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Rangers Interest in Oswalt Could Be Ploy

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 05: Starting pitcher Roy Oswalt #44 of the Philadelphia Phillies on the mound in the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game Four of the National League Division Series at Busch Stadium on October 5, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

    As Nolan Ryan said on Thursday, it seems the Texas Rangers are confident that they are closing in on signing Japanese superstar pitcher Yu Darvish.

    And there hasn't been any noise out there saying the contrary. So while it appears Darvish will sign before the Jan. 18 deadline, why would the Rangers have interest in bringing in veteran starter Roy Oswalt?

    At 34 years old, Oswalt is way past his prime that he enjoyed with the Houston Astros. After joining the Philadelphia Phillies last season, Oswalt was a disappointment as he continously suffered back problems and spent a few stints on the disabled list.

    The Rangers starting rotation is already jam-packed, assuming they sign Darvish. There's Colby Lewis Neftali Feliz and Derek Holland, who are no-brainers to be in the rotation. Then there's Alexi Ogando and Matt Harrison with Scott Feldman also thrown into the mix.

    Conventional wisdom says if Oswalt were brought in, the Rangers could move Ogando back to the bullpen to solidify the back end with Joe Nathan, but at this point the Oswalt rumors just seem like leverage.

    The Rangers showing interest in Oswalt, and even free agent Hiroki Kuroda, seems like a leverage ploy to get Darvish's people thinking they can do without him and don't want to give him the C.J. Wilson money that he's reportedly wanting.

    If Oswalt were brought to town, he'd be nothing more than a No. 4 starter for the Rangers, but it would bring depth. However, expect the Rangers to sign Darvish and go after another bullpen stud before the off-season comes to an end.