Rangers Get Deeper by Signing Oswalt

29 05 2012

As the Rangers look to have many things going their way with their current 4-game winning streak, they now have a certain free agent pitcher coming their way.

Former Astros and Phillies pitcher Roy Oswalt will be joining the Texas Rangers on a 1-year contract, sources told ESPN’s Karl Ravech Tuesday.

The St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers all attempted to sign the 34-year-old veteran. However, just like Rangers closer Joe Nathan, Oswalt wanted Texas to be his new home. He wanted to play for the Texas Rangers… and he is a pitcher.

Even though this isn’t a crazy notion now that the Rangers organization has quickly risen to an elite level, it is astonishing to think that two pitchers in one year have shown a clear desire to play for a franchise that used to repel pitchers.

Oswalt has an established and diverse resume up to this point in his career. Posting a career record of 159-93 in 11 seasons, he is a three-time All-Star and has come close to winning the National League Cy Young Award multiple times throughout his career.

Last season with the Phillies, however, turned out to be a lackluster season filled with many problems. First, he had to leave the team in April in order to check on his family in Mississippi after some devastating tornadoes. Then, he had to spend time on the disabled list due to lower-back inflammation. Once he finished his 2011 campaign with a 9-10 record and a 3.69 ERA, the Phillies decided to send him away to the free agent market.

After starting out as one of (if not the) top 2012 free agent pitchers and being unable to come to terms with any of the numerous teams – including the Rangers – that wanted him, the buzz around this right-handed pitcher seemed to fade away. Club president Nolan Ryan kept pursuing Oswalt and once Neftali Feliz went down with a sprained ligament in his right elbow, the Rangers needed to find a replacement for their first-year starter. (No, Scott Feldman is in no way the right answer.) Now that this clear role could be defined for Oswalt, nothing was stopping him from making his move to the South.

As long as Oswalt is fully recovered from his back injury and gets 3-4 solid starts in the minor leagues, this could be an absolute steal for this Rangers team. The phrases “rich get richer” and “win-win situation” seem perfectly applicable in this situation. He will be joining a playoff bound team with little pressure on his shoulders as the probable fourth starter. Even if he can’t seem to find a groove and gets replaced by Feliz once he gets back from his injury, he can still provide this young team with a veteran bullpen presence that is always favorable during playoff time.

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One response

30 05 2012

All I can say is Wow. The Rangers are DEEP. They don’t even need a lot of their players to make it far. They’re the new Miami Heat of baseball.

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