However, now that the Mets have reportedly agreed to sign RHP Shaun Marcum, it's unlikely the Mets will sign Oswalt even in a relief role. The team did have internal discussions about him before they signed Marcum (Martin, New York Post).
Jan. 26: Oswalt's agent is unaware of any interest from the Mets (Carig, Newsday).
Jan. 12: Oswalt might still want to pitch, but on his terms and perhaps for only a half a season (Cafardo, Boston Globe).
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Stats: Oswalt, 35, went 4-3 with a 5.80 ERA in 17 appearances and nine starts with the Rangers last season. He worked only in relief during the month of September.
Oswalt went 3-3 with a 6.36 ERA in nine starts in 2012, allowing 33 earned runs, 69 hits, ten walks and nine home runs in 46 2/3 innings.
Oswalt didn't begin his season until June 22, but didn't sign with the Rangers until mid-May.
Contract: Oswalt signed a one-year, $5 million contract with Texas at the end of May last season.
Oswalt has historically been a hard sinkerballer, and his velocity was still in the low 90's last season with the Rangers. But he allowed 1.7 home runs per nine innings last season, which was the highest rate he's posted in his career. While he struck out 59 batters in 59 innings, he allowed 90 baserunners over the same span. Maybe that was attributed to rust and a fluxuating role, but I wonder if it also had to do simply with his skills diminishing.
It's always a good idea to have pitching depth, especially with the health issues surrounding Johan Santana and potentially Shaun Marcum. But I have to wonder if Oswalt can serve as that depth at this point in his career. He has dealt with back problems in recent years and hasn't made more than 30 starts since 2010. In addition, he's been wishy-washy in trying to figure out if he even wants to pitch. I also wonder if Oswalt would accept a role with the Mets, a team he's historically balked at pitching for, and in a situation where nothing is guaranteed for him at the big league level.