While the vast majority of attention was given to Yu Darvish on the first day of camp, a decision made more than 1,000 miles away could help them in the long run.
Roy Oswalt decided not to go to training camp with anybody.
The Rangers like Oswalt, 34, but have neither the payroll flexibility nor a spot open in the rotation at this point. Though Oswalt communicated to the Rangers that he wants to pitch in Texas, he was unwilling to take a non-roster deal or to pitch as a reliever. Because of that, the sides weren't able to consummate any kind of deal.
It left Oswalt with two choices: Sit out and wait for a chance to pop up with the Rangers or another contender because of injury or sign with a team he didn't really want to play for. It left the Rangers with potentially signing Oswalt and creating uneasy competition for the rotation or allowing a very attractive insurance policy walk away.
When Oswalt opted to continue to sit out, it gave the Rangers a fallback plan in case of an injury to one of the planned starters (Colby Lewis, Derek Holland, Darvish, Matt Harrison and Neftali Feliz).
"This gives us more flexibility," Rangers president Nolan Ryan said. "We're not forced to create a spot that we're not comfortable with. This gives us as much leeway as possible."
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