After the Jayson Werth signing last season, we know the Washington Nationals aren't shy about throwing around big bucks in free agency. And just in case you aren't convinced, consider that Ted Lerner is the richest owner in baseball. So it shouldn't be a shock if the Nationals are in on some of the bigger names in the free agent market. Thus, the Friday afternoon rumor -- via Bill Ladson of MLB.com -- that they're interested in former Astros and Phillies pitcher Roy Oswalt should come as no surprise.
The Nationals already have four spots on their rotation filled, assuming everyone is healthy and there are no trades involving the foursome of Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, John Lannan and Chien-Ming Wang. According to Ladson's report, general manager Mike Rizzo wants to add a veteran to sit atop the rotation.
"The type of pitcher we are looking for is a good leader-type of guy that throws a lot of innings, has shown that he can win in the big leagues and really lead our staff," Rizzo said without mentioning any names (MLB.com). "It's not by having the best stuff on the staff, but showing how to be a professional, how to be a winner, how to pitch 200 innings in a season many, many times in a career. That's kind of the guy we are looking for."
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Oswalt, 34, was 9-10 with a 3.69 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 93 strikeouts in 139 innings in 2011. He battled back issues and also had a family issue at one point (when a tornado ravaged his hometown). He had thrown at least 208 innings in seven of the previous nine seasons.
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