Oswalt clears waivers, possible trade coming?

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Roy Oswalt has known for weeks that he cleared waivers.

What the veteran right-hander isn’t so sure of is if the Texas Rangers have any plans to trade him and exactly what his role is now that he’s no longer in the starting rotation for the AL champions.

“I don’t know the process. I don’t even know how it works,” Oswalt said Tuesday, when asked about clearing waivers. “But I guess when they come and tell you you have to be somewhere else, you’ve got to go.”

Oswalt, who joined the Rangers on June 22, said he has been given no indication if he would be dealt. The three-time All-Star never gave a direct answer when asked if he preferred to be traded, saying he didn’t have a choice in the matter.

It is not uncommon for teams to put numerous players through waivers after the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. There is also the deadline upcoming Friday when players must be on a team’s roster to be eligible for postseason play.

Oswalt, who turns 35 on Wednesday, is 4-2 with a 5.94 ERA in 11 games for Texas. His last two games were spot starts that came after making three relief appearances, and the Rangers are 6-2 in games he has started.

When asked if he was comfortable in his role, Oswalt responded, “Yeah, I guess. I don’t know exactly what it is. I’m down there (in the bullpen) available.”

Rangers manager Ron Washington said Oswalt “has been a pro” in handling the situation. For now, Oswalt is considered a long reliever.

Oswalt, who said he feels good physically, had two stints on the disabled list last season with Philadelphia because of lower back inflammation. He went 9-10 with a 3.69 ERA in 23 starts, and his 139 innings pitched were his lowest total since 2003.

The Rangers gave him a deal worth $4 million. He has already earned $800,000 of a possible $1 million extra based on the number of starts he makes.

Several teams had interest in Oswalt last winter and in the weeks before he signed with the Rangers.

In 11 major league seasons with Houston (2001-10) and Philadelphia (2010-11), Oswalt had a 159-93 record with a 3.21 ERA in 339 career games.

Oswalt said there was no talk of him pitching out of the bullpen before he agreed to the deal with Texas, and things might have been different had he known that might be a possibility.

“If it was up front, it would have been a little bit of a different situation,” Oswalt said. “It just kind of caught me by surprise. But it’s water under the bridge.”

After winning his debut for the Rangers against Colorado, Oswalt allowed 13 hits — the most in his career — in each of his next two starts. He was 3-2 with a 6.49 ERA in six starts before Texas acquired Ryan Dempster in a July 31 trade and sent Oswalt to the bullpen.

“Games I’ve started, we’re 6-2. I’ve felt pretty good about that, and that’s what I came over here to do, the winning part of it,” Oswalt said. “It really doesn’t matter what my numbers are as long as the team is winning.”