MLB Today: Where Will Roy Oswalt Land?
The HoF ballot will get crowded when players like Tom Glavine are eligible.
We’re still waiting to see where Roy Oswalt will land. The Cardinals were supposedly interested, but that’s been downplayed recently. Some think the Yankees may still go after him, but they are worried about his wonky back, and so far haven’t really made any overtures in his direction. Of course, Boston could definitely use Oswalt, and the fact that he could be had with a one-year deal makes acquiring him a lot more palatable.
Houston was even floated as a possible destination, but Oswalt has made it clear he wants to go to a contender, so a homecoming seems unlikely. The 11-year-veteran is coming off one of his worst seasons, but just how bad was a near-.500 record, a 3.69 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP? Yes, health is a concern, but if you’re going to roll the dice on a hurler, he’s a fine choice. It’s a bit puzzling that Oswalt is still floating around on the market.
The 2012 Hall of Fame inductees will be announced next week, and this year marks the best chance for Bernie Williams to make it. Over the next three years, the steroid era stars will begin appearing on the ballot and that will really confuse the issue. What do you do with Barry Bonds, Rogers Clemens and Sammy Sosa? And then there are the candidates who haven’t necessarily been connected to ‘roids: Curt Schilling, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz. It’s also going to create a major backlog of players because there’s only so many that can be elected in any given year.
When discussing HoF candidates, you can’t help but wonder how Andruw Jones’ career trajectory plummeted. He was definitely on track midway through the last decade, but his final season in Atlanta was a disaster, and things only got worse from there. It’s hard to believe Jones is still just 34 because he just seems so much older than that in recent seasons.
In the category for candidates nearing their final chance, Dale Murphy can only be on the ballot for one more year after this one, so if he doesn’t get in this year, his chances will fall off the table. Hell, Murphy hasn’t even gotten onto 25 per cent of the ballots in any year – never mind the 75 per cent needed for election. Why no love for the two-time MVP? I know his period of excellence was fairly brief, but certainly he deserves to have gotten within shouting distance of enshrinement. Jim Rice had to wait forever to get the call; maybe Murphy is following that path. But if it doesn’t happen this year, you can pretty much stick a fork in Murph, unless he gets in via the Veteran’s Committee down the road.
The Marlins’ winter of drunken-sailor spending continued with the re-signing of free agent Greg Dobbs – to a two-year deal. I know that Dobbs was somewhat forced into near full-time action last year, but he’s essentially a utility player. And you don’t give multi-year contracts to bench players. Hey, whatever works for you, Jeffrey Loria.
The Rays shored up their bullpen with the addition of free agent Fernando Rodney to a one-year deal worth $2 million. That gives the Rays another shaky veteran option to plug in at closer in case Kyle Farnsworth remembers that he’s… well, Kyle Farnsworth.
In one of the more interesting stories of the day, Joe Torre has left his position with MLB to make a play at purchasing the Dodgers. He’s only been the executive vice-president for baseball operations for MLB less than a year, and as an MLB employee, doesn’t he soft of already own the Dodgers? At any rate, it sure will be a glorious day for the team once its long-standing ownership issues are resolved.
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