The St. Louis Cardinals clearly were not close to signing free-agent right-hander Roy Oswalt Friday night, as multiple reports suggested. If a deal at that point actually had been within reach, it would have been done by now.
So, what the heck is going on with Roy O?
Probably the same thing that has been going on since the beginning – Oswalt wants to pitch either for the Texas Rangers or St. Louis Cardinals, yet is not an easy fit for either team.
Talks are fluid and can accelerate quickly, but Oswalt’s agent, Bob Garber, appears to be in a bind. If Oswalt does not want to play for the Boston Red Sox or any other interested club, all the agent can do is wait. And the Rangers and Cardinals know it.
The Cardinals, perhaps trying to exert their leverage, have not made Oswalt a financial offer that the pitcher deems anywhere close to sufficient, according to one major-league source.
Even if the Cardinals clear money by trading reliever Kyle McClellan, who earns $2.5 million, they still might not get close to Oswalt’s asking price. Garber, the source said, is seeking $10 million on a one-year deal.
The Rangers, meanwhile, have assured right-hander Neftali Feliz and lefty Matt Harrison of places in their starting rotation, leaving them without an opening for Oswalt. Lefty Derek Holland and right-handers Colby Lewis and Yu Darvish likely will be the Rangers’ other starters, pushing righty Alexi Ogando to the bullpen.
The stalemate seemingly could create an opening for a team such as the Red Sox, but not if Oswalt remains adamant about pitching for either the Rangers or Cardinals. At this point, it does not appear he is backing off that stance.