The Rangers have until today to complete a contract with Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish or else they'll lose the rights to sign him.
The future of Roy Oswalt likely hangs in the balance.
Texas has been said to be interested in the longtime Astros starter. But the Rangers see Darvish as a potential ace who could command a deal in the range of $50-75 million. So everything else is, understandably, on the back burner.
Talk over the weekend was that a contract with Darvish was near. But things seem to have taken a step back since then as the sides can't come to an agreement over money. Stakes are especially high since Texas will have to pay Darvish's Japanese team more than $51.7 million as a posting fee should a deal be struck.
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If the Rangers can't complete a deal, they'll likely try to take up Oswalt on his offer to play for one season at about $8 million to round out a rotation weakened by the loss of C.J. Wilson to the Angels over the offseason. And then Texas may very well jump in on the Prince Fielder bidding.
The Cardinals remain on the periphery of the Oswalt watch. Over the weekend at the Winter Warm-up Cardinals GM John Mozeliak talked in vague terms about Oswalt, saying that he's the kind of guy the Redbirds would like to have around. But he said he didn't really see a fit right now.
Also in the mix are the surprisingly frugal Red Sox who could use some pitching help but who don't plan to offer a multi-year deal to get it.
At Oswalt's asking price, I get the feeling he's waiting around to see what the Rangers are going to do before making any decisions. There would be a certain comfort level in Texas and he would get to play for a team that has a very good shot at the playoffs. Both factors could be in play for the Cardinals. But in Texas he would have a sure slot in the rotation while St. Louis has five starters already penciled in.