Roy Oswalt to the Braves? Great idea. Won’t happen

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.

203 comments Add your comment

GTHorsie

May 25th, 2010
11:12 am

Braves could definitely use him!

BravesFanForever

May 25th, 2010
11:20 am

If you ask me… Derek Lowe needs to develop another pitch like a split finger, forkball, or change up. He has good stuff but it seems like it’s all at the same speed and there’s no mystery as to what is coming. Maybe an eephus would do it… LOL

Chris from the Rock

May 25th, 2010
11:22 am

He’s not going to Philly. If anything Philly will add a reliever like Putz. I’m guessing Oswalt goes to the Twins, who seem to have $$$ to spend because the revenue that new stadium is bringing in. And the likes of Slowey, Perkins and Blackburn don’t scare anyone.

JT Grace

May 25th, 2010
11:22 am

Javy’s problem this year has not been pitching in the American League as much as his fastball is 2 – 3 mph slower than it was last year. He would likely have a lower ERA in the National League, but not that much.

While Oswalt would be nice he also could very well turn into another Derek Lowe, owed lots of money but with marginal return. I think the Astros will have a difficult time trading him to a contending team that also can afford his salary.

LEGEND

May 25th, 2010
11:22 am

FIRST!!!!! We need oswalt; trade melky and chipper

Bravesman

May 25th, 2010
11:24 am

Phils wont get him either. Remember they traded Cliff Lee because of payroll.

Brad in AL

May 25th, 2010
11:24 am

MB what is the deal with Chris Resop’s minor league contract? Will a trade of him land us anyone of worth?

ExecutiveStinger

May 25th, 2010
11:25 am

My impression is that we’re stuck with who we got because of fat contracts. I don’t mind being stuck with Hanson, Hudson, and Jurrjens, but I’d give Lowe and Kawakami to whoever wanted them. Unfortunately, no one does with them making that money and we can’t afford to send either to the ‘pen, so no Oswalt or anyone else this year. I’d like to see Medlen permanently replace Kawakami, but I doubt that’ll happen either.

Chief pitchanono

May 25th, 2010
11:25 am

Noooooo! Don’t do it. Our pitching will be fine. If we have 16 mil sitn around go get a hitter or two. We have too much money wraped up in starting pitching already (Lowe & Kawakami) Medlin would do just fine in either one of there spots and makes much less. Only way to make it work would be to trade one of these two and theres no way Houston wouuld go for that.

Ross

May 25th, 2010
11:26 am

The Braves should trust their farm system – three names: Neftali Feliz, Elvis Andrus – and Mark “El Jerkface” Teixeira. Latter batting .209 – former two are products of the Braves’ system – Andrus batting .310, Feliz with 12 saves. And remember Salty? Don’t trade for over-aged steroid cases.

Fire Frank Wren

May 25th, 2010
11:27 am

What, you think Oswalt is better than KK and D Lowe? Old Frankie really knows how to pick em. Good thing we are not strapped with high salaried non productive players like the Cubs and Mets? At least the Orioles and Pirates saved the money old Frankie threw up a wild hogs arzz. How does it feel to be dumbest team in all of baseball?

TuckDAWG

May 25th, 2010
11:27 am

legend you never trade chipper he has earned the right to finish his tenure as a brave i do agree we need to package Lowe and some prospects for Oswalt would improve the team tons

UKUGA

May 25th, 2010
11:29 am

Who thought we would get Oswalt? Why even write this article? We all know the Braves are not out to acquire a top line starter.

Charlie

May 25th, 2010
11:32 am

Given the choice of Vazquez for a year and Hudson with a longer term deal, I’d say Wren made the right call. Imagine if Hudson were tearing it up right now for the Yankees and Vazquez were stinking it up in ATL. Granted Melky stinks, but Hudson’s been great!

This Guy Doesn't Have A Clue

May 25th, 2010
11:33 am

Could you please use something other than wins and losses and ERA?

Tommy Hanson has been one of the best 10 or so pitchers in baseball. Tim Hudson would’ve been lucky to have a 4.00 ERA the way he’s pitched. Which shows you just how damn lucky he’s been.

BBaller

May 25th, 2010
11:35 am

Let’s just trade Lowe for Oswalt.

GT_Thrasherfan

May 25th, 2010
11:36 am

Mr. Bradly I’m afraid you’ve filled the air with nothing but hot gasses. You say we can’t, repeat we can’t, and yet give 0 reasons why. Would the Astros not be willing to roll the dice with Lowe as an Oswalt replacement? Do we just not have any pieces in the minors we’d be willing to give up?(aka the untouchables Freeman, Teheran, Vizcaino, Minor)

If you’re going to make a declaration of no way, no how, could you at least add a little substance to it?

NJChoppin'

May 25th, 2010
11:38 am

Wow: Big News, the Braves could use Oswalt. Umm, I’m pretty sure just about any team could use Oswalt. I see you mention Tommy Hanson. 3-3 is certainly mediocre, but his ERA was 2.88 prior to that 8 run meltdown against Cincy.

What’s Roy Oswalt’s record? Sometimes we put too much stock is put into W-L with pitchers.

And I don’t think Vazquez’s ERA jumping to over 10 is just because the AL is a whole ‘nother league. Expect an ERA about 1 point higher, not 8.

When JJ gets back to being healthy, we’ll be fine. Until then, I’ve liked the way Medlen has been pitching.

XTX

May 25th, 2010
11:38 am

The only problem with Wren and the Braves trying to come up with a package deal to trade with is that the package would be like a kid opening a christmas present and finding a fruitcake in it.

Peric Isenstein

May 25th, 2010
11:39 am

I would rather see the Braves go after Lee it makes more sense, the Braves need a lefty in there rotation to go after the Phils big bats from the left side. Also Lee is a free agent after this year so they would be on the hook for only the remainder of his salary for this year.

Chief Nock A Homa

May 25th, 2010
11:45 am

BBaller and GT fan are on the right track….

How about Lowe for Oswalt and throw in a top minor league piece…. Even pick up the difference in salary for a year…

It would be worth it!

bravedawg

May 25th, 2010
11:46 am

So, in essence, you’re saying “The Braves could really use Oswalt!” And also, “The Braves can’t afford Oswalt.”

First-rate reporting, “Breaking News Bradley.”

stevie zero

May 25th, 2010
11:47 am

this guy. not sure how anyone can complain about hudson. lucky to have a 4.oo e r a? his last 2 starts 8 innings and 3 hits in each? running out of things to complain about i guess. sound like my girlfriend. (thats a counterpart of the opposite sex used for reproduction)

Hey Legend

May 25th, 2010
11:47 am

You are not first and you are a loser.

.

May 25th, 2010
11:51 am

Trade Lowe for Roy…$ about even?

XTX

May 25th, 2010
11:52 am

Why would a team that is not scoring any runs like the Astros want to trade for Lowe? The only reason he has won most of his games is because of Braves scoring a lot of runs for him, not counting how many times the bullpen has had to come in and pitch several innings after he runs out of gas or falls apart. If the Astros cant win with Oswalt they sure wont with Lowe on the mound or bench.

Pat

May 25th, 2010
11:52 am

Another pointless article by MB.

bvillebaron

May 25th, 2010
11:55 am

Another day, another stupid Mark Bradley column. Oswalt going to Atlanta is not a good idea at any level. As you correctly point out, Oswalt has a very expensive contract. Like it or not, the Braves operate within a budget. You can lament these circumstances as much as you want, but as as they say these days “it is what it is”. He also has recently spoken about retiring at the end of this contract which could mean after next season. It also makes no sense for the rebuilding Braves to send even more prospects for Oswalt (some people still haven’t learned the Texeira lesson I guess).

Your comment about only Hudson having a big season so far is both ironic and incorrect. Ironic because if I recall correctly you were one of the many who were critical of keeping Hudson and trading Vazquez (by the way, there is no way you can explain Vazequez’s performance so far this year solely on the fact that the AL uses a DH). As I predicted for most of the winter, Hudson would prove why he has always been a better pitcher than Javier “Career Year” Vazquez. Finally, I for one think Hanson is having a big year too. His ERA prior to last Thursday’s aberation was 2.88 in case you forgot.

don

May 25th, 2010
11:56 am

The Braves should have been smart enough to realize that there was a solid reason why no one offered Lowe remotely as much as did the Braves. Signing Lowe cost the team Vazquez and left the Braves paying a Mercedes Benz salary to a Dodge Neon pitcher.

They sure don’t need to empty the farm system for Oswalt like they did for Drew and Teixeira. Let’s hope that they have learned something from their past burnings. But, I guess I am being optimistic.

.

May 25th, 2010
11:57 am

XTX, Yes I know Astros going with younger players, rebuilding etc. Just being a smart a@@ ok.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mark Bradley, Matt Cornelius. Matt Cornelius said: Chris Resop is a better option – RT @MarkBradleyAJC: Roy Oswalt to the Braves? Great idea. Won’t happen http://bit.ly/dkWFVK [...]

bvillebaron

May 25th, 2010
11:59 am

This Guy Doesn’t Have a Clue:

While I agree with your Hanson’s comments, your comments regarding Hudson being lucky are way off base. If you look at Hudson’s career numbers, you will see that he has been very good throughout his career which includes several years pitching in the AL. Was he “lucky” his entire career?

don

May 25th, 2010
12:00 pm

I really enjoy all of these posts about the Teixeira debacle. Where were all these experts prior to the trade? The outcome of that disaster was obvious from the first day it was considered but not too many of us se3emed to know it.

Mad Mike

May 25th, 2010
12:00 pm

well just how would you suggest we go about trading for oswalt, mr. bradley?

Bill

May 25th, 2010
12:02 pm

Thanks Mark for up date. Some people like” bvillebaron” with their “I told you so BS” and want to be GM are after your job. Keep up the good reports.

NEW CARS

May 25th, 2010
12:04 pm

Just thought that I would visit the zoo….A better column might have been directed at the other Astro that will be available, Lance Berkman…If he comes around with the bat, he might be a consideration as his knee improves…I wouldn’t give up much for him, but rather offer to eat all of his salary…Maybe a Robinson Lopez and Jordan Schafer package, although I hate to give up Schafer..Might surrender Freddie for him straight up if they ate a little contract and we threw in a Brett Devall type prospect…No reason to tie more money and prospects up for a another pitcher….We need another established bat in the lineup and I don’t think that there are any cheap ones out there

Christaffa

May 25th, 2010
12:04 pm

Trade Lowe for Oswalt straight up!!!

Joe

May 25th, 2010
12:05 pm

Trade Kenshin Kawakami and Derek Lowe to Houston for Roy Oswalt and Brett Myers.

Jerk This

May 25th, 2010
12:06 pm

How about Heyward for Oswalt? Remember Frenchie, the natural?

ITP Brave

May 25th, 2010
12:10 pm

Mark:

I agree that there is no point in the Braves signing Oswalt. They need hitting, not pitching.

With that said, I would like to point out that there is a huge difference in paying Lowe $15Mil and Oswalt $16Mil. One of them is worth every penny and, unfortunately, it isn’t the one currently playing in Atlanta.

Boston Braves

May 25th, 2010
12:10 pm

Is Oswalt a Buck Commander? or does he want to be? If so, get Ole Chip on the phone to talk to him. Trade Lowe to Yanks as a pure Salary Dump (But Roy has to tell the Yanks he won’t go there 1st) and take on Roy’s Contract. Same $ but one less year and a better pitcher.

XTX

May 25th, 2010
12:12 pm

Maybe we can trade Wren for Oswalt since great GM’s are hard to find. The Astros can replace Oswalt with one of the batboys since they cant win reguardless of whos pitching.

kurula

May 25th, 2010
12:13 pm

i’d rather see if they could get zach greinke from the royals. he’s younger and makes half the money.

yep

May 25th, 2010
12:15 pm

Hanson’s pitched short of that game against the Reds. But he should fine so long as he doesn’t have any more dizzy spells. Lowe and KK seem to coming around a little and I think Jurrjens will be productive once he’s back and healthy. Plus we got Medlen to fill in where needed. Venters could probably fill in if need be and Resop is tearing it up in Gwinnett. we got pitching. what we need is a CF. If we’re gonna make a trade with Houston it should be McLouth for Michael Bourne.

yep

May 25th, 2010
12:16 pm

Hanson’s pitched well

Gumby

May 25th, 2010
12:19 pm

I would not trade much of anything for Oswalt. Our pitching has been OK, sometimes even great. Need I remind anyone that if KK had some run support, even 2-3 runs a game, his record would look much better. And Vasquez had a carrer year in 2009. Keeping him in place of Huddy would have been as stupid as trading Wainwright for JD Drew. I’m not unhappy with the Braves right now. I’m not ready to fire TP, hang Frank Wren, make one year trades for a hired gun, etc. Let it play out. I want to win too but common sense says that until MLB fixes inequities like the top teams payroll being $230,000,000 more than the lowest payroll, the big money is going to win most of the time. Let it play and let’s not panic yet.

Idiots surround us

May 25th, 2010
12:20 pm

It amazes me how many people post on here that don’t have a clue. Lowe for Oswalt? You really think the Astros would do that? They would be trading Oswalt to dump salary and get YOUNG players in return. Not a guy like Lowe. If the Astros were to pick up Oswalts 2012 option, he would make only 2 million more over those 2 years than Lowe. How does that make any sense for a team that is rebuilding?

Joey

May 25th, 2010
12:20 pm

Mark, Melkey’s hard to watch so far this season, but so is Vasquez… and try to remember it wasn’t a straight-up, player-for-player trade. We got Vizcaino and Dunn also. We’ll be watching them long after Melkey and Vazquez are done.

Ben

May 25th, 2010
12:22 pm

I take issue with the underlying message of this article. Oswalt to any team makes them better – he’s better than every single fifth starter in baseball. It is obvious to even the casual fan that the club has more pressing needs than acquiring another overpaid (although only mildly overpaid in Oswalt’s case) starting pitcher.

Oh, and he’s not ending up in Philly. Their payroll is already bloated at $142 million. They have to worry about either extending or replacing Werth at the end of this year. Their farm system is nothing more than mediocre. I’d actually welcome an Oswalt to Philly move. They’d be mortgaging a lot of their future for a shot to win the WS this year, and their most probable WS opponents, the Twins, Yanks, and Rays would all still be better on paper than the Phils.

It seems like somebody had to meet a deadline…

meh

May 25th, 2010
12:22 pm

If Oswalt went to St Louis they’d have Carpenter/Wainwright/Oswalt as there top 3. I don’t think Houston would want that in their division. The Rangers just filed for bankruptcy so I don’t think they’d pick up Oswalts salary. That leaves Atlanta of three teams mentioned, but Atlanta’s on a budget. I figure Houston will have pick up a good chunk of salary to send Oswalt to one of those teams.