The veteran pitcher reportedly signed with the Rangers on Tuesday afternoon, adding another starting pitcher to the deep rotation. He'll fill the void left by Neftali Feliz, who was placed on the disabled list with elbow inflammation.
But the addition of Oswalt makes Texas a threat to advance to its third straight World Series. Before inking the All-Star hurler, the Rangers were already contenders with Colby Lewis, Yu Darvish, Derek Holland, Matt Harrison and Scott Feldman.
Now, in a matter of days, the Rangers have reloaded in impressive fashion. The team signed a three-time, All-Star that posted a 159-93 record and 3.21 ERA –– through 11 seasons –– and can also tutor his staff.
Chronic back problems have plagued Oswalt in recent seasons, making him a gamble for the Rangers. When healthy, the 34-year-old has dazzled for the Phillies and Astros.
In addition to bolstering the rotation, the Rangers' bullpen will also improve significantly. When Feliz returns, the pitcher will likely return to relieving and strengthen a bullpen that already features Alexi Ogando, Joe Nathan, Mark Lowe and Koji Uehara.
It will continue to add to the gap in the American League West, where the Rangers own a 31-18 record and sit atop the standings. The Rangers lead the Angels by six-and-a-half games and are poised to extend the lead with the addition of Oswalt.
And in the end, Oswalt and the Red Sox weren't meant to be. During the offseason, reports indicated that Oswalt preferred to stay closer to home –– in Mississippi –– and pinpointed Texas as one of top choices.
While Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said the team maintained contact with him, Oswalt's interest wasn't aggressive. Boston will have to shift its focus to the rehab assignments of Aaron Cook and Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Due to Oswalt's pickiness, the Rangers won out. With Oswalt on the staff, the Rangers could be primed to make noise in the 2012 postseason. Maybe it could be enough to advance to a third straight World Series.
Photo via Flickr/MikeSheridan89
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