As first teased by Roy Oswalt on his Twitter account, the Rockies just announced that they have signed the veteran right-hander to a minor league contract.
Oswalt is expected to report to extended spring training and will presumably join a minor league affiliate from there. The 35-year-old right-hander wasn’t in camp with a major league team this spring, so it might take him around a month or so in order to build his workload.
It’s worthwhile pickup for the Rockies, who are off to a surprising 17-11 start and have struggled to attract high-profile pitchers over the years. There wasn’t much interest in Oswalt this winter after he had a disappointing 5.80 ERA in nine starts and eight relief appearances with the Rangers last season, but he still managed a 59/11 K/BB ratio in 59 innings. It’s worth a shot to see if he still has something left.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Marlins, Mets, and Yankees have had discussions about a three-team trade in which Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto would go to the Mets. It’s not known which other players were discussed in the deal, but Rosenthal notes that the Mets wouldn’t be willing to part with Noah Syndergaard if they are only getting Realmuto in return.
Realmuto, 27, was the best offensive catcher in baseball in 2018, batting .277/.340/.484 with 21 home runs and 74 RBI in 531 plate appearances. He has two more years of team control remaining until he becomes eligible for free agency, adding to his value.
The Mets’ catching corps currently includes Kevin Plawecki and Travis d'Arnaud, so Realmuto would be a significant upgrade. Such a trade would be the club’s second big splash of the offseason as the Mets finalized a trade to acquire second baseman Robinson Canó and closer Edwin Díaz from the Mariners earlier this month.
Interestingly, the Mets and Yankees haven’t made a deal involving major league players since December 2004, when the two sides swapped pitchers Mike Stanton and Félix Heredia, Rosenthal points out.