Oswalt’s Preferred Destinations Aren’t Good Fits

Roy Oswalt's request to be dealt from the Astros means that the sweepstakes for the veteran pitcher are officially on.  We've heard that Oswalt is willing to waive his no-trade clause to go to a contending team, and three teams that he would reportedly be interested in joining are the Braves, Cardinals and Rangers.

If these really are the top choices on Oswalt's wish list, the right-hander might need to expand his horizons.  Several obstacles stand between Oswalt pitching for any of these clubs:

  • Texas.  Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News is pessimistic about the Rangers' chances at Oswalt, noting that the team's unsettled ownership situation would make it difficult to take on Oswalt's big salary.  The right-hander is owed $16MM in 2011 and has a club option for $16MM in 2012.  That final year can be bought out for $2MM, but that still adds up to an $18MM investment in Oswalt, not to mention the remainder of his $15MM salary this season.  Rich Harden is the only experienced arm currently in the Texas rotation, but given the number of promising young arms in the Rangers' system, committing a lot of money to a veteran like Oswalt doesn't make much long-term sense.
  • St. Louis.  Even if Oswalt's no-trade clause and salary limits Houston's options, it's hard to imagine the Astros dealing one of their franchise icons within the division.  MLB.com's Matthew Leach (via Twitter) doesn't think the Cardinals will seriously pursue Oswalt since the St. Louis rotation is already so strong.  Leach thinks the Cards will "put in a call" to keep their bases covered, but it's a longshot.
  • Atlanta.  Much like St. Louis, the Braves have no pressing need for another starter, even one of Oswalt's caliber.  If the Braves make any moves before the trade deadline, it will be to acquire a hitter to improve their struggling lineup.  There's also the fact that while the Cardinals and Rangers currently lead their divisions, Atlanta is 21-20 heading into Friday's play and will face a tough uphill climb to catch the Phillies in the NL East.  The Braves might not fit Oswalt's definition of a "contender."

There's also the possibility that Oswalt might not go anywhere.  As Houston GM Ed Wade told MLB.com's Brian McTaggart, "Roy's contract includes a no-trade clause, not a trade-me clause…I just want to acknowledge the request has been made, but it really doesn't change anything on our end."  It has been well-documented that Astros owner Drayton McLane Jr. is loath to commit to a full rebuilding process for his team and give up on the Oswalt/Lance Berkman/Carlos Lee era, but now that Oswalt has outright asked to be traded, perhaps that's the sign that McLane needs to see that changes are necessary in Houston.

52 Responses to Oswalt’s Preferred Destinations Aren’t Good Fits Leave a Reply

  1. Yeah I’d say Oswalt’s best fit is the Mets….no idea if he wants to play there though, or if the Mets will give up what Houston wants.

    • I have to disagree. The Mets need Oswalt, but he would not approve a trade there. He is, as you NY’ers say, “A country boy,” to the extreme. Not to mention, the Mets are not a contender.

      I could see him going to NY to wear pin stripes, but only because they’re the Yankees and they contend every year.

  2. No, those three aren’t good fits, but they aren’t necessarily the only teams he would approve a trade to.

    • They aren’t ideal fits, true, but that doesn’t mean they wont happen.

      They are much more likely than Mets, Mariners, and other non-contenders that everyone seems to think are better fits due to need and resources.

      There is a no-trade clause that Roy will use. He asked for a trade to contend for a ring. If they were to try and trade him to a non-contender then what would he gain?

      There is a strong possibility he goes no where.

  3. BravesRed 5 years ago

    Braves don’t even have the payroll to take on Oswalt’s contract, unless they take on another big contract.

  4. mikefichera 5 years ago

    i’d trade maybe wilmer flores for oswalt, hes got a 16 mil price tag attatched to him…

    • Flores and Familia would be a good package that I’m sure the Astros would love in exchange for Oswalt. But the Mets need to get back into contention first.

  5. DarthVader87 5 years ago

    I smell the Red Sox trying to make a splash deal for Oswalt and Berkman sometime this season.

    • fitz 5 years ago

      I don’t see it. Not at all.

      • TahoePadreFan 5 years ago

        I Agree, cant see the BoSox’s making a play for him.. most of the pitchers are already signed for big contracts and they have lots of pitching depth in the minors. Although I could see maybe the Yankees making a play for him with Vazquez falling apart.

        • DarthVader87 5 years ago

          I could see that too, but I wouldn’t like that at all. I wouldn’t keep the Sox out of the realm of possibility. If the pitching keeps up the way it is and if there continues to be a bat issue, I could see one of those typical Theo blockbusters happen. Of course, both of those guys would have to agree to it first if I’m not mistaken.

          • jb226 5 years ago

            The problem is that if the pitching keeps up the way it is and there continues to be a bat issue for much longer, there won’t be much of a point in them bringing in veterans.

            With the way the Rays and Yankees are playing, they’d better make a move FAST if they’re going to make one at all. Otherwise it’s a waste of talent. It may already be that way.

          • Best post in here. Roy and Berkman package would be an instant boost into contention for a team like Boston. But, they have to do it soon, and they have to have the money and or prospects to get both.

            I definitely think that would increase likelihood of both players waiving their NTC’s.

  6. Alldaybaseball 5 years ago

    That burns to hear Atlanta’s not a true contender, you’ll see.

  7. jbjoyner 5 years ago

    Astros owner Drayton McLane will never allow Roy to be traded

    • BravesRed 5 years ago

      I wonder which statement is more ridiculous, yours or Mark’s? You need to know that, what Oswalt wants, he gets, as you can see from his no-trade clause and the huge contracts that the Astros have.

      And Mark, to say that the Braves aren’t contenders is the dumbest thing any writer has written on here, since I been coming here. With McCann, McLouth, Glaus, and somewhat Jones coming around and hitting. With Heyward, Infante, Hinske, Prado hitting, that seems one of the most dangerous, if not thee most dangerous lineup in the NL East, NL, and maybe even the ML. And the Braves went from like 6.5 games out, to 4.5 games out within 3 days.

      • Come on, you honestly believe the Braves have the most dangerous lineup in the NL East, NL, and even MLB? Not even close. Not at all.

        • NYBravosFan10 5 years ago

          I think the Braves have proven what they’re capable of lately. When everyone is on their game they are as good as anyone. The only reason the Braves’ record is two games above .500 is because everyone started off so horribly. Give it a little while and the Braves will be at the top of this division. Eventually the Phillies bullpen problems are going to start hurting them big time

          • remember this is the same bullpen from last year with the same problems. this team/lineup is so good that they overcome things like that.

          • The Braves offense is NOWHERE near the top 5 in baseball. Not even close. Heyward is a rookie and is bound to struggle as he’s still adjusting to ML pitching. Chipper is nothing like he used to be. McLouth is a shell of his former self, and isn’t anywhere near as good as he used to be. Melky/Diaz/Hinske aren’t that good, or they wouldn’t be platoon guys. Escobar is a good player, as long as he keeps his head on straight and doesn’t clash with Cox. Prado is good, I do like him (despite him being a Phillie-killer last season.) McCann is probably the best offensive catcher in the NL, so I’ll give you that. But they don’t come close to stacking up against Utley/Werth/Howard/Victorino, not to mention that Jimmy Rollins has been out the majority of this season. The Braves are not as good offensively as Philly, Tampa, NYY, STL, and several other teams. Not even close.

      • Are you serious? Have you heard of the Phillies? Or are you just pretending they don’t exist?

  8. Mark,

    you really should do your research next time. The Braves have a struggling offense? That’s why they’ve won 8 out of 10 and have scored THE MOST RUNS SCORED IN MAY, right?

    Come on now. I know you have to cover every team, but a little research doesn’t hurt.

    • Thank you!!! I hate when national media just dismiss the Braves off hand. Can’t catch the Phillies? Give me a damn break!!!

  9. Another thing to consider in the Oswalt derby is that the dude has to take a shot before he pitches every time. He’s not damaged goods yet, but he could be before that contract expires. Can the Astros really expect to reap a ton for someone who is a HUGE injury risk AND is making a TON? Now add in the fact that because he makes so much, there are only a few teams out there that can afford him, how much can they really expect to get for the guy?

    • Taskmaster75 5 years ago

      Once again, Roy Oswalt is NOT an injury risk. The dude has averaged at least 200 innings since 2004 except in 2009 (He pitched 180…..). Incredibly inaccurate statement to call the man a huge injury risk.

      Also, Oswalt has had roughly a 1.16 WHIP since 2008. His performance demands a huge contract, no matter what his win totals say. His teams were that bad.

    • He doesn’t have to take a shot every time before he pitches. That is complete misinformation and I don’t know where you heard it, but you’re mistaken. He had one shot in his back (cortizone) at the beginning of the season and has been totally fine since. That is all.

    • Total false statement. He will take a cortizone shot once or twice a year, but he consistently pumps out 200 innings a year.

      I wouldn’t call that a huge injury risk. You watch too much ESPN. The national Yankees/Redsox station where everyone who doesn’t play for them is sub-par, overpaid, or an injury risk.

  10. MadisonMariner 5 years ago

    It’s too bad that the Rangers’ ownership situation is so unsettled(well, to bad for Rangers’ fans), as I think the Rangers could make a nice offer to the Astros without giving up anyone named Justin Smoak, Neftali Feliz, or Martin Perez and have a veteran like Oswalt come in to be the staff ace(at least through the end of 2011).

    With Chris Davis being kind of superfluous with the emergence of Justin Smoak, perhaps a deal centered around him and Derek Holland(with another prospect and perhaps a reliever) going to the Astros. Then, the Astros could deal Berkman separately and use Davis at 1B.

    • Yep. I was thinking Davis would be an Astro if that trade happened since Houston has no 1B prospects in their system. None. Not one, well unless you consider Koby Clemens. lmao

  11. Dodgers, Cubs and Reds are fits for Oswalt. Dodgers can offer a package surrounding Dee Brown, Scott Elbert, Blake Dewitt and Hong Chi Kuo. Cubs can offer 3b Josh Vitters, Sean Marshall, Mike Fontenot and Jeff Samardzjia. Reds have Todd Frazier, Juan Francisco and Yonder Alonso – Cincy might require the Stros take back Harang or Arroyo’s salary.

    • jb226 5 years ago

      Wait, what?

      Josh Vitters is in the Cubs’ top 3 prospects, Sean Marshall is the second-best or maybe even best reliever right now, Samardzija has a no-trade clause and is NOT cheap despite being a young player with options left, and Fontenot, well, he’s not a player anybody (re)builds a team around. And of yeah: The starting rotation is not the Cubs’ problem! Why on Earth would they even consider such a trade? It hurts more than it helps, short- and long-term.

    • dire straits 5 years ago

      Dee Brown? lol

  12. NYBravosFan10 5 years ago

    I really am not sure why because it is a bit farfetched but I have a good feeling about the Braves and Oswalt. It doesn’t make the least bit of sense at all but I just have this feeling that he might end up there. I guess if Kawakami keeps struggling put him in the pen and trash Jesse Chavez and maybe there could be room for him but KK proved alot a couple days ago. I dunno, it’s just the feeling that you feel when you really think the improbable is going to happen. Bust on me all you want but my feelings aren’t gonna change.

    • BravesRed 5 years ago

      Overall, the Braves have good starting pitching. Hanson had one bad outing, so his ERA skyrocketed. Hudson is back to form. Kawakami is getting better, and Lowe has dropped his ERA. Medlen is filling in greatly for the injured Jurrjens. Kawakami and Lowe both started off horrible last season also, and they both finished strongly, so there is no reason for pitching.

      Don’t get on Chavez for doing bad. It’s hard to not get rusty when you pitch one inning, maybe once a week if he’s lucky. If you call 9.16 K/9, 1.45 BB/9, 6.33 K/BB, and his -0.1 isn’t to bad with the way he gave up some runs. If you call those numbers bad, then you better consider a lot of pitchers bad.

    • FutureBravesGM18 5 years ago

      Why not just trade Kawakami to the Astros, he is only owed 7 million over the 2010 & 2011, with some other prospects and then the Astros will just need to eat some of Oswalt’s money maybe 3-4 million

      • dire straits 5 years ago

        Isn’t Kawakami 34? Has he won a game this season? Will he make the Astros a contender in the long run?

        These are not rhetorical questions. I really want your knowledge and opinion about your team’s pitcher.

        • FutureBravesGM18 5 years ago

          Yes he is 34 in June. He hasn’t won a game YET because he has the worst run support in baseball and should have some by the trade deadline. No he probably wouldn’t make them a contender in the long run, but he is a cheaper option in the rotation for a year or they could turn around and trade him again for some prospects.

  13. JTrea81 5 years ago

    The Orioles should jump into this as a third team. They have the payroll room to pay Oswalt, and could give $ and provide some pitching prospects to the Rangers to trade to Houston to get Oswalt for example in trade for Justin Smoak, a hitter they would love to pair with his former HS teammate Matt Wieters.

    • Rangers wont part with Smoak.
      Astros will never again trade with Baltimore.
      That was a McClane forcing Wade to get Tejada. That worked well, vomit.

  14. Given the depth of the Braves farm system, the Braves obviously have the talent to acquire Oswalt. The only issue would be the money, which could be solved by the Astros taking Lowe back in a deal. This would allow the Braves to take on Oswalt’s hefty salary and allow the Astros to get a fair package of younger players in return they desperately need to rebuild.

  15. icedrake523 5 years ago

    The Mets, Dodgers, Tigers, and maybe Angels, Nationals and Red Sox seem like the most possible options but there’s some caveat with all of them. Mets may be out of it and it’s a big risk if they don’t make the playoffs. Dodgers have limited financial leeway in taking on Oswalt’s contract. Tigers don’t have a pressing need right now but can’t expect to surpass the Twins with Bonderman, Willis, and Galaragga at the back end. Angels’ pitching has been improving and they don’t make big moves (though have the last couple seasons). Red Sox seem more focused on improving at catcher and hoping their pitchers turn around. Nationals could be the best fit if they can take on the contract.

    • What? Seriously, if I hear the Mets one more time, I’m going to start revoking some cards. In fact, your card is revoked for mentioning the Nationals.

      • icedrake523 5 years ago

        Chill out. I didn’t say any of those teams were going to get him, only that they were possible fits and none are perfect. The Nationals are a possibility if they keep up the good start and want to get him.

        • NYBravosFan10 5 years ago

          There aren’t a whole lot of teams that do make sense. The problem here is the same deal as Jake Peavy a year ago. Oswalt has the full no-trade clause and will veto any trade he doesn’t like and the teams he does like don’t have alot of room for him. But before he makes his decision the team has to please Ed Wade first and he is coming off as a bit stubborn. So not only do the interested teams have to please Ed Wade they have to please Oswalt as well. If we’re going solely on his preferences here and what makes the most sense I gotta say the Rangers. Braves don’t have the money or the room and Wade will most likely not go anywhere near the division so that nixes the cardinals.

  16. I have always ALWAYS wanted Roy on the Braves. He just seemed made to be on that team to me, but try as I might, I don’t see a fit. It’s a shame, would love to be able to plug Roy in there and slap an Oswalt jersey on my wall, but a match is darn hard to find.

    If Penny gets shelved for very long with tonight’s injury, I see them as more likely than Atlanta, not that I know the Cardinals system well anymore.

  17. It does seem a bit… off though that in the Article, the Cardinals and Rangers leading their divisions is supposedly such an amazing selling point that the Braves couldn’t possibly possess… because it ignore the fact that the Cardinals are only leading their division because the Braves beat up the Reds for them.

  18. MLB_in_the_Know 5 years ago

    Braves get – Michael Bourn (2.4M + 2 years of arbitration) & Roy Oswalt (33M over 2 years) + 5M cash

    Astros get – Nate Mclouth (12.25M over 2 years), Kenshin Kawakami, (13.334M over 2 years), Mike Minor, Randall Delgado, Zeke Spruill and Cody Johnson.

    This gives the Braves their center fielder and lead off hitter, while adding another ace SP into our rotation and subtracting out the weakest link from it.

    From Houston’s perspective, they get a two bad contracts to balance out salaries, but both players still have a lot of potential and 4 of the Braves top 10 prospects according to baseballamerica.

    • FutureBravesGM18 5 years ago

      The Braves wouldn’t want Michael Bourn and his attitude on their team even if he is a good lead off hitter & the Astros wouldnt want Nate Mclouth for 2 years at 12.25M they would have to take one bad contract but I don’t think they would take two.

    • NYBravosFan10 5 years ago

      Take out Mike Minor and replace him with Christhian Bethancourt. Minor is as nasty as it gets and we’re not getting rid of him. Bethancourt however is pretty much the same deal as Tyler Flowers because he has no future with the Braves but is a good prospect. Some dude named McCann is blocking him.

  19. Obviously one of those players (probably Bucholz or Kelly) would be traded to the Astros if that happened.

    I agree that it’s extremely unlikely though. Red Sox have no need for him.

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