MLB Free Agents 2012: Is Roy Oswalt Next for Arizona Diamondbacks?

Chris GreenCorrespondent IIIDecember 21, 2011

ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 05:  Pitcher Roy Oswalt #44 of the Philadelphia Phillies reacts after allowing two-runs in the fourth inning while taking on the St. Louis Cardinals in Game Four of the National League Division Series at Busch Stadium on October 5, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

It was reported on KTAR 620 Wednesday that the Diamondbacks likely have interest in free-agent pitcher Roy Oswalt.

Oswalt would give the Diamondbacks one of the best pitching staffs in baseball. When combined with Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson and newly acquired Trevor Cahill, you are hard pressed to find a team with a better starting rotation No. 1 through No. 4.

That would leave the fifth spot to Josh Collmenter or perhaps Wade Miley, depending on how their respective spring trainings go.

Oswalt was the ace of the Houston Astros for nearly a decade before joining the Phillies' vaunted rotation in 2010. He is far from a sure bet, though.

Don’t expect the Diamondbacks to overpay for the 34-year-old Oswalt, who was injury-prone and inconsistent last season.

Oswalt was only able to start 23 games in 2011. By comparison, Kennedy, Hudson and Saunders all started 33 games.

When he did take the mound, his performance was questionable at times.

Of his 23 starts, Oswalt had five outings that went less than six innings, and in his one postseason start he surrendered five runs.

Oswalt made $16 million last season, and although his new contract will likely be for less than that, it could still be a stretch for the Diamondbacks given that they just signed Jason Kubel for $7.5 million per year.

Oswalt would be a welcome addition to the Diamondbacks rotation, but the salary that he will demand is more than the team should spend, especially since they do have some depth at pitching among their minor league players.