Well, not so fast. Peter Gammons has apparently been talking to some executives who seem to think he's headed elsewhere:
We shall see, but 2 GMs think Oswalt wants to reuinite w/ Ryan and M. Maddux in Texas, 1 says St. Louis.
It's not the most encouraging of news for those who had their hopes and hearts set on Oswalt, but does it pass muster?
For St. Louis, the deal seems a bit unlikely if they haven't changed their stance on Oswalt of late. Earlier this month, the Cardinals had made their interest in Oswalt known, but only as a bullpen pitcher. With the World Series champs having a fairly well-established rotation, any move for Oswalt would likely require another member of the rotation to be dealt away. That's two conditions that need to be met, which makes the Cardinals seem like an unlikely target for now.
The Rangers seem more realistic, but only slightly. They've got plenty of guys who want to start, like the Red Sox, but between Ogando and Feliz both trying to convert, and the breakout cases of Harrison and Holland from last year, there's something to be said for assuming that at something will go wrong and having a guy like Oswalt there in case. It would certainly be a ridiculous staff, but they like to go big down in Texas, and the Angels have pushed the bar pretty high.
Of course, neither situation is nearly as attractive as Boston's. Oswalt would instantly be the #4 starter, with nobody really threatening to take any time from him at any point in the season barring injury. But then Danny Knobler chimes in mentioning that the Sox' offer may not have swayed Oswalt because they're too far from Mississipi, his home state.
All things considered, I must admit to being a bit worried that Knobler may have hit the nail on the head. The Sox have made an offer to Oswalt, and it seems clear that it's the best he's going to get unless someone falls down the stairs in New York and breaks an arm. So, why hasn't he signed? A guy as experienced as Oswalt isn't necessarily out to prove himself or make the most money anymore either, especially when top dollar could be as "little" as $10 million for one year. Quality of life could certainly take priority. His rejection of Detroit certainly seems to suggest just that.