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Rangers dump payroll, potentially make room for Roy Oswalt

The Rangers are close to a deal that would send reliever Koji Uehara to the Athletics, potentially clearing the way for the club to sign free agent starter Roy Oswalt.

The Cardinals and Rangers have long been reported to be Oswalt's two preferred destinations. But both clubs have struggled to clear payroll space that would allow the former Astros ace to be added to their rotation.

Texas appeared out of the Oswalt bidding up until the last two days as the team assured its five current starters that they wouldn't be moved to the bullpen to make room for Oswalt. But as the Uehara talks heated up, so did the Oswalt rumor mill.

The Cardinals allegedly tried to free up payroll space for Oswalt a couple of weeks ago by trading pitcher Kyle McClellan to the Orioles. But that deal never came together and the Birds are seemingly without payroll wiggle room to get a deal done.