Oswalt And The Cardinals

Free agent righty Roy Oswalt is being eyed by the Cardinals, reported Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe yesterday, and he'd love to pitch in St. Louis.  However, Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweeted today that a team source downplayed the Cardinals' interest in Oswalt as a starter.  Strauss' implication is that the Cardinals might have interest in Oswalt for a relief role, perhaps with big incentives if he is to jump into the rotation.  The Cardinals currently have five starters under contract for 2012.

Oswalt has done very little relief work since his 2001 rookie season, and it's not known whether he's open to the idea of joining a bullpen.  The 34-year-old was limited to 145 innings in 2011 due to back pain.


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62 Comments on "Oswalt And The Cardinals"


chico65
3 years 6 months ago

What?  A reliever?  Guess he’s not signing with the Cards then.

Stark2k
3 years 6 months ago

How insane.  Guy had 140 good innings last year… he was disappointing for the four aces hype but he wasn’t bad at all. 

James Attwood
3 years 6 months ago

Oswalt in a reliever role? Outside of a playoff rotation? Especially when he’s trying to sign a make-good contract? Yeah – right. Why would he go to St. Louis for that?

jhfdssdaf
3 years 6 months ago

If he really wants to pitch for St. Louis, he’d take a reliever job if that’s what it takes.

It’s not like there are teams pounding on his door right now.

Besides, he’d be a reliever in name only.  Even odds Westbrook is forced out if they sign Oswalt.  Calling him a reliever is simply a way to pay less in salary.

James Attwood
3 years 6 months ago

Plenty of temas would likely sign him now that he is looking for a one year deal. He’s not going to be signing with anyone for lack of suitors/interest. He’ll be signing with the team that gives him the best opportunity to prove his durability while also winning games. St. Louis gives him that as a starter. The idea is to sign a one year contract in order to prove himself so that he can get a better contract next off-season. He’s not doing that from the bullpen.

If St. Louis signs him, Westbrook has to be out.

jhfdssdaf
3 years 6 months ago

Westbrook will get “injured” if nothing else.  Trading him would eat most of his salary anyway.

However, if teams were pounding down his door to sign him to a one-year deal, the St. Louis talk wouldn’t be here.  Either that, or the teams that are pounding on his door aren’t the ones he wants to play for.

For the record, I don’t see Oswalt signing with the Cards to join the bullpen.  Either he’ll be given assurances behind the scenes that he’ll find his way into the rotation, or he’ll have to lower his expectations far enough to land a different starting job elsewhere (note: quality of team is the key expectation here).

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 6 months ago

The last article I saw about Roy Oswalt said he had about 8 suitors. He has plenty of interest.

jhfdssdaf
3 years 6 months ago

The last full article I read had him listed with 8 or 9.  Many of those teams have individual rumors which seem to take them back out.

The article above says Red Sox are likely out.  Miami just acquired Z, so they are likely out.  Another article here ruled out Blue Jays.  Nationals are likely out after Gio.  Rangers are thought unlikely if they sign Darvish, Twins can’t afford him, and the Yankees don’t seem interested due to luxury tax.

Things may change, but of the 9 teams listed in the poll on January 1, all but the Tigers and Royals have rumors downplaying their interest.  Tigers are looking to make a push for Garza, so they may eliminate themselves too.

I expect things to change after Darvish, Garza and Jackson find their respective homes, but if a team had true interest in him, I think he’d be signed by now.  He’s probably the most talented “fall back” option I’ve seen in a while.

stl_cards16
3 years 6 months ago

Strauss should be embarrassed to write this. He doesn’t really believe the Cardinals would sign him, ship him to the pen, and still trot Jake Westbrook out there every fifth day, does he?

rayking
3 years 6 months ago

I read the headline of this post and immediately thought “sweet, they traded Westbrook!” No such luck.

No way they add Oswalt without moving Westy – Westbrook makes too much money to move into the bullpen, and the thought of having Oswalt pitch out of the pen is as ludicrous as you point out.

Kendall Adkins
3 years 6 months ago

We have to pay Westbrook either way though. I think he’d be good in the bullpen since he is usually awesome for like 3-4 innings, and then falls apart. Financially, it may not be a good idea, but the Cardinals would definitely be better with Oswalt in the rotation and Westbrook in the pen. 

Redbirds16
3 years 6 months ago

I get the impression these are like the Buerhle to StL rumors earlier in the offseason. The Cards would love to have either pitcher, but the rotation is full. 

jhfdssdaf
3 years 6 months ago

At the right price, you can pitch them from the bullpen (or eat Westbrook’s salary).

The problem here, as with Buerhle, is finding that right price without getting massively overbid.

I’m sure the Cards would have happily signed Buehrle instead of Romero.  Buerhle wasn’t about to take three to five million a year. 

Oswalt likely won’t either.

Ryan The Braves Fan For Life
3 years 6 months ago

Good fit

Cards_Fanboy
3 years 6 months ago

Great fit! Now, what to do with Westbrook….

MB923
3 years 6 months ago

Not if he’s a relief pitcher. Heck if Jake Westbrook didn’t have, well let’s say, a well above AAV contract, then I don’t think there’s any hesitation that he would be moved to the bullpen. Not that it can’t happen though.

Cards_Fanboy
3 years 6 months ago

Saying Oswalt is going to the bullpen is just the Cards’ excuse to sign him when they already have the rotation set.  Once he is on the roster they’ll either trade Westbrook or have a “competition” for who becomes the starter.  Or Westbrook will have an unexpected “injury” so that they want to give him plenty of “rest”.

stl_cards16
3 years 6 months ago

I was thinking along the same line. Also, that would be an excuse to keep his base salary low with a lot of incentives on innings pitched.

Rusty_Arcadia
3 years 6 months ago

Oswalt has been a solid starter throughout his career and still has gas in the tank to start on just about any team. Doubt he would sign with any team that didn’t tell him there was a rotation spot for him immediately, on pride alone. 

mitch
3 years 6 months ago

I like the idea of signing Oswalt and moving Westbrook if they can trade him for at least some salary relief because otherwise he’s taking a job from a McClellan or someone with real upside. Oswalt’s past back issues is the only reason to pause on moving Westy but between Mac, Lynn and Scrabble swing man is covered.

jhfdssdaf
3 years 6 months ago

I agree with you for most of your statement, but I’m not sure that “McClellan” and “upside” belong in the same sentence.

mitch
3 years 6 months ago

I  think that a pither who has a career whip of 1.29 and a career ERA of 3.61 that wont 28 until the middle of NEXT season should be viewed as a pitcher with upside.  At least in this man’s opinion.

jhfdssdaf
3 years 6 months ago

He projects to be no better than a 4/5 starter, and doesn’t have the typical makeup to be a closer.  Right handed set-up men, no matter how well they perform, are replaceable parts. 

Oswalt is a better option in the rotation (or for a spot start) at this point in his career than McClellan is ever likely to be, and the Cardinals always seem to find right handed relievers in the farm.

I like McClellan, but losing (or wasting) him isn’t going to hurt at all.

mitch
3 years 6 months ago

I don’t think he’s by any means irreplacible, I think packaging him as a starter (with possibly other peices) and using that for a trade to get a young SS or 2B at the begining of the offseason would’ve probably been the way to go.  Because at this point he’s probably better that Westbrook and is (healthwise) a better bet that a guy with back issues that will 35 during the season.  I just think the 2nd garaunteed year of the Westbrook deal was a mistake from the begining  and stops you from putting Mac in the rotation or otherwise upgrading the rotation. 

Now if Oswalt thinks he can pull a Smolts, closing for a while to give his body chance to recover from all the innings thrown and then move back to the rotation, in order to lengthen his career while still playing for a team built to contend then the deal makes more sense.

Kendall Adkins
3 years 6 months ago

Since when in the English language can you use a number as a verb meaning the age that one will turn that year? 

mitch
3 years 6 months ago

be*

Frank Tangorra
3 years 6 months ago

I don’t think he’s going to take this role. Makes no sense. He has to establish that he is healthy.

Andrew Rock
3 years 6 months ago

I would assume any signing of Oswalt would be a prelude to dumping Westbrook to anybody willing to eat at least a few million of his contract. He had a 1.1 WAR season last year, good for $5,000,000. If somebody was willing to stump up $3-4,000,000 I’m quite certain he could be had for a box of rocks.

jhfdssdaf
3 years 6 months ago

Eat the whole contract if you have to.  You’re paying it regardless.

This is simply a question of whether the improvement of Oswalt over Westbrook is worth whatever they have to pay Oswalt, given that they would have to pay Westbrook’s salary anyway.

Redbirds16
3 years 6 months ago

And if there’s room in the budget. I think teams are going to be a lot more aggressive (i.e. devote more resources to their evaluation and acquisition) with international free agents and prospects before the new rules come into play.

Jdobb
3 years 6 months ago

They are trying to get rid of Loeshe or Westbrook to save on payroll and pick up  Oswalt as 4th or 5th. There bullpen is loaded and deep. They are waiting for Shelby Miller and Martinez to be ready. 

jhfdssdaf
3 years 6 months ago

Getting rid of Lohse wouldn’t take too much salary (someone would pick up most of it – he’s around market based on last year’s performance), but getting rid of Westbrook may require almost all of his $8 million, so you save almost nothing.

Either way, Lohse and Westbrook both have no-trade clauses, so nothing will happen in the end.

Andrew Rock
3 years 6 months ago

Does Westbrook have a no-trade clause?

Doug Bowman
3 years 6 months ago

Unfortunately he does.

Kendall Adkins
3 years 6 months ago

Nobody gives Lohse any respect for last year. He had the best season of anyone on the team (The World Series winning team). 14 wins and a sub 3.5 era is great for a #4 or 5 starter. Westbrook is the one in which they are trying to part ways.  

jhfdssdaf
3 years 6 months ago

Unfortunately, other teams are smart too.  No one else wants Westbrook any more than the Cardinals do.

If the Cardinals salary dump, it will be Lohse.  If they trade Westbrook, they’ll pay him anyway.

Kendall Adkins
3 years 6 months ago

Even if they keep Westbrook, I think he may have a better year this year than last. I believe he started this year as the #2 starter, so he should have an easier time spending the whole year as #5. 

Lastings
3 years 6 months ago

“Oswalt And The Cardinals”… Just doesn’t have the same ring to it like “Bennie and the Jets”

thebeaver13
3 years 6 months ago

You never know.  If a SP is moved to the bullpen, they may very well approve a trade to maintain their values as starters on the open market.  If I am Westbrook or Lohse, and I am told i am moving to the bullpen or can be traded.  I would want to be traded.  Lohse has more trade upside than Westbrook for sure, but Oswalt is a huge improvement over both as the 4th starter.  Mozeliak has already come out and said they have no interest in Oswalt.  Time will tell.  0% chance he comes to the Cards to pitch out of the pen.

Redbirds16
3 years 6 months ago

Yes, but the Cards would be selling low on Westbrook. He’s better than last year’s performance.

bighiggy
3 years 6 months ago

i think you hit the nail on the head, if you tell westbrook he’s going to the bullpen he will want a trade, he’s trying to build value for 2013, but the problem is if someone will take him and how much of his contract do we pay?  i think he will definately be better than last year and he is a better option for a 4th or 5th starter than some teams already have.

Guest
3 years 6 months ago

I think Oswalt would rather have 11m than 5m + a ton of incentives, unless the Cards plan to pay Oswalt a lot to be a reliever

jhfdssdaf
3 years 6 months ago

Probably depends on who is offering the 11 million (if anyone).  He’s not going to increase his stock by pitching for Baltimore, for example.

He may be willing to give the Cardinals a discount, assuming the Cardinals give him some assurance that he’ll end up in the starting rotation for most of the season.  Depends on (if) and how much he wants to play for them.

That being said – I haven’t seen any rumors of $11 million for Oswalt.  Most rumors surrounding Oswalt are of teams taking themselves out of the running – not considering putting themselves in.

Guest
3 years 6 months ago

Yea, I just picked an arbitrary number somewhat based on the fact that it was only one year deal, and also based on what Kuroda was asking for; I’m a believer in Oswalt, but have no idea what offers are going around.

If Edwin Jackson is looking at a 3 or 4 year deal for 10 or 11 million, I’d say Oswalt is worth that much for one year (assuming he’s healthy); but you’re right, going to the Cardinals would be a very good fit, especially compared to his other options.

jhfdssdaf
3 years 6 months ago

I agree that Oswalt is worth at least as much as Jackson.

I think the biggest problem is that the teams that aren’t necessarily competitive this year would rather have Jackson for stability (why pay to rent if it won’t win you enough games?), and the teams that are more willing to rent can’t afford the salary.

Yankees and Red Sox may both be out on Oswalt – both are at or above the luxury tax threshold.  Oswalt is absolutely worth $10 million, but may not be worth $14 (with 40% luxury tax). 

Red_Line_9
3 years 6 months ago

It’s hard to fathom Oswalt pitching an entire healthy season with degenerative discs.

3 years 6 months ago

Why not just make Westy the reliever?

Jimmy Wehmeier
3 years 6 months ago

Why not make Westbrook a LRP or MRP? Oswalt easily surpasses Westbrook’s ability on the mound as a starter.

jhfdssdaf
3 years 6 months ago

I can think of about $8 million reasons why.

Of course, that money is wasted regardless, but still.

upnorthcardfan
3 years 6 months ago

 Could depend on how hard his ole buddy Lance bends his ear. I, for one, wouldn’t mind seeing the Cards signing Oswalt and if my memmory serves me right he wanted to come to St. Louis when Houston moved him..  As to what role and how many dollars he would agree to, who knows.   A chance for a WS ring, fan support, famaliar teammate, all in play.  It’ll be interesting as to what he decides and maybe there is no substance in the Cards interest in him.  For me, you never have enough pitching.

WeDontNeedToFinPracticeRANDY
3 years 6 months ago

Too bad we couldn’t look at a Lohse to the Mariners for Figgins. Lohse is coming off a big year, while Figgins is coming off of a down year..Westbrook becomes one of the better 5th starters in the league (last year being a down year), the Cards rotation looks as such: Wainwright, Carpenter, Oswalt, Garcia, Westbrook, and Figgins takes up a lot of time at 2nd with the ability to fill in at 3rd since Descalso is still young and questionable at times and Freese is made out of glass and marshmallows.

cardsfan1988
3 years 6 months ago

Why on Earth would Lohse accept a trade to the Mariners? And if are best option to is get Figgins for Lohse, I would keep Lohse in a heartbeat. Figgins hasnt been good since he left the Angels and Seattle has practically been trying to give him away and nobody wants him. Without question I will take Lohse and Descalso over having Figgins any day. Even Westy for Figgins might be dumb for the Cardinals…I mean the last two years, Figgins has hit a combined .206, that is terrible and on paper, Descalso is much better.

WeDontNeedToFinPracticeRANDY
3 years 6 months ago

This was all revolving around the idea that St. Louis even signed Oswalt, otherwise it’s a non-issue…Also, just think about the position we were in the last couple of seasons with the Lohse contract. People thought it was one of the worst contracts in baseball. Besides, Seattle would probably be more than willing to eat the majority of Figgins’ salary in the deal…Then think of the prospect of how Figgins could perform in the Central. Adds speed and much needed infield depth that we lost with the non-tendering of Theriot and not re-signing Punto. I love Descalso, I just don’t have faith in Freese’s health, and where would that put us at 2nd base? Of course we have Skip, but I’m still sold on him coming off the bench and filling in in the OF.

WeDontNeedToFinPracticeRANDY
3 years 6 months ago

Roy would be a pretty monster addition for St. Louis morale, too. The move would fit our concept of bringing in veteran players to mix with younger talent, too. While Lohse definitely played a more than notable role this past season, I still wish we could find a way to move him. That would open up the door for Westbrook to be potentially one of the best 5th starters in the league (assuming he returns to pre-2011 form), and you still have an emerging Lynn that could provide better than fill-in numbers should an injury occur. If Lohse would be willing to waive his NTC, I’d almost be willing to see if anything could develop in a deal with the Mariners for Figgins. He could fill in nicely at second base, also give us some insurance depth at 3rd since Freese is made out of popsicle sticks and marshmallows.  

WeDontNeedToFinPracticeRANDY
3 years 6 months ago

Sweet double-post…idiot.

Kendall Adkins
3 years 6 months ago

He’d be a #3 for us…

jhfdssdaf
3 years 6 months ago

2 or 1 for “any rotation” is ridiculous.

I wouldn’t even consider taking him over Carpenter or Wainwright, and based on age may not take him over Garcia either.

You think the Phillies think Oswalt is better than Lee or Halladay?  Think again.

The Nationals would rather have Strassburg or Gonzalez, and would be correct in thinking so.

Buehrle promises more innings, and Johnson is a better pitcher, so Florida could make a similar argument if he stays healthy.

Would Oswalt be an improvement for any team he joins?  Yes.  At the very least, he is better than whoever the current fifth starter is.  To say he’s a 1 or a 2 is far overstating his abilities.  There are plenty of teams for whom he just does not fit if you have to pay him like a 1 or a 2.

James Attwood
3 years 6 months ago

For many contending teams he is a number 3 starter. For some of the non-contending teams, Oswalt may actually be a bonafide number 2 with the stuff of a number 1.

His biggest problem is his durability. That’s part of what this season is about trying to prove. That’s why the idea of him signing to be a reliever is pretty nuts.

jhfdssdaf
3 years 6 months ago

From the team’s prospective, signing him as a reliever makes perfect sense.  He’s better than the worst guy in the bullpen (obviously), and its cheaper than signing him as a starter.

Why Oswalt would sign such a deal is another matter, but its possible that the teams who could use him as a 1 or a 2 starter can’t afford him in that role, and those who view him as a 3 or worse aren’t willing to pay.

MaineSox
3 years 6 months ago

 He reportedly wants to sign a one year deal to show teams that he is healthy enough for them to sign him to a long term deal next off-season, and pitching out of the ‘pen isn’t going to accomplish that.  My guess is that one was an easy ‘no’.

cardsfan1988
3 years 6 months ago

4 in my opinion, because I think at this point, Garcia is better.

Kendall Adkins
3 years 6 months ago

Ehh, it could go either way and not really matter. Season on the line, I’d rather have Oswalt. You just backed up my main focus though; that he is not a 1 or 2 on any team, and can’t “own the crap out of any team he wants.”