leach of MLB.com was told by Cardinals GM John Mozeliak via email this morning that rumors of an agreement are “not true.” Another club official indicated that no roster moves appear to be imminent.
Does this mean it won’t happen? Of course not. We’ve heard multiple times this week that Oswalt wants to pitch closer in proximity to his Mississippi home and would prefer to join either the Cardinals or the Rangers. And it sounds like he means business. According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, Oswalt recently turned down a one-year, $10 million contract from the Tigers. It’s highly unlikely he’ll get that much guaranteed cash from anyone else.
UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that while the Rangers are interested in Oswalt, they have not made him an offer.
They played the Futures Game yesterday, pitting the top prospects from the United States against the top prospects from the rest of the world. You most likely missed it because, for reasons that have still yet to be adequately explained to me, the game takes place on Sunday afternoon, when literally all 30 major league teams are in action. Oh well.
If you did happen to see it, however, you saw a lot of bombast, as the two teams combined for eight home runs, with Team USA prevailing, 10-6. It was the United States’ eighth win in the past nine Futures Games.
Yusniel Diaz of the Dodgers system hit two homers — he was the first one to do that in a Futures Game since Alfonso Soriano did it back in 1999 — but Taylor Trammell of the Reds system was the game MVP following his 2-for-2 (HR, 3B) performance. Other highlights involved Reds pitching prospect Hunter Greene, who threw 19 fastballs among his 27 pitches, each and every one of them hitting triple digits, with one registering at 103.1 m.p.h. Not that velocity is everything: a 102.3 m.p.h. pitch he threw ended up being deposited over the fence for a two-run homer by Luis Alexander Basabe of the White Sox system.
Also of note was a homer from Ke’Bryan Hayes of the Pirates system. Notable for it breaking a tie and putting the U.S. up by two, but also notable because Ke’Bryan is the son of former big leaguer Charlie Hayes. Feel old yet?
There was a lot of back and forth, and certainly a lot of bombast, but the U.S. took its final lead on a wild pitch. Here are some highlights:
Here’s hoping, in the future, the Futures Game is moved to Sunday evening or even Monday where people will have a better chance of seeing it.