Stop being so stubborn, Roy. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Roy Oswalt is wanted by the Red Sox, Rangers, and Cardinals. The Rangers don't have room for him in the rotation, and the Cardinals, while featuring a stuffed rotation themselves, can make it happen if they can find a suitor for Kyle McClellan and his last two years of team control. The Red Sox would love to have Oswalt, but he, at present, has his sights set on one of the other two.
According to Ken Rosenthal, the Rangers don't feel they need to bump Matt Harrison from the rotation, while Neftali Feliz: Starting Pitcher is still a go. Alexi Ogando and Scott Feldman represent plenty of pitching depth, too, and Feldman is on the hook for $6.5 million to be the seventh starter in an already crowded bullpen.
Oswalt is still expecting to get $10 million for a year, too. This despite destroying whatever leverage his 2011 back injury didn't get to by limiting his options this publicly, making it that much harder for the Rangers or Cards to comply. Someone is going to have to blink eventually, and given the teams aren't the ones looking for a job, it might have to be Oswalt. If you had to bet on a team giving in, though, it would be the Cards, since they can actually put him to work and upgrade their rotation.
The Red Sox aren't out on Oswalt entirely -- it might turn out neither the Cardinals or Rangers can or will make the room, and then Oswalt will have to look elsewhere -- but even if St. Louis snags him, it makes the path to Edwin Jackson clearer for Boston.
In my dream-the-impossible-dream scenario, the Cardinals trade Kyle McClellan and his $2.5 million to the Red Sox for spare 40-man parts so he can improve their bullpen while opening up space on the 40 (the Cards just want the salary relief), but then the Rangers trade Matt Harrison, his three years of team control and $2.95 million salary to the Red Sox in order to sign Oswalt before St. Louis is able to, forcing the Cardinals to settle for Jackson at whatever price he ends up going for.
[Update 3:34 pm] Alex Speier says the Red Sox are still talking to both Oswalt and Jackson, despite reports to the contrary that emerged yesterday.
Evan Drellich reports that arbitration hearing dates have been set for both David Ortiz and Alfredo Aceves, just in case they turn out to be necessary. Losses in arbitration appear to already have been budgeted into the off-season plans, and these two players are with the Red Sox either way, but for the sake of future flexibility in the payroll we should probably be rooting for the parties to settle before it goes in front of an arbiter.
Peter Gammons tweets that commissioner Bud Selig still hasn't received "written arguments" in the Red Sox and Cubs compensation case. While there's still no rush in the sense that we (a) don't know how good the player will be or what level they will be at and (b) it's not Opening Day, it's still a bit annoying to see any news about it that doesn't equate to "Compensation is figured out."