Roy Oswalt Retires

Veteran right-hander and three-time All-Star Roy Oswalt has decided to retire, reports ESPN's Buster Olney (on Twitter). Though he's retiring from playing the game, it looks as if Oswalt will join the business side of baseball, as Olney also adds that he will begin working with former agent Bob Garber.

That Oswalt, 36, made "only" three All-Star teams is somewhat surprising (to this writer at least), given his run of dominance in the early 2000s. In 2001, Oswalt finished second in the National League Rookie of the Year voting, fifth in the Cy Young vote and 22nd in the MVP vote on the strength of a 2.73 ERA with 9.1 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9 in 141 2/3 innings (unfortunately for Oswalt, that was also Albert Pujols' rookie year).

Over the next 10 seasons with the Astros, Oswalt turned in a 3.24 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9. He was flipped to the Phillies in 2010 in exchange for Anthony Gose, J.A. Happ and Jonathan Villar (Gose and Happ have since been traded by Houston — both are Blue Jays — while Villar should be their shortstop in 2014). Oswalt was rock-solid in his two seasons with the Phillies when healthy (2.96 ERA in 221 2/3 innings) and helped to compose one of the most intimidating rotation quartets in recent history alongside Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels.

However, injuries began to pile up quickly for Oswalt, as his already troublesome back worsened and was joined by elbow and hamstring injuries over the next several seasons. Oswalt inked midseason deals with the Rangers and Rockies in 2012 and 2013, respectively, but pitched ineffectively in those hitter-friendly environments and didn't top 60 innings with either club.

Oswalt will retire with a lifetime 163-102 record to go with an outstanding 3.36 ERA, 7.4 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9. His 127 ERA+ indicates that even with his struggles in 2012-13, his work, on the whole, was 27 percent better than a league-average starter throughout his career. Though he never took home Cy Young honors, Oswalt had five finishes in the Top 5 and also had a sixth-place finish to his credit as well.

Baseball-Reference pegs Oswalt's career at 49.9 wins above replacement, and Fangraphs' valuation is a near-mirror image at 49.7 WAR. Oswalt earned roughly $97MM in his playing career, according to B-Ref. Looking beyond Major League Baseball, Oswalt twice represented the United States on a global scale, winning a Gold Medal in the 2000 Summer Olympics and also pitching for Team USA in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

MLBTR wishes him well in his new career path and congratulates Oswalt on an excellent Major League career.


31 Responses to Roy Oswalt Retires Leave a Reply

  1. davengmusic 1 year ago

    Roy O was a beast! I loved watching him pitch. Enjoy the tractor!

  2. Jake White 1 year ago

    No shot at the Hall. Decent enough but doesn’t have the longevity nor the numbers.

    • livingpaint 1 year ago

      I would agree, but its up to the baseball writers who play American Idol with players. Sheer numbers or longevity don’t mean much either–the politics of baseball will determine where Roy fits when its time to vote.

  3. Klaus D. 1 year ago

    Agreed, Roy was awesome and fun to watch the couple of seasons he pitched in Philly. But probably won’t get in the HOF. Career seems to compare with guys like Gooden, Viola, and Kenny Rogers.

  4. monroe_says
    monroe_says 1 year ago

    The man was a Reds Killer, sporting a 23-3 record vs Cincinnati with a 2.81 ERA. While it was tough watching the Reds cower in his presence, it was a treat to watch him pitch. A truly great career.

    • SD 1 year ago

      As a Reds fan I’m not sad to see him go. That has to be the best record against one team for any pitcher ever. Weird that he’s “only” been around for 13 years as it honestly felt like he’s pitched for close to 20.

      • DMiles5149 1 year ago

        23-3 is DOMINATING. But it got me thinking and so I looked up a few guys. Clemens had some great numbers against the Royals, Indians, and Angels. Couple other guys had some similiar or close numbers against one team. But Tom Seaver was 33-10 against the Padres with a 2.02 ERA. And 32-10 against the Braves with a 2.28. Incredible. Congrats to Oswalt on a darn good career. Probably won’t make the Hall, but for the people that saw him pitch, they’ll remember how good he was.

  5. Metsfan93 1 year ago

    What a year for retirements of Roy’s….

  6. NYBravosFan10 1 year ago

    I know not a whole lot of people take the World Baseball Classic very seriously but Roy did represent his country regardless.

  7. pastlives 1 year ago

    weird to think he was a rookie the same year as Pujols…one’s retired from old age, the other just settling into a 10 year contract.

  8. stl_cards16 1 year ago

    Always remember NLCS game 6 in 2005. It was the game after Pujols’ monster homerun off Lidge to send the series back to St. Louis. I went to the game thinking the Cardinals had a great chance to come back and win the series. Oswalt mowed the Cardinals down that night to send the Astros to the World Series and close down Busch Stadium II. A game I’ll never forget.

    • bobbie922 1 year ago

      I was there, too. The memory that sticks out most for me that night was my aunt saying “I can’t stand watching them [the Astros] celebrate” and forcing us to leave. I wanted to take in those final moments at Old Busch and just let it soak, but I lost that privilege haha. Also, unlike my aunt, I had a lot of respect for the mid-2000’s Astros, and Oswalt was my favorite pitcher on that team. Didn’t Yadi make the last out of that game? I feel like I remember the image of him squatting with his bat in hand, next to the dugout with his head down after it was over. I’m guessing they showed it on the video board thing.

      • stl_cards16 1 year ago

        I do not remember who made the last out. But I agree, those were some good Astros teams. The 2004 NLCS could be one of the best LCS ever but was so overlooked because of the Yankees-Red Sox ALCS.

        • bobbie922 1 year ago

          I was there for game 6 of the ’04 series when Edmonds hit that walkoff HR in extras. I was sick and wanted to go home because I got sick from being in the first row of the upper deck (above the Astros bullpen) but I stuck it out, and it was worth it. And at another game during that series, I became a Dan Wheeler fan because a drunk Cardinals fan was yelling “Wheeler! Wiener!” while he was warming up in the bullpen. Dunno why but I was hooked on Dan for the rest of his career (interesting he and Oswalt retired so close together). Some of my best childhood memories are of the Cardinals-Astros match-ups from ’04 and ’05. That was some of the best baseball I’ll ever see, especially in person. Looking back, I’m glad both teams ended up going to a World Series…even though they both got swept by a Sox team when they got there.

  9. Manfrenjensen 1 year ago

    Can’t help but think that he still might be pitching had he not pulled that “mid-season” nonsense in ’12 and ’13. Preparing to pitch a full season might have enabled him to stay healthier and more productive on the mound.

    • GameMusic3 1 year ago

      Exactly my thought. What was the reason there, not satisfied by the offers?

      I remember thinking then he potentially risked a career over a contract.

    • Red_Line_9 1 year ago

      In fairness. His back issues wouldn’t have allowed for a full season of starts. I’ve suffered from a very similar injury…and it’s a chronic condition. Slipped and degenerative discs and spinal stenosis is no fun

  10. Mike1L 1 year ago

    Funny thing about baseball economics. Oswalt made $97M in his career. His closest (retired) statistical matches are Saberhagen, who retired in 2001 and made $47M, and Guidry, who retired in 1988, and made $7M

    • Red_Line_9 1 year ago

      I’d say Saberhagen and Guidry made a mistake debuting at such a young age.

  11. Guest 1 year ago

    Burnett to Philly in 3, 2, ….

    • Matt Mccarron 1 year ago

      How does Burnett have any tie to Oswalt retiring? Burnett would actually be a major improvement to the Phillies staff.

  12. richardsteeleMD 1 year ago

    Oswalt will not be in the Hall of Fame.

  13. Alex Berzins 1 year ago

    $97MM plus a sweet tractor for beating the Cards in the playoffs. Always liked seeing him compete, but I won’t miss him mowing down the NL Central.

  14. Jeffy25 1 year ago

    He and berkman both this year

  15. Oswalt was awesome. One of my favorite pitchers to watch. No chance whatsoever at the hall of fame. People just don’t understand how exclusive that club is.

    There are 306 people in the Hall of Fame, spanning the history of the game. Only 211 of these people are former major league players.

    211 players in the hall. That’s it. 74 of them are pitchers. If anyone thinks that Roy Oswalt is a top 75 pitcher in ALL BASEBALL HISTORY, they are simply uninformed about past eras of this great game.

  16. slashieboy . 1 year ago

    He benefitted alot from being an NL-pitcher, Would not be remembered if you translate his stats to the AL.

    • Purely speculative. Did you watch him pitch? He was excellent.

      • slashieboy . 1 year ago

        3.25 in the NL is not excellent it is okey not great. Any mediocer 4.00 era pitcher can put up 3.25 in the NL.

        • GameMusic3 1 year ago

          Like how Kuroda got better after joining the Yankees?

          You would have a tough task if asked to provide examples of the assertion here and demonstrate that the examples are not better explained by other reasons.

  17. slashieboy . 1 year ago

    So any AL lifetime 3.75 ERA pitcher is a hall of famer???

  18. monkeyking42 1 year ago

    Agreed. His rate stats compare favorably with a lot of guys who are in (better numbers than Glavine, for example), but he didn’t have their longevity. And while he was one of the better pitchers in the game during his peak, he wasn’t SO dominant that you ignore the longevity.

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