Rangers Closing in on Oswalt

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The Yu Darvish signing pretty much put the writing on the wall for one of two guys between Matt Harrison and Alexi Ogando. That writing said one of them is heading back to the bullpen for the 2012 season with the logical choice being Ogando given his success as a set-up man in the past.

So why would the Rangers want yet another starting pitcher? Not exactly sure, but it appears they are one of two choices for veteran right-hander Roy Oswalt, who is a 34-year-old free agent with a history of back problems and of pretty stellar pitching in his past.

Numerous reports say Oswalt has narrowed down his preferred destinations to the St. Louis Cardinals and the Rangers. He has a farm in Missouri and he has previous ties with Mike Maddux and Nolan Ryan, so he's decided he wants to be on one of those two teams.

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Oswalt took two trips to the disabled list last season with the Philadelphia Phillies and turned in a 9-10 record with a 3.69 ERA, but he had some great seasons with the Houston Astros in his prime.

If he were to come to Texas, it would likely be a one-year deal for somewhere between $5-$7 million, which is a great bargain for a veteran of Oswalt's talent and with his skins on the pitching wall. But it would further cloud the starting rotation as Oswalt would likely jump into the No. 4 spot at best, maybe even as the fifth starter. His addition would push Matt Harrison out of the rotation as Yu Darvish, Colby Lewis, Derek Holland and the unproven Neftali Feliz are all locks to be in the rotation.

The move could set up a trade package including Harrison, especially after seeing the haul some teams have gotten in return for left-handed starters this winter. Or, it could just move Harrison to the bullpen to fill a lefty role there for one year while Oswalt can hopefully have a reclamation in his home state.

Just when you thought the Rangers were finished...

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