Over the last decade, Roy Oswalt has been one of the best pitchers in baseball. A three-time All-Star, Oswalt has multiple 20-win seasons, five seasons of an ERA under three and has finished in the top five of Cy Young voting a handful of times. He did not have his best season last year, as back problems took away his velocity and decreased his effectiveness.
As spring training is about to get underway, one of the game's best is still unemployed. There are teams out there who could use Oswalt on their staff, even if he never gets back to his Houston days. Here are five teams who could stabilize their rotation with Oswalt.
Oswalt would be a good addition to the back end of this rotation that has plenty of question marks. Daisuke Matsuzaka had elbow surgery last year, and while he is back to throwing, no one knows how effective he will be.
Hard-throwing Daniel Bard is making the transition to starting, and who knows how effective he will be? Alfredo Aceves is also in the mix to start.
Signing Oswalt would give the Red Sox someone dependable past Jon Lester, Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz.
The Rangers have a lot of young power arms, but Oswalt would bring that veteran presence. Oswalt won't be an ace, but he can still be a good No. 2. Yu Darvish could be the ace of the staff by July, and Derek Holland could be very good as well if he puts things together.
Neftali Feliz is starting this season, and if things don't work out, will Texas look to Oswalt or bring up stud prospect Martin Perez?
Gone to make room for Oswalt?
Outside of San Francisco, the Nationals have arguably the most exciting trio of young pitchers in the National League in Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann. Add Roy Oswalt to the rotation, and the NL East becomes a legit four-team race.
If the Nats trade John Lannan, it will be interesting to see if Oswalt appears on their radar again.
This seems like a long shot, but if Joe Blanton gets traded, who knows?
The Phillies just re-signed Kyle Kendrick, but he has been inconsistent as a starter. Vance Worley was sensational last season. He really made Oswalt expendable, but what if he struggles to match last season's performance?
Lilly is on the decline
Oswalt probably doesn't want to play on the West Coast, but he would make the Dodgers players in the NL West. Behind Clayton Kershaw, there are too many questions.
Chad Billingsley is running out of time to prove that he can be a top-of-the-rotation guy. Ted Lilly gave up 28 home runs last year, and Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano won't match last year's performances.