The strange saga of Roy Oswalt has reportedly taken another turn in the last few days.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that Oswalt was placed on waivers by the Rangers and passed through unclaimed by any other team. That means the Rangers can now trade him to any interested suitor and that Oswalt could be on the acquiring team's playoff roster if they land him before the Aug. 31 waiver trade deadline.
Simply putting Oswalt on waivers doesn't indicate the Rangers are itching to make a trade for him in the next few days. Plenty of guys go on waivers every year without any real intention of getting traded, it's just prudent to leave yourself the option.
This case could be one where the Rangers are really looking to make a deal, though. The Oswalt signing has been a pretty full-on disaster with poor pitching, bad body language and a running contest to see if Oswalt wants to be in Texas less than the Rangers want to have him on the team.
All you need to know about the toxicity of the relationship is that the Rangers keep running Scott Feldman to start even though his brief flirtation with respectability ended without so much as a goodnight kiss. Oswalt wants to start, there are teams looking for starting depth and the Rangers have a couple of needs they could try to fill in a deal.
Rosenthal mentions the Dodgers as a trade partner, although it's unclear if that's because they could use some depth in the rotation or because their megadeal with the Red Sox made it clear that they have no qualms about acquiring players who have spent the year damaging their reputations. We'll assume it is the pitching need, though, and they could be a good fit for the Rangers' needs as well.
Nick Punto, acquired from the Red Sox this weekend, would fit as a utility infielder for the Rangers. He's not going to set the world on fire at the plate or in the field, but, hey, neither does Michael Young. The Dodgers also have a few different relievers who would be more useful to the team than Oswalt come the postseason when they will presumably move Feldman back to long relief.
The argument for keeping Oswalt comes down to the fact that the Rangers signed him as an insurance policy and their need for such a policy hasn't gone away. There's nothing wrong with that argument, other than the fact that Feldman is ahead of Oswalt now and Ron Washington's not known for his quick hook when it comes to players he's deemed worthy of starting roles.
Unless Washington is willing to put Oswalt back in the rotation to see if he can catch fire at the right time, the Rangers will realize more value from using his roster spot elsewhere.