GM: “Roy Oswalt is not going to be a Cardinal”

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Roy Oswalt is expected to make his long-awaited decision today and finally sign with a team, but in the meantime we know one place where he won’t be going: St. Louis.

General manager John Mozeliak appeared on AM-590 in St. Louis this morning and said: “Roy Oswalt is not going to be a Cardinal.”

Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch wrote a short time earlier that a friend of Oswalt “would not be surprised” if the veteran starter chose the Cardinals, but apparently that’s no longer an option.

That would seemingly leave the Rangers and Red Sox as favorites, although this morning Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported that “people who know” say “it is not the Rangers or Red Sox for Oswalt.” Heyman even put ‘NOT” in all caps.

Time for another big offseason acquisition by Mystery Team, perhaps?

Royals to sign Billy Hamilton

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LAS VEGAS — Jim Bowden reports that the Kansas City Royals are close to agreement with outfielder Billy Hamilton. He says they are “just working through bonuses and pending physical.” Hamilton was non-tendered by the Cincinnati Reds a couple of weeks ago following six seasons with the club, making him a free agent.

Hamilton is one of the fastest men to ever play the game, but he has never come around as a hitter. In his six seasons with the Reds he put up a line of .245/.298/.333 (OPS+ 70). While he has stolen 277 bases over that period, getting caught 63 times, he has never once led the league in steals, primarily because he just doesn’t get on base enough. He is an excellent center fielder, but the bat is so sub-par that even the glove and the wheels are not good enough to justify going to arbitration with him.

Perhaps a change of scenery will do him good. He will certainly bring some excitement to Kansas City. He’s a fun guy to watch play.