Note: Ken Rosenthal now reporting that Oswalt’s deal is fully guaranteed for $5 million-$6 million, and will not be paid pro rata.
The Dallas Morning News is reporting that Roy Oswalt has signed with the Texas Rangers. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, it’s a one-year deal worth between $5 million-$6 million, depending on how much time Oswalt spends with the team. Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets that Oswalt told the Rangers he will ready to pitch in the majors in one month.
When he is ready, Oswalt likely will replace Scott Feldman in the Rangers’ starting rotation. The Rangers moved Feldman from the bullpen after Neftali Feliz went on the disabled list with elbow inflammation. Feldman will resume his role as the long reliever for Texas. If Oswalt is successful for Texas, Feliz may very well return to the bullpen when he comes off the disabled list.
Oswalt began his major-league career with the Astros in 2001. He pitched for Houston for nine-and-a-half seasons before the Astros traded him to the Phillies in mid-2010. Last season, he started only 23 games, the fewest since his rookie season. He’s battled back injuries on-and-off throughout his career, but last season the pain was too great and he spent six weeks on the disabled list. Oswalt even speculated that the degenerative discs in his back might end his career.
In eleven seasons, Oswalt holds a record of 159-93 with a 3.21 ERA and a 3.35 FIP. His career K/BB rate is 3.52, although that’s well above the 2.82 he posted in 2011. He throws a low-90′s fast ball, a sinker, a slider, a curve and a changeup. As my colleague Eno Sarris wrote earlier today for RotoGraphs, nearly all of Oswalt’s stats are moving in the wrong direction.
Oswalt does have postseason experience, and the Rangers certainly expect to rely on that as they seek their third American League West title in three years. In 72.1 postseason innings, Oswalt’s allowed 73 hits, 24 walks and 32 runs (30 earned).
Oswalt will pitch in the American League for the first time in his career. He turns 35 in August.