Monday, May 24, 2010

What Would it Take to Get Roy Oswalt?

Besides money, that is.

The Houston Astros are currently looking down the barrel of a 100 loss season, with many to follow if certain adjustments are not made to how they manage their organization. Their farm system is Soviet Safeway and most of the starting lineup just got their AARP memberships. What the Astros do have are several valuable veterans that can be used as bargaining chips. However, the current economic climate, paired with sabrmetric advances in win valuation, has most teams shying away from taking on salary.

Roy Oswalt wants out. He is a high energy pitcher with a middle infielder's build. So far his body has held up well, despite pitching events outside the MLB season, as well a couple post-season runs. He is 16th amongst active pitchers in innings pitched, and knows his window is closing. He is pitching his ass off right now, trying to make himself as desirable as possible. At a prorated 16 million per year, a four-win pitcher is a fair value, if he is still a four-win pitcher, of course.

The Astros are not the Pirates or Twins: they want and need more than salary relief. They want a prospect. They covet a name, some one to prove that the team is moving in the right direction. The Tigers made the money deal of the off-season, getting major-league ready Austin Jackson and Max Scherzer for a couple of expensive players that didn't figure into their long-term plans. The problem the Nats have is that they are not in a much better situation than the Astros... if they were, this discussion would not be occurring. The Nats farm system is really just "The Holy Trinity" (Strasburg, Storen, and Norris), followed by a bunch of guys that are not remotely close to sure things...

The Astros may be able to talk themselves into Danny Espinosa, given that their current shortstop solution hasn't been much of a hitter at any level. However, the Nats probably aren't giving up Espinosa, who should be ready to step in once Desmond is arbitration-eligible. The ingredients just are not here to facilitate a trade to Washington. Besides, is Rizzo really looking to go on a brazen spending spree with Bryce Harper looming on the horizon?

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