Roy Oswalt is a free agent now that the Philadelphia Phillies officially declined his $16 million option for the 2012 season. He should warrant some intriguing offers; after all, Oswalt still is a quality middle of the rotation starter with plenty of experience.
Oswalt has previously discussed retirement, but his agent has put those comments to rest, saying now that Oswalt is feeling like he was back in his younger days and the nagging back injury that limited his playing time in 2011 is gone.
A three-year deal for around $30 million seems reasonable for a pitcher like Oswalt.
Here are five teams that could use Oswalt’s services in 2012 and beyond.
The Los Angeles Dodgers underachieved this year, and adding Roy Oswalt to their rotation would give them a solid group of five pitchers.
Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billinsgley, Hiroki Kuroda and Ted Lilly are all fixtures on the pitching staff, and Oswalt would shore up the fifth spot. A spot mostly filled by Jon Garland, Rubby de la Rosa, Nathan Eovaldi and Dana Eveland, this year.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have a strong group of starting pitchers—Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana, plus young pitcher Tyler Chatwood—giving the Angels four pitchers locked up for next season.
Joel Pineiro is a free agent who likely won’t be back. Acquiring Roy Oswalt could be a good move for the Angels to compete with the Texas Rangers in the AL West.
Putting Roy Oswalt in a rotation behind Josh Beckett and Jon Lester would give the Red Sox a powerful one-two-three starting pitching combo.
Oswalt is experienced in pitching in a high-pressure environment and he has the proven postseason success that would help the Red Sox, a team that will very likely be in the World Series hunt, again next year.
The Red Sox have also just announced starting pitcher John Lackey, who was a colossal bust this year, will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss all of next season. This is even more reason for the Red Sox to go after Oswalt.
Any big-name pitcher has to be linked to the New York Yankees, and with the rumors that CC Sabathia may opt out of his seven-year, $152 million contract, the Yankees could be looking for new arms.
Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia are both free agents who may not come back to New York. Oswalt is a veteran pitcher who could fit well in a rotation that will also include Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova, A.J. Burnett and possibly Sabathia.
Texas Rangers president Nolan Ryan was openly interested in Roy Oswalt back at the trade deadline in 2010, saying Oswalt has been one of the four or five best pitchers in the game over the years.
The Rangers may also let C.J. Wilson walk, as he is expected to receive a salary bordering on $100 million. Oswalt would be a good fit for a contending team and this may be his best option, especially considering he is from the south.