Red Sox Warming Up to Roy
Update – 12:15 PM According to WEEI’s Rob Bradford, the Red Sox would have to move payroll in order to accommodate a deal for Roy Oswalt. In other words, ownership has not approved the deal. The Yankees signed Hiroki Kuroda with permission from ownership. They will not have to make a subsequent move to free up money. That is not the case for the Sox. The Red Sox certainly seem like they are very serious about remaining under the luxury tax threshold. Either way, this does not bode well for a potential deal with any notable free agent.
According to a tweet late last night by Jon Paul Morosi, the Red Sox have continued to be in contact with free agent right handed pitcher Roy Oswalt.
Oswalt is 34 years old and has back issues, but he is certainly still effective. He is reportedly seeking only a one year contract. I would expect him to land a one or two year deal somewhere. Morosi believes it is time for the Red Sox to step up and improve their rotation with the likes of Oswalt or Edwin Jackson. Although I disagree with Morosi’s opinon concerning the Red Sox necessity to compete with the moves the Yankees made on Friday, I do concur with his larger point: The Red Sox need to face reality. Pitching wins, and they don’t have enough.
The fact that the Red Sox continue to kick the tires on Oswalt at least shows that they may be warming up to the idea of spending a bit more than they intended. Yankees GM Brian Cashman exhibited patience with Hiroki Kuroda, and when the price fell, he snatched him up on a one year deal. With approval from ownership, Ben Cherington may try to snag Oswalt on a one year contract for $7MM or so.
Just to be clear, if Oswalt or any other mediocre free agent starter were demanding a multiyear deal, I would be against the potential acquisition. But for one year, the commitment is miniscule and so is the risk. Oswalt, if healthy, could anchor the bottom half of a rotation that is already pretty darn good. A deal for the righty would also likely send Alfredo Aceves back to the bullpen (formally) to serve as a swingman, a role he thrived in last season.
Oswalt seems like he would rather pitch in St. Louis. It is close to home, there is no designated hitter, and the environment isn’t as rabid as it is inPhiladelphia, New York, or Boston. Conversely, it’s possible that he relishes the idea of competing in a baseball hotbed like Boston. Let’s hope the Red Sox pony up the dough and pluck Oswalt off the market. It’s the right move.