Oswalt working out, intends to pitch by June

By Scott Miller | Senior Baseball Columnist
Roy Oswalt has been working himself into shape and plans to be pitching in the majors again by June, according to sources close to the veteran pitcher. Moreover, he is said to have a couple of "very nice offers" already on the table.

Oswalt has auditioned for the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies near his Mississippi home in recent days, according to multiple sources. It appears that the Phillies have more interest than the Red Sox, though the Phillies' level of interest is uncertain.

There are other, unidentified clubs kicking Oswalt's tires as well. Colleague Jon Heyman says the Yankees are not one of them.

Boston finally is reaching a place where its rotation has leveled off, and complicating issues there is that the Red Sox are close to having to make a decision on what to do with Daisuke Matsuzaka. He should be ready to return following one more injury rehabilitation start after missing much of 2011 and all of this season following Tommy John ligament transfer surgery. Indications point toward Matsuzaka joining the Red Sox rotation, if they add anyone.

Oswalt last pitched for the Phillies in 2011, going 9-10 with a 3.69 ERA in 23 starts. They like him but, sources tell colleague Danny Knobler, they, too, are battling a numbers game.

Though Vance Worley is currently is sidelined with elbow inflammation, he should be ready to pitch before Oswalt. Then, if they add Oswalt, barring some sort of injury or other unexpected development, they would have to either move Worley or Joe Blanton to the bullpen, or make a trade -- probably Blanton -- to make Oswalt fit. A trade at that point is more likely than moving Blanton or Worley to the pen, and that may involve Blanton.

So adding Oswalt is complicated for Philadelphia, but not impossible. The Phillies do like Oswalt based on his time in Philadelphia in 2010 and 2011, and if he decides Philadelphia is where he would like to pitch, it is possible that the Phillies would make an effort to accommodate him.

Conversations between Oswalt and the Red Sox progressed this spring, and talks between the right-hander and the Angels were far enough down the road to where Los Angeles thought it was close to signing him.

But Oswalt, 34, veered away at the last minute, largely because he was enjoying family life and did not want to stray too far from his Mississippi home.

But now, with school almost out, separation won't be such an issue. Oswalt can move his family with him for the summer to wherever he decides to pitch. He and his wife, Nicole, have three children, ranging in age from 1 1/2 to 7.

As such, pitching for a club with a realistic chance to play in a World Series, at this point, is said to be more important to Oswalt than geographical location.
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