It appears likely that Roy Oswalt won’t be pitching for the Houston Astros after the July 31 trade deadline.
First, it was reported that Oswalt demanded a trade from the struggling Astros. Then, he backed off, saying he didn’t demand one but thought it might be best if he was dealt.
Many experts have wondered whether the Minnesota Twins could be a possible suitor for the veteran right-hander. MinnPost’s Aaron Gleeman gives his take here.
I think there are a number of obstacles or concerns in trading for Oswalt. First, there’s always the question of whether or not Oswalt – a career National Leaguer – could handle the American League. It’s a different animal. No doubt about that.
Then, of course, there’s Oswalt’s massive contract. He’s owed $16 million this season and next season, plus he has an option for 2012. And considering he has a no-trade clause, I’m guessing he would want a guarantee on that option being picked up if he is to be traded. I don’t know for sure, and can’t pretend to know the specifics of his contract and what kicks that option in. But that’s a lot of dough nonetheless.
And then there’s the prospects that would have to be dealt. That’s something the Twins don’t traditionally do. We’ve heard rumors in the past about the Twins trading for the likes of Alfonso Soriano, etc., but Minnesota guards its prospects.
And while a guy like Wilson Ramos might be blocked by Joe Mauer right now, I would argue because of Mauer’s contract, guys like Ramos are more valuable now than ever before. The Twins are going to need to supplement that big league roster with cheap young – and hopefully successful – players if they are to thrive.
Oswalt would most certainly be the ace of the Twins if he were traded. But for a team that traditionally has trouble scoring runs in the playoffs and not preventing them, would his presence really make that much of a difference in a first-round matchup against the Yankees or Rays? If the Twins continue to score just 2 or 3 runs in a playoff game, they won’t win too many, Oswalt or not.