Roy Oswalt: Do the Red Sox Really Want Him for 2012?

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Roy Oswalt: Do the Red Sox Really Want Him for 2012?
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Veteran starter Roy Oswalt is still available but is he worth the money?

There's been a lot of attention given to the potential comings and goings of Roy Oswalt over the past few weeks.

He's been rumored to be headed to Texas, St. Louis or any number of other cities. With Edwin Jackson now in Washington, Oswalt is without question the last big-name starting pitcher on the market. 

The Red Sox need pitching so clearly they should go get Oswalt. Or should they? 

There was a time when acquiring Roy Oswalt would have been a no-brainer. It would have created screaming headlines, SportsCenter leads and massive amounts of boasting from the Red Sox faithful. That was the past though. 

The Roy Oswalt that is now available is an aging pitcher with mounting health concerns and declining skills. Oswalt could still be good but he could also implode and turn into some sort of nightmarish John Lackey sequel.

Red Sox fans clamoring for Roy Oswalt might be in a "be careful what you wish for" situation.

Is Roy Oswalt that much better than guys like Daniel Bard, Vicente Padilla, Alfredo Aceves, Andrew Miller or even Tim Wakefield?? 

He's got zero experience pitching in the American League for an entire season. Yes he's had some interleague play and of course he faced off against the White Sox as a member of the Astros in the 2005 World Series. Pitching in the AL for a whole season is quite different though as teams would get a chance to constantly watch him and adjust to his mechanics. What works for Oswalt early in 2012 might not work so well as the season wears on.

Jeff Gross/Getty Images
For far less money and risk the Red Sox have chosen to give veterans such as Vicente Padilla a shot at the rotation.

His 2011 earned run average of 3.69 looks good until you notice that opposing hitters hit .280 off him. That's got to be a concern for a Red Sox team poised to deal with the lineups of the Yankees, Rangers and Tigers this coming season. Against American League hitters last year, Oswalt was hit at a .308 clip.

Still, he might be an okay addition but that's where the money issue comes into play. If he was asking for Vicente Padilla type of money or even something like an incentive-laden contract with a $2 million guarantee then that would be one thing.

He's not though. Oswalt is rumored to be seeking a one year deal worth between $8 and $10 million. That's not something the Red Sox would or even should do. It also appears as if they've got no intention of doing it either.

Sometimes the best moves are the ones you don't make. Oswalt could be worth a taking a flier on but for the money he's asking for the risk-reward ratio makes no sense.   

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