6 MLB Teams Who Missed a Golden Opportunity to Sign Roy Oswalt
Roy Oswalt is a Texas Ranger. It's definitely a great fit for both parties.
He is not the ace of old, but if healthy, Oswalt is still an improvement over a lot of other starters out there. Even with back problems that limited his production, he managed to finish last season with nine wins and an ERA under 4.00.
With that in mind, here are some teams that missed a good chance to improve their ball clubs by signing Oswalt.
St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis was long considered (via Jim Duquette) a possible landing spot for Oswalt, which definitely made a lot of sense.
Oswalt is very familiar with the NL Central after playing there for 10 seasons in Houston.
He could have make a big impact for a team that has played well despite missing some key players. Chris Carpenter has yet to pitch this season and Adam Wainwright looks like he is still adjusting from missing all of 2011 with Tommy John surgery.
St. Louis is already one of the best offensive teams in baseball this season, and the addition of a healthy Oswalt to the rotation along with Lance Lynn might have made them runway favorites in the division.
Oswalt signing with the Rangers looks like a bigger blow to the Phillies now that Roy Halladay is on the shelf for 6-8 weeks.
Despite all the devastating injuries they have dealt with, Philadelphia is still over .500 and only four games out of the division.
Signing Oswalt to pitch alongside Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels could have been enough to keep Philly afloat until Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Roy Halladay returned to the lineup.
Philadelphia’s championship window isn’t closing right this second, but with the right players in their prime and a big payroll, it's safe to say that no playoffs this year would be considered a wasted season.
Boston Red Sox
Boston is another team hurt by injuries, particularly with their hitters. But the pitching staff hasn’t really pulled their weight. Josh Beckett and John Lester have ERA’s over four so far this season.
Felix Doubront leads the team in wins, ERA and strikeouts. He is having a solid season, but the 24-year-old is probably not a guy Red Sox nation is relying on to get them into October.
Oswalt is a solid pitcher with postseason experience who could have helped solidify their shaky rotation.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers have one of the best pitchers in baseball, Clayton Kershaw, and one of the best players in baseball, Matt Kemp. They are off to a great start this season with a new ownership group that has optimism very high.
Los Angeles isn’t exactly starving for pitching right now. They rank second in the majors in team ERA. But, the team still made an offer for Oswalt that he obviously turned down in favor of signing in Texas.
Oswalt would have been a pretty good fit in LA. He knows the National League well having pitched there his whole career. He also could have provided an insurance policy in case someone goes down with injury, such as veteran Ted Lilly, who was just placed on the DL with shoulder inflammation.
Baltimore was mentioned briefly in the Roy Oswalt sweepstakes. The Orioles are currently tied for first place in the mighty AL East.
They have some young pitching on the roster, but really no one with Oswalt’s ability and pedigree.
Although not the pitcher he used to be, Oswalt still could have provided veteran leadership and a top of the rotation starter for the O's. Also, Baltimore wouldn't have to trade any of their top prospects to get a player like Oswalt.
If Baltimore wanted to keep things going and not fade into the basement when teams like Boston, New York or Tampa Bay catch fire, signing Oswalt was important. They still have talent, they will just have to rely more on their younger players.
New York Yankees
Yes, another team that has had some back luck with injuries. Starter Michael Pineda and closer Mariano Rivera are both done for the season.
New York wasn’t mentioned too much when it came to signing Oswalt, which is strange because they could use some help.
The Yankees are currently 2.5 games out of first place, but it’s tough to think they can go far with the rotation the way it is after C.C. Sabathia. They currently rank 18th in pitching.
Andy Pettitte has provided some relief, but how much he can contribute at age 40 remains to be seen.
The Bronx Bombers lineup features some key guys in the twilight of their careers. In New York, the time to win is always now, no matter what is happening with injuries. It seems like Oswalt could have been some help with this.