Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Roy's One-Way Ticket: Texas

Because keeping all of those quotes, notes, and rumors in one post is getting lengthy, let's break this down by team in separate posts. As these come in, they will be updated and reposted.


Latest status: Harder to read than "Ulysses"

Jon Heyman (6/16):
While the Rangers have been rumored to be in on Roy Oswalt trade talks, baseball people see that as an extreme long shot considering the team was in bankruptcy court Tuesday. The Rangers have been given a budget by MLB, and technically they can make trades if they can remain within that budget. But it's hard to imagine how the team that failed to meet payroll multiple times last year (MLB fronted the money) can squeeze a $15-million-a-year player onto its roster.

Buster Olney (and here) (6/14):
Highly placed source on the Oswalt-to-Rangers-in-the-works report: "Nothing to it." Given their financial situation, it would be hard for them to think about taking the most expensive starter in what is a flush market of starting pitching.

Hardball Talk (6/14):
A major league source is telling me that the Rangers have been talking to the Astros about Roy Oswalt and that the teams are "getting closer" to having a deal in place.

GM Jon Daniels (5/27):
"I don't want to comment on Oswalt or any specific players, but suffice it to say if there's a player out there than can make a difference on our club, we'll explore ways to add him."

Kevin Sherrington (5/27):
The Rangers need Roy Oswalt in the worst way. If they can convince the Astros to hold on until the ownership question is out of the way, it's all good. But that's only if the starters don't wear out the bullpen first. If the rotation would step up, it could dramatically improve the Rangers' chances of holding on to first and making a play for Oswalt.

Randy Galloway (5/27 - excellent article):
Most of the Rangers' "ready" talent we've already seen, and so have Astros' scouts. Beyond that, the talent appears to be deep at Double A and below, yet Houston is talking about "now," not two or three years down the road.

It's a long shot that the Rangers could pull off an Oswalt deal, and not necessarily because of the 28 mil involved for a bankrupt team. It's the other kind of "currency" where they might come up short.

T.R. Sullivan (5/26):
The Rangers would love Roy Oswalt. They wish they could afford to take on his $15 million contract for this season and the $16 million for next year. Club president Nolan Ryan has talked to the Astros, the Rangers know what the asking price is and they know there is absolutely no way they can afford to trade for Oswalt until the sale of the team is completed.

Jesse Sanchez, (5/26):
Rangers officials have made it clear that they are not going to get involved in any trade talks concerning Astros pitcher Roy Oswalt.

Buster Olney (5/26):
I wrote here Tuesday that there is a lot of prevailing sentiment in other organizations that Major League Baseball should not allow the Rangers to take on significant salaries (i.e., someone like Roy Oswalt) while they are operating on loans from other teams. Said one team official: "I'd bet that those calls [from other owners to the commissioner's office] have already been made. They don't want the Rangers dealing on their dime."

FoxSports Houston (5/25):
The Texas Rangers are among the clubs that have contacted the Astros about potentially acquiring Roy Oswalt in a trade, has learned. It is unclear if the conversation was detailed, but it clearly indicates an interest by the Rangers in Oswalt.

Fox26 Houston (5/25):
Major League Baseball sources told FOX 26 Sports Tuesday Texas Rangers President Nolan Ryan called the Houston Astros to express interest in pitcher Roy Oswalt.

T.R. Sullivan (5/25):
They are not going to be able to take on much in the way of salary until the sale of the club to Chuck Greenberg's group is completed. That might take place before the July 31 trade deadline but until that happens, there is no way the Rangers will be able to take on Oswalt's $15 million salary. (GM Jon) Daniels also added that at this point, acquiring a starting pitcher is not a high priority.

Buster Olney (5/25):
If Major League Baseball were to approve a deal for the Rangers to acquire Roy Oswalt, you can bet that they will have some really, really, really angry folks in their ranks -- guys in suits holding pitchforks. Other teams have been propping up the Rangers financially over the last year, and the feeling in some other executive suites is that Texas should not be allowed to take on payroll after creating its own financial trouble through decisions like the A-Rod signing. Any such decision would be in the hands of the Commissioner's Office.

Jon Paul Morosi (5/24):
Rangers announce plan to complete sale to Greenberg. "Prepackaged" Chapter 11 used. Teams says sale should be complete by midsummer.

This is one of the hurdles to Texas being a destination for Roy. If the sale gets done and Greenberg can add his own payroll, it's good news for Roy.

Phil Rogers (5/24):
The Rangers are interested in Roy Oswalt, if the Astros really are willing to trade him. The Astros like the Rangers' stable of young pitchers, including Martin Perez, Tanner Scheppers and Alexi Ogando. The constipated state of the sale of the club could be the biggest hurdle in a possible deal.

Newberg Report (5/23), an excellent breakdown of why it won't work:
For all the reasons that Texas and Oswalt seem like a really good fit, and that it would make a ton of sense for Houston to accommodate his wish to go somewhere else for a year and a half before coming back to finish his career where it started, accelerating a desperately needed rebuilding process, this one appears to have a bunch of hurdles that may be too difficult to clear.

Evan Grant (5/21):
With the club's sale still not finalized and the Rangers operating under payroll restrictions, it is highly unlikely they could get into Oswalt talks unless the Astros picked up most - if not all - of the remaining $28 million guarantee.

Baseball Time in Arlington (5/22):
Aside from the $20 million-plus still contractually owed to Oswalt, however, there's the fact that Houston will be seeking a significant bounty (M. Perez/M. Harrison/M. Moreland might be in the right area code), as well as Drayton McLane's abundant disdain for the notion of dealing star-level talent to the Rangers, whom he perceives as competition; rumors swirled years ago concerning a deal which would have sent Oswalt to Baltimore -- and then to Texas -- that McLane refused to green-light. I don't expect we're done talking about this, but I also don't expect an Oswalt-to-Texas deal to manifest anytime soon.

Sporting News:
The team's pending sale -- to a group that includes Ryan -- has tied up the finances. Assuming that is cleared up, Texas should have some money to spend.

Buster Olney:
The AL-West leading Rangers could be interested, according to rival executives -- but Texas has been operating with significant financial assistance from Major League Baseball, and some executives with other teams would be apoplectic if the MLB allowed the Rangers to make a deal for a pricey pitcher such as Oswalt.