Thursday, February 23, 2012
Source: Roy Oswalt staying ready
By Jerry Crasnick
After waiting until spring training and failing to land a job to his satisfaction, free agent pitcher Roy Oswalt has told major league clubs that he might pull a Roger Clemens and return midseason, according to a baseball source.
Oswalt, 34, has told teams that he plans to keep throwing, stay ready and would be willing to return during the season if nothing materializes before then. That approach would mirror what Clemens did in 2006 and 2007, when he returned in June to pitch for the Houston Astros and then the New York Yankees.
Oswalt's second-half track record suggests that signing the pitcher at midseason might be a coup. According to ESPN Stats & Information, of the 84 pitchers who were active at the end of last season, Oswalt has the best career winning percentage (.739) after the All-Star break (minimum 50 starts).
Oswalt's agent, Bob Garber, gave an update on his client's status in a statement released to the media Thursday afternoon.
"After much thought and careful consideration, Roy has decided to continue to evaluate his options," Garber said in the statement. "He is in great health and will continue to stay in shape, while throwing regularly off the mound. Roy has every intention of pitching for a contending club at some point this season."
Oswalt is 159-93 with three All-Star appearances in 11 seasons with Houston and the Philadelphia Phillies. The Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers are among the clubs that expressed interest in Oswalt this offseason, but weren't able to fit him into their budget or starting rotation.
Senior writer Jerry Crasnick covers Major League Baseball for ESPN.com.