Sunday, May 23, 2010

Roy Oswalt

The rumor mill says that the Nationals are interested in trading for Roy Oswalt. If you missed it, ol' Roy asked for a trade from the Astros last week, saying "I'd love to win here. I just pitch every five days. There's nothing I can do about it. It's a business, and that's part of it."

(BTW--gotta love the response of former Shawn Chacon punching bag Ed Wade: "Roy's contract has a no-trade clause, not a trade-me clause. There is no rule that allows a player in his contract status to demand a trade. So demand, request, hold your breath until you turn blue, it's all the same. It's acknowledged and noted.")

The argument against it goes like this:
1. $31 million (the amount of money Oswalt is guaranteed over this season and next)
2. 32 (the number of years since he was born)
3. 4 (the number of consecutive seasons going into 2010 that his ERA had risen)
Add to that the fact that Oswalt might not waive his no-trade clause for a team like the Nationals anyway, and my first reaction was "no way."

But after thinking a little more about it, I'm a tiny little bit intrigued. First, it might not cost much more than money to get him. Look at what a hard time J.P. Ricciardi had trading Roy Halladay last year. And Oswalt is no Halladay. There just aren't that many buyers for a guy pitcher with his price tag.

The Red Sox and Yankees probably don't have a need for Oswalt. And no one else can throw money around like it's no object. So what if the Nationals could get Oswalt without giving up much except some of Ted Lerner's fortune?

Let's say Derek Norris, Drew Storen, Ian Desmond, Jordan Zimmermann, and Danny Espinosa are all off the table. In fact, let's take the Nationals' whole top ten off the table--Michael Burgess, Chris Marrero, Jeff Kobernus, Justin Maxwell, and Destin Hood.

Is it possible that the Astros would trade Oswalt for Steve Lombardozzi and Atahualpa Severino? No, probably not. But is it possible that that's the best offer they might get? It might be. Frankly at this point it's possible that Oswalt could clear waivers, given his price tag.

Roy Oswalt isn't the stud he used to be. His flyball rates are up, and his durability is more of a question mark than it's been in years. But he still gets plenty of strikeouts and has excellent control. He'd be a more than adequate replacement for the failed Jason Marquis experiment.

Chances are this is a waste of time, and I'd be pretty upset if they traded any of those top tier prospects. But who knows? And if nothing else, it's never a bad idea to talk trades with Ed Wade.


Positively Half St. said...

Here's why I am pleased with this whole situation. Observe:

1. The Pirates are interested in trading for Roy Oswalt;

2. The Royals are interested in trading for Roy Oswalt;

3. The Nationals are interested in trading for Roy Oswalt.

Did you notice? Your eyes rolled so hard that it hurt a little when you read the first two sentences, but they stopped as you read the third. It's even conceivable that such a trade would make sense, and that the Nats might put up the money for it.

Roberto said...

I'm intrigued enough that I would entertain say, Burgess or Marrero, Maxwell and one of the second-tier pitching prospects for Oswalt.

Like you, I regard Norris totally off-limits.

John O'Connor said...

Agreed. I think many fans overestimate what you'd have to give up to get Oswalt if you're willing to take on his whole salary. This wouldn't be a trade for this year, but it would be taking on this year's salary in order to have a potentially pretty good rotation bext year.

Money should be the least of all issues for the Nats given what ownership has taken in compared with what they have paid out.

Eric said...

Wow, that would be a lot cheaper than I had imagined. I guess the money issue IS far more weighty than I had assumed.

My guess was Oswalt for Detwiler or Stammen, Meyers or Thompson and position player like Marrero or Burgess. That seemed way to high for me, but if you are closer to Oswalt's true trade value...I still think Houston will want one prospect they can call a "Blue Chip", but from our perspective that might be a deaply flawed player Like Burgess or Marrero.

Stammen and Burgess for Oswalt? Yes please!

mwyche said...

Marero has hit homers in each of his last three games so maybe just maybe he's starting to get it. But if we plan on signing Dunn longterm Marero could definitely be used in a trade like this as the center piece and we could send Detwiller and Maxwell along with him. So I agree w/ Eric and would be fine with a trade like this:

Nats Get:
Astros Get:
Marrero, Detwiller, Maxwell

Section 222 said...

Seems like the consensus around the blogosphere is that the price in prospects will be too high. But if you're right, then absolutely, go for it. It seems like your analysis would be more convincing if he were in the last year of his contract and had made it clear he'd never re-sign. But he has a "no trade" clause, not a "trade me" clause. So if you're Wade, don't you wait until next year to do a bargain basement trade. This year, he'll probably drive a pretty hard bargain, right?

I do love the thought of a rotation next season of SS, Oswalt, and a rejuvenated Wang.

Eric said...

From what I've read today the deal seems to be:

Oswalt plus cash = 3-4 solid prospects (see Peavy, Jake)


Oswalt plus no cash = 1-2 mediocre prospects, but almost $31M in salary relief (See Halladay, Roy).

I'm not a believer in the "Spend Uncle Teddy's Money" camp, but IF Rizzo decides that Oswalt is the guy he wants I'd gamble on eating the contract dollars vs trading key pieces of a farm system we finally have stocked to a tolerable level.

a said...

twins fan here. came upon your blog in a google search for umpire brian o'nora, who will be sitting behind the plate today when liriano faces pettite.

small oswalt buzz around here too, although there is too much man-boy love between gardy and his high priced veterans for a deal to happen, im afraid (viz. michael cuddyer @ $8.5 mill).

anyway, you bring up some pretty esoteric analysis and ill be stopping by in the future to make sure i dont miss anything important. cya