Olney’s Latest: Oswalt, Berkman, Rays, Wood

In today's blog post at ESPN, Buster Olney discusses the trade value of Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman, which might not be as good as owner Drayton McLane would like. One GM noted that Houston's ace battled back trouble last year, which makes him a scary investment because of the potential to underperform and/or breakdown. 

Another executive noted that the contracts of both players might be prohibitive. Oswalt is guaranteed $33MM through 2011, while Berkman is making $15MM this season with a $2MM buyout of his $15MM club option for next season. It's also worth noting that the first baseman is hitting just .185/.290/.352 in 62 plate appearances since coming off the disabled list. If McLane decides to move one of his franchise players, it might be a tough pill to swallow since the return is expected to be less than stellar. 

Here's the rest of Olney's rumors…

  • Despite having the game's best record and run differential, the Rays need a righthanded reliever and lefty hitting designated hitter. The latter will likely have to come from outside the organization, and the opportunity to acquire such a player will assuredly arise during the summer. Remember, the Rays do have Hank Blalock hitting .388/.448/.541 in Triple-A.
  • Olney speculates that the team could use top prospect Jeremy Hellickson as that righty reliever, though it might compromise their rotation depth since he's effectively their sixth starter.
  • Kerry Wood's injury probably increased the chances that he'll be traded, because now his $11MM option for next season is unlikely to vest.


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8 Comments on "Olney’s Latest: Oswalt, Berkman, Rays, Wood"


boomshwa12
5 years 2 months ago

I can understand being skeptical on Berkman, b/c he hasn’t performed like an elite slugger so far. But Oswalt has been a shutdown starter so far this year. I can understand teams not being able to afford his salary r/n, but it’s not exactly an unreasonable contract, and it only runs through next season. So it’s not like he’s locked up till he’s 40, or just a 2 month rental. Especially considering how little pitching could be on the block in July, I have a hard time believing some desperate team won’t pay up a little bit for him.

Rothben
5 years 2 months ago

I think that the Tigers could be a great source for the Rays to look into. They have Carlos Guillen coming off of the DL, and he could be available due to Boesch’s great start. The Tigers starting pitching is struggling to a point, and a Guillen for Sonnanstine, Davis, or even Shields would be a great trade for both sides.

5 years 2 months ago

The Rays should trade Sonnanstine for a premium reliever. His talents are being wasted in Tampa.

Zack23
5 years 2 months ago

And who’s giving you a premium reliever for Andy Sonnanstine?

buddaley
5 years 2 months ago

Of course the Rays, like every team, could use an upgrade somewhere. But why the focus on righty reliever? Apart from Soriano, the closer, other righties in the bullpen include Balfour, Wheeler and Benoit, all of whom are pitching well so far. And Lance Cormier and Sonnanstine have been useful as well. I don’t see them dealing anything of value to acquire another right handed reliever unless it is part of a larger deal to upgrade elsewhere also.

lionofsenate
5 years 2 months ago

I think you mean former will have to come outside the organization. As the latter, IS Hank Blalock, who is your LH hitting DH.

bballstud16
5 years 2 months ago

@lionofsenate: Hes talking about a DH that hits lefties. Not a DH that is a left handed hitter. Blalock bats L. Although i agree with your point, Blalock needs to be up on the team. Cut Burrel for goodness sakes!

As for a righty reliever, sure thats ok with me. You can never have enough relievers, especially when the roster expands. And its not unlike the Rays to go out and get one or two matchup, low cost relievers at the trade deadline. Just don’t expect a big name reliever or a second closer (I WISH!! Heath Bell would be perfect!)

bballstud16
5 years 2 months ago

@lionofsenate: Hes talking about a DH that hits lefties. Not a DH that is a left handed hitter. Blalock bats L. Although i agree with your point, Blalock needs to be up on the team. Cut Burrel for goodness sakes!

As for a righty reliever, sure thats ok with me. You can never have enough relievers, especially when the roster expands. And its not unlike the Rays to go out and get one or two matchup, low cost relievers at the trade deadline. Just don’t expect a big name reliever or a second closer (I WISH!! Heath Bell would be perfect!)