Veteran right-hander Roy Oswalt, pitching for the Texas Rangers last year, has a major-league career record of 163-96 and a 3.28 ERA at age 35. He was a
Veteran right-hander Roy Oswalt, pitching for the Texas Rangers last year, has a major-league career record of 163-96 and a 3.28 ERA at age 35. He was a 20-game winner twice for the Houston Astros. Associated Press file

After an impressive throwing session viewed by the Rockies, Roy Oswalt signed a minor-league contract with them Thursday.

It's a low-risk, high-reward move, providing Oswalt an opportunity to show in the minors that he still has some fuel in his 35-year-old arm. If he completes the steps without issues and performs well, Oswalt could provide rotation depth for a team that has been the surprise of the National League during the season's first month.

Oswalt will report to extended spring training immediately and is scheduled to make two or three starts there before probably going to Double-A Tulsa for more work. He's not starting from scratch like a typical spring. Oswalt has been throwing for several weeks, including intense bullpen sessions.

Oswalt is 163-96 with a 3.28 ERA in 12 major-league seasons. He is 4-0 with a 2.25 ERA at Coors Field.

The Rockies pursued Oswalt before the 2012 season. He decided to sign with the Texas Rangers but struggled, losing his slot in the rotation and finishing 4-3 with a 5.80 ERA. But he did reach 94 mph with his fastball.

When the Rockies watched Oswalt throw recently, he made it clear that he was interested in them — a reflection of his desire for an opportunity and the 17-11 club's first-place position in the NL West standings.

The Rockies' rotation is set for now, with Jhoulys Chacin rejoining the staff Sunday against the Tampa Bay Rays. Chacin threw a side session in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Thursday and, without any setbacks, will take Tyler Chatwood's spot. But the Rockies are considering keeping Chatwood because of his strong performance recently and Juan Nicasio's struggles.