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Free agent updates: Oswalt, Matsui, Gonzalez likely to sign soon

By April 24, 2012

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A few veteran players weren't impressed with their offers this offseason and have remained on the sidelines almost a month into the season, a new trend that's developed based on the economics of the game that's moved more money toward younger veterans.

Ivan Rodriguez wanted to play, but now has decided to retire. Vladimir Guerrero is back in the Dominican Republic, and he apparently hasn't found an effective outlet for his time. Milton Bradley looks like he's done at age 34, with little interest in his sideshow.

But there is movement for a few others.

Roy Oswalt: Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported (video) that the Red Sox and Cardinals are still interested. The 34-year-old right-hander, who was 9-10 with a 3.69 ERA with Philadelphia last season and is by far the best free agent pitcher available, could be ready by mid-June if he's signed soon.

Hideki Matsui: The Tampa Bay Rays have had decent production from Luke Scott at designated hitter so far, but they have an interest in Matsui, who played last season with the A's and hit 12 home runs. The 2009 World Series MVP is a career .285 hitter and he's 37, younger than Johnny Damon (who just recently signed with the Indians).

Mike Gonzalez: The former Pirates and Braves closer, who pitched in eight postseason games for the Rangers last season, is close to a contract, according to agent Scott Boras. Surgery on his knee has delayed the lefty's comeback.

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