(BaseballStL) -- The St. Louis Cardinals are “close” to signing to free agent starting pitcher Roy Oswalt as of reports late Friday night surfaced but nothing has been finalized yet.
Oswalt is also expected to meet with the Texas Rangers on Monday according to the Dallas Morning News and has already reportedly turned down a one-year, $10 million offer from the Detroit Tigers. The Boston Red Sox have also showed interest in signing the right-hander, but it is believed that Oswalt prefers to pitch for St. Louis or Texas next season.
The 34-year-old started 23 games and was 9-10 with a 3.69 earned run average in 2011 despite being sidelined twice with back injuries.
Oswalt has been one of the most consistent pitchers since his first season in the big leagues in 2001. He is a two-time 20-game winner and only once had an ERA over 4.00 in his 11-year career.
According to his agent, Oswalt will want a starting pitching job and will not pitch out of the bullpen which creates a problem for the Cardinals and Rangers who each have its starting rotation set.
The Cardinals have actively been shopping relief pitcher Kyle McClellan, who avoided arbitration by signing a $2.5 million contract earlier this month. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Orioles have been making the strongest push to acquire McClellan. Sources believe the Cardinals have been asking too much in return in any possible trade for the right-handed reliever.
The trade is likely a salary-dump move which will allow the Cardinals to afford signing Oswalt and the team will likely move Jake Westbrook or Kyle Lohse to the bullpen. Westbrook pitched two relief innings in the 2011 World Series and was also the Game 6 winning pitcher.
by Scott Bierman, BaseballStL