Oswalt wants out of Houston. Good Fit for Padres?

Sunday May 232, 2010

How nice would Roy Oswalt look in a Padres uniform?

Yesterday Roy Oswalt, the Houston Astros star pitcher asked for a trade. Oswalt, 32, is the ace of their staff and one of the top pitchers in the NL.

This season he is sporting a 2.66 ERA/3.28 xFIP with a 1.07 WHIP and .217 BAA and still has a 2-6 record over 8 starts. The team is a hearty 14-27 and has lost 6 of their last 10.  No wonder he wants out of Houston.

Oswalt has a full trade clause, so we don’t know if he has given Ed Wade a list of teams he would accept a trade to or if he just wants out period. I would bet he just wants out.

So how nice would he look in a Padres uniform for the rest of the year?
Yes, I realize that he makes Peavy money, but just think about this rotation:


I like that. In fact, that looks like a playoff rotation to me.

So how has Oswalt done at Petco?

2.51 ERA .347 slg .653 ops in 5 starts.

In a word. Exceptional.

Next question. Can the Padres afford him?

Right now the short answer is no. The Moores’ divorce is not final and the payroll is still locked at $40 million.

The good news is that the two sides have come to an agreement on terms and all that remains is for the judge to agree and the papers to be signed.

It’s been 3 months now since the agreement was reached after 2 years of acrimonious arbitration and divorce proceedings, so I hesitate to say when the divorce order may actually be signed and the Padres pursestrings unstrung. If the Moores’ divorce is finalized by the end of June, then the Padres may have the payroll flexibility to go after Oswalt.

Adding $7-8 million for the balance of Oswalt’s 2010 salary puts the Padres at only $45-46 million in payroll. Even a 2 home game playoff run would earn the team $15+ million. Great pitching and plus defense will win you games even with a mediocre offense.

The Padres would also be on the hook for $16 million next season and at least the $2 million buyout on 2012.

What would Padres have to give up to get Oswalt?

That depends on what the Astros are willing to pay of his remaining salary. The more they pick up, the better the package they will get in return.

Regardless of the money the Astros pay, its going to take a lot of good prospects to get Oswalt. Oswalt is a premier pitcher. A Stopper.

What are the Astros needs?

Houston is a very old team on the field with, as often as not, every player in the starting infield being 30+ years old. The only infielder under 30 that has any considerable tim on the field is SS Tommy Manzella,  who has played in 31 games, but Manzella is only hitting .196 in 97 ABs.

Berkman,34, is already talking about retirement at 1B and Pedro Feliz at 3B is older than Berkman at 35.

They have a couple of highly regarded prospects in the middle infield, but the Astros really need corner infielder prospects to fill the holes in years to come.

The middle to back end of the Astros starting rotation is also hurting and they really don’t have any great prospects coming any time soon. Felipe Paulino (0-6) has a 5.36 ERA in 8 starts and Bud Norris is at a robust 6.75 ERA in 8 starts. Opposing batters are hitting .300 against the 25 year old righty.

Back of the rotation pitchers is something the Padres are pretty deep in.

As a Padres fan, I would like to see the Padres only have to send a ML or ML ready starting pitcher and a couple of A ball prospects for Oswalt.

Something like Kevin Correia, Edinson Rincon and either a pitcher like Cesar Carrillo or another corner infielder like Craig Cooper.

I would even be up for sweetening the pot by throwing in Aaron Poreda for a 4-1, but I tend to think it’s going to take a bigger name.

A major league pitcher like Correia plus a Forsythe or a Darnell plus at least one other good pitching prospect like Castro or Pelzer. A three for one trade with the Astros picking up $5+ million of the $25 million left on Oswalt’s contract.

Are you willing to make that trade? Would KT have done it?

For me the answer is yes. A legitimate run at the playoffs and a legitimate top of the rotation pitcher means a lot more than the promise of prospects.

Correia is an eminently replaceable pitcher. Stauffer will be back by July and can take a spot at the back of the rotation for 2010.

Forsythe or Darnell are great prospects, but they are still prospects. No prospect is a sure thing. Oswalt is a known quantity and what is known is awesome.

So yes. Make that trade.

4 thoughts on “Oswalt wants out of Houston. Good Fit for Padres?

  1. Oswalt was never a Padre.

    If what you mean is the Padres just dealt a pitcher with similar skills and salary figures, then the answer would be that the Padres are not likely to keep Oswalt beyond this season and would get a nice haul in return for him after the season because he still has at least one more and possibly two more years on his deal.

    And the difference is this team is in first place and making a run at a playoff spot.


  2. I just noted that you threw Castro's name out in, so I'm definitely out.

    Besides the fact that pitching is not this team's problem, small market teams such as ourselves need to have strong systems to have sustained success and trading away our best prospect is just not smart.


  3. Wait, doesn't Oswalt have a no-trade clause that goes with his contract, and a preference for certain teams that don't include the Padres, and an aversion to the west coast, preferring to stay within a couple hours flying time of his Texas home, and $15 million salary this year, $16 million next year, and an option for 2012? That DOES sound quite a bit like the very Peavy situation the Padres were overjoyed to be rid of.

    Larry Faria
    Ocean Beach


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