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Source: Rangers, Oswalt agree to deal

FOX Sports KEN ROSENTHAL AND JON PAUL MOROSI
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Roy Oswalt finally is a Texas Ranger.

The free-agent right-hander, concluding months of speculation, agreed Tuesday to a one-year contract with the Rangers, according to a major-league source.

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The last hurdle for the Rangers was ownership approval; the team was over-budget, with a $120.5 million Opening Day payroll that ranked sixth in the majors.

However, the Rangers' average attendance has increased from 36,382 last season to 43,818 through 24 games — second only to the Philadelphia Phillies.

The deal, which was first reported by the Dallas Morning News, will be for between $5 million and $6 million, guaranteed, according to a major-league source.

The Rangers, who passed on Oswalt in spring training due to their surplus of starting pitchers, recently lost right-hander Neftali Feliz, creating an opening in their rotation.

The expectation is that Oswalt, 34, will be ready to pitch in the majors in three to four weeks.

He had a 3.69 ERA in 23 starts for the Phillies last season, but twice went on the disabled list with back trouble.

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The Rangers’ interest stems in part from Oswalt’s prior relationship with club president Nolan Ryan, and perhaps received a final push when the Los Angeles Angels lost right-hander Jered Weaver to an apparent back injury on Monday night.

By signing Oswalt, the Rangers effectively would stage a preemptive strike on the Angels, preventing their principal division rival from acquiring the free-agent pitcher.

The Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers also have shown interest in Oswalt. The Phillies are awaiting word on the condition of right-hander Roy Halladay’s shoulder, and the Dodgers recently put lefty Ted Lilly on the disabled list with a shoulder injury.

Tagged: Angels, Rangers, Dodgers, Phillies, Ted Lilly, Roy Oswalt

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