Friday, February 24, 2012
Due a $16,000,000 payday if he was on the spring training roster, veteran RHP Roy Oswalt was non-tendered by the Friars for the purpose of cutting the club's "franchise player."
Oswalt had been with the club since 2010, after being acquired in a trade along with prospects from the Brooklyn Moabs, a trade that in retrospect seems to be key step in a series of moves that laid the ground work for last season's playoff run. Oswalt was effective at points in the season, going 9-4 with a 2.78 ERA, but was often dinged up. Observers speculated at times as to whether or not Oswalt would retire in mid-season, not just after the campaign. But, despite all the doubts, Oswalt pitched credibly in the playoffs and talked up his desire to return for another season of BARB baseball.
Management, however, looked at the tea leaves and decided that $16 M was too much to risk for a 34-year-old who had made only 17 regular-season starts for the Friars, who signaled their intention to go in another direction in the last week, dealing away veterans Paul Konerko, Kevin Youkilis and Heath Bell. The move lowered the Friars payroll to $126 million prior to the Draft.
Oswalt can now be signed by any team other than St. Francis through this year's impending Draft.