Roy Oswalt: San Diego Padres and 4 Other Teams That Should Sign Him

Charles Bennett@chasbennettonbrSenior Analyst IMay 6, 2012

Roy Oswalt: San Diego Padres and 4 Other Teams That Should Sign Him

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    After both the Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds took well-publicized passes at Roy Oswalt in the offseason, Oswalt, still intent on pitching in 2012, remains the best free-agent pitching commodity.

    Meanwhile, several rotations are suffering due to injury, ineptitude, or both. Other rotations are performing well, but are unlikely to sustain that performance.

    Here are five teams that could look into the 34-year-old pitcher.

5. Los Angeles Dodgers

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    I am well aware that the Dodgers are 18-9, atop their division, and 10th in the league in ERA with a pair of shutouts.

    However, Aaron Harang is 1-2 with a 5.72 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP. And I don’t find it particularly likely that Chris Capuano, who has a career losing record and 4.31 ERA, can sustain the pace he’s current at. 

    The new Magic Johnson-led ownership group has vowed to make big free-agent moves, and have already begun doing so with the signing of Bobby Abreu.

    Because of this, don’t cross the Dodgers off the list of possible Oswalt destinations.

4. Boston Red Sox

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    Two teams throw large amounts of money at their perceived weaknesses: the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. And the Boston Red Sox's weakness is pitching.

    The Boston Red Sox are 11-15 and second to last in team ERA; third to last in OPS allowed.

    None of the Red Sox starters have a sub-4.00 ERA, Daisuke is on the DL, and the Red Sox are having trouble making up their mind about having Daniel Bard in the rotation or the bullpen.

    What with the bullpen troubles with Andrew Bailey and Mark Melançon, it'd be better to move Bard into the 'pen and throw Oswalt in the rotation.

3. Minnesota Twins

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    The Twins are last in team ERA, and dead last in starters’ ERA with 6.70, almost a run more than any other team. They are also dead last in strikeouts by a wide margin. 

    With being 28th in team runs scored and 25th in team OPS on the other side of the ball, it’s not surprising that they are 7-19 and last in an AL Central they could have been competitive in.

    Both Carl Pavano (4.62 ERA, 2-2) and Francisco Liriano (9.97 ERA, 0-4) are underperforming, and none of the Twins’ remaining starters were particularly good to begin with.

    The one drawback to the Twins? It would be Oswalt’s first stint in the American League.  

2. Colorado Rockies

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    It's hard to pitch in Coors Field, but it shouldn't be as hard as the Rockies pitchers are making it.

    The Rockies have the worst ERA in the National League, are 25th among MLB clubs in strikeouts, and are dead last among all 30 clubs in batting average (.295) and OPS (.837) allowed.

    The Rockies once had a good rotation, but Ubaldo Jimenez was dealt last season, Jorge De La Rosa and Jeremy Guthrie are on the DL, and Jhoulys Chacin, winless since late August and with a 7.30 ERA this season, was demoted to Triple-A Colorado Springs after an 0-3 start.

    The best pitcher left for the Rockies is Jamie Moyer, who is 1-2 this season, to say nothing of being 49 years old. None in the Rockies’ rotation has a sub-4.00 ERA.

    Could this team use Oswalt? You betcha!

1. San Diego Padres

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    The San Diego Padres didn’t have a great starting rotation going into the season. Then, within the last week-and-a-half, Cory Luebke went out with a torn ligament in the elbow that could keep him out for the season, and closer Huston Street was also hurt.

    Considering how anemic the Padres’ hitting is (.220 AVG and .641 OPS with none of the regular lineup over .290; 27th in runs), the Padres need better pitching performances than they’re getting. 

    Aside from the injured Luebke, the Padres starters are 3-12 with a 4.07 ERA

    Even with Tim Stauffer coming back after being injured all this season, the Padres desperately need another arm.

    And with the second-lowest payroll in baseball, the Padres desperately need to shell out to get one. Which is why San Diego is tops on my destinations for Oswalt.