There’s this All-Star player, see? And he wants to be traded, see? And he has apparently told folks one of the places he’d be willing to work would be Atlanta, see?
Too bad it can’t happen.
Our story so far: Roy Oswalt, the fine Astro hurler, last week requested that Houston deal him away, according to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. (Apparently Oswalt has watched the Astros play this season.) Back in April, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reported that a friend of Oswalt’s claimed the pitcher’s preferred destinations would be Atlanta, St. Louis or Texas.
Sounds promising, huh? It’s not, alas.
Oswalt is under contract through 2012 (the final year is a club option) for roughly $16 million per annum. That’s Derek Lowe money. And what did the Braves spend most of December trying to do? Trade Derek Lowe because he makes too much money. (As we know, they wound up trading Javier Vazquez instead, thereby treating us to the inspired outfield play offered up by Melky Cabrera.)
A decade ago, the Braves would have been all over Oswalt. Rule 1 in the Baseball Manual: You can’t have too much pitching. But the Braves and Frank Wren just told us that, with this club and its finances, you can have too much pitching.
The Braves believed shedding Vazquez wouldn’t hurt their rotation. And it’s true that he has been terrible as a Yankee. But he’s also pitching in the American League, which is a whole ‘nother ballgame. Ask Roy Halladay if switching to the NL is like going to pitching heaven.
Regarding the Braves, the reality has been rather different. Only Tim Hudson, who’s 5-1 with an ERA of 2.09, is having a big season. As for the other starters:
• Tommy Hanson is 3-3 with an ERA of 4.18.
• Jair Jurrjens is 0-3 with an ERA of 6.38 and is hurt.
• Lowe is 6-4 with an ERA of 5.30.
• Kenshin Kawakami is 0-6 with an ERA of 4.98.
Taken together, the Braves’ starters are 14-17. (Kris Medlen has had three no-decisions as a starter, though he has pitched well.) Could this team use Oswalt? Oh, yes. Will it happen? Oh, no.
Watch him wind up in Philly.