How Do Nationals Match Up For Oswalt?

The Washington Nationals have made no secret of their interest in Roy Oswalt, and with good reason. The 32-year-old lays waste to the wins statistic, pitching to just a 2-6 record despite a 2.66 ERA, 16 walks and 60 strikeouts in 61 innings. That 8.9 K/9 mark should go a long way toward assuaging teams concerned about taking on the hefty salary Oswalt commands- $15MM this year, $16MM in 2011, and a $16MM 2012 option (with $2MM buyout).

Assuming the Nationals would take on Oswalt's contract and the pitcher is willing to play for them, what would constitute a reasonable haul of young players from Washington?

For Houston's part, they need help, essentially, everywhere. The farm system is pretty sparsely populated, prospect-wise, and the major league club has needs all over. Their 15-29 record is earned honestly; their Pythagorean mark, based on runs scored and runs allowed, is 14-30.

Some major league pieces that could interest Houston include Ian Desmond, who could provide middle infield help for the Astros, and Tyler Clippard, whose value might never be higher after a strong start (and with Houston GM Ed Wade a longtime lover of bullpen pieces).

But the deal would almost certainly have to revolve around minor league pieces. Houston would be right to ask for Drew Storen or Derek Norris as a centerpiece, though both are extremely prized by Washington, and the latter plays the same position as Houston's best prospect, Jason Castro. The smart money is probably on a deal centered around pitcher Brad Meyers, whose tremendous results at Double-A this year- 27 strikeouts, four walks in 22 2/3 innings, 0.79 ERA- are only tempered by questions about how his stuff will translate at higher levels.

Other pieces that could draw Houston's interest include 2006 first rounder Chris Marrero as a possible replacement for Lance Berkman at first base (though his Double-A numbers are underwhelming so far), and Danny Espinosa, whose strong play and effective plate discipline at shortstop for Double-A Harrisburg makes him appear pretty close to big-league ready.

From this view, a reasonable trade for Oswalt would be Meyers, Marrero, Clippard and another minor piece. And given the massive needs of the Astros, such a deal would certainly be in their interest.

24 Responses to How Do Nationals Match Up For Oswalt? Leave a Reply

  1. TheBunk 5 years ago

    Seems odd that a deal would be centered around a player who has questions about how his stuff will play in the majors

  2. cbcbcb 5 years ago

    In my opinion there is a zero chance that this happens. Why on earth would he accept a trade to the Nationals. Yes, they have had a good season (for them), but when he looks at the situation, will he honestly think they are contenders for the World Series, which is what he cares about at this point in his career. We saw last offseason the extremely short list of destinations that Halladay would go to, and I think the same will be the case for Oswalt. Helk, Oswalt doesn’t even have Philadelphia, Yankees, or Boston as a preferred destination

    • Given the nats 23-22 record right now and the coming upgrades in the rotation with Strasburg, Wang and Zimmermann it’s reasonable to expect that with Oswalt they have as good a chance as anyone not named Philladelphia, St. Louis or Los Angeles to represent the NL in the World Series. None of those 3 are taking on his salary or giving up the prospects Wade will need to approve the deal.

      I still think without kicking in for part of his salary they won’t get close to that haul, more liket Stammnen and Marrero or Michael Burgess. I think Espinoza and Norris are off limits (I low A prospect like Ramirez or Hood is a possibility, but doubtful).

      The real question is can Wade trade the only player he has worth more than his weight in fertilizer without getting a certified blue chip prospect and keep his job? For that reason alone I think Oswalt plays all of ’10 in Houston.

      • Guest 5 years ago

        “Given the nats 23-22 record right now and the coming upgrades in the rotation with Strasburg, Wang and Zimmermann it’s reasonable to expect that with Oswalt they have as good a chance as anyone not named Philladelphia, St. Louis or Los Angeles to represent the NL in the World Series.”


  3. withpower 5 years ago

    Dodgers make a lot more sense, I think. Maybe something like.. Jerry Sands/Kyle Russell plus a pitching prospect.. maybe Ethan Martin..?

    The Dodgers have a lot of pieces to work with. They could go Lindblom, the Korean MIF kid, plus Russell/Sands.

    • Zack23 5 years ago

      The Dodgers aren’t taking on his salary though.

      • withpower 5 years ago

        Maybe they pull another Carlos Santana?

        If I’m Houston maybe I take advantage of that and demand like.. Martin, Gordon, Sands, and Russell. Or maybe swap Sands out with Loney and adjust the cash being sent in LA’s direction. They can swap out Russell for Lambo (though I don’t know the rules on trading guys in the drug suspension limbo).

        I just think the Dodgers have some nice pieces that Houston could get going with. If Houston trades this guy and mucks it up, they might be bad for a while.

        • Guest 5 years ago

          The Dodgers have a ton of talent that Houston needs.. But I have said this on this site before.. If Ned/Frank make another talent for salary trade I will not root for this team anymore.

          Look for me at Dodger games, the one booing McCourt as loud as he possibly can when they show that Rat on the jumbotron.

  4. greglotto 5 years ago

    I can totally see this deal happening, because this is the way Ed Wade works. Trade a good piece away for 60 cents on the dollar, only he will spin it because he stocked the farm system. Never mind that the farm system players are questionable at best.

  5. Pam_Beasley 5 years ago

    Tyler Clippard can’t possibly have that much value right? Sure, he’s been good so far, but he doesn’t really project to be that great does he?

  6. Threat_Level_RedSox 5 years ago

    Money is the only thing holding him back, An aggrement for restructed contract would help, buy out his option and give him 2 more years at 12-14 mil per, plus an option. if the Astros pick up 25-50% off his 2010-2011 salary they could net a good return.

    Anyway does anyone else see bubble teams like Colorado and Flordia be im the race, they have the Offense, but not the pitching to win the wild card. Question is will Oswalt want to put a team in playoff contention or just be a insurance for a contender?

  7. kimofromkauai 5 years ago

    I don’t think any team will give decent prospects and take on Oswalts salary in full. Houston will have to assume a big portion of the money owed to get anyone decent for their future. Oswalts anticipated production is close to or lower than his cost over the next 2-3 years and no GM will take on that much money to production ratio – especially factoring in Oswalts age and bad back.Chris Lee will be a big priority over Oswalt for other MLB teams – shorter obligation and better recent health.

    I think the assumption that the Nats will take on all the salary and give good prospects is not correct.

  8. hmmm i could see a Stammen, Maxwell, Marrerro and 2 low lvl prospects. something of that nature if we have to take on his full contract. if they pay for half or most they get better products in return.

  9. $4555515 5 years ago

    ^^^””Maybe the Yankees inquire given Javier Vazquez’ issues? Houston would certainly ask for something built around Montero in return though, so that might scare off the Bombers”””

    yes it makes perfect sense now…. only the yankees would be dumb enough 2 take on his entire salary and give up there top farm hands for oswalt….why didnt i see it sooner

    • Yankees420 5 years ago

      Cashman wouldn’t give up Montero for Halladay, so there is no way he goes in a trade for Roy Oswalt, especially when SP isn’t really a big concern for this team right now.

      • Yankees420 5 years ago

        It just donned on me that you might be being sarcastic, and if that’s the case then my bad for not realizing it.

  10. I like the idea here just because I’m kind of a Nats fan. Lifelong Royals fan, so I’m an underdog guy. Personally, I think every team should try and kick the tires, just to see if anyone would bite. Never know.

  11. “Their 15-29 record is earned honestly; their Pythagorean mark, based on runs scored and runs allowed, is 14-30.”

    So, essentially, the Astros have been LUCKY this year? Wow. Not much luck but still… They’re bad.

  12. gwells 5 years ago

    i don’t think oswalt is going anywhere. they’re going to want multiple premium prospects for him and i don’t think anyone is going to give that up.

  13. Brandon Woodworth 5 years ago

    ^I didn’t think Halladay to the Phils was a possibility.

    Why are the Nationals so greedy? Their rotation at the end of this year could include 5 of the following: Livan Hernandez, Scott Olsen, Chieng Ming Wang, Jordan Zimmerman, Stephen Strausburg, Jason Marquis, and John Lannan. You didn’t sign Marquis and Wang for nothing. The easiest move would to be put Zimmerman in the minors, move Olsen to the bullpen and release Hernandez, but why? Livan has been great, and so was Olsen before the injury. And Zimmerman has proven he can win at the majors level, and just imagine the pontential with this new lineup the Nats have this year. I think it’d be crazy to acquire Oswalt, because of the talent they already have at a much cheaper cost.

    • First of all, you can never have enough pitching. 2nd, Like u said right now Olsen, Marquis, J-zimm, and Wang are hurt so there are NO guarantees. 3rd, Livan is not going to be this good all year long. So there is no reason why the nats dont need oswalt like anyone else. There is nothing greedy about it. Nothing is guaranteed in this league. ALSO BTW wang is out till July and J-Zimm is out till late August so….. yea……

  14. that +800 for the Nats to take the NLE is looking better and better .. Go get him! (not moving Storen though)

  15. that +800 for the Nats to take the NLE is looking better and better .. Go get him! (not moving Storen though)

  16. withpower 5 years ago

    If Houston is picking up the salary on Oswalt’s deal, LA has to give up the goods. That means 4 prospects.

    Swapping Loney out for Sands is just if the teams want to adjust cash going in one direction. Loney makes a major league salary, which if the Astros assumed maybe they don’t send as much cash LA’s way — but this was already explained in the previous post.

    As for what level the prospects the Astros ask for should be.. that is the last thing Houston needs to worry about. That’s how you end up trading for “prospects” like Chris Burke. Houston needs impact talent at multiple positions.

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