MLB Free Agency: Should the San Francisco Giants Sign Roy Oswalt?
They say AT&T is a pitcher's park. This is why Nate Schierholtz and Manny Burris choose to slap grounders through the infield instead of trying to get the ball in the air. Why even try? It's also why Eugenio Velez and Lance Niekro never panned out. Silly park. It's why free agents like Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols flip letters of interest into the garbage when they see the return address as 24 Willie Mays Plaza.
If the San Francisco Giants can't attract hitters, why not go after another pitcher? And if the Giants want a pitcher, why not Roy Oswalt? According to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, Oswalt is interested in accepting a one-year deal with a team in order to prove that his back, arm and age are holding up just fine.
What better team to re-invigorate a career with than the Giants? Oswalt would get a pitcher-friendly park with a chance to get some postseason exposure. As long as suitors next offseason are willing to overlook an inevitable 12-14 record, this is a perfect match. The Giants get a fifth starter not named Barry Zito, and Oswalt gets a dead-ball environment in which to earn one final payday in 2013.
Don't forget that Oswalt is one year removed from a stretch with the Philadelphia Phillies where he posted a 1.74 ERA over 12 starts. An already intimidating Giants staff would be bulletproof. In San Francisco, where a vortex swallows would-be Giants home runs, the pitching has to be stout. Every single day.
That self-imposed budget that Brian Sabean was rattling on about? It's a buzz kill for ideas like this, so I will choose to ignore it for now. How much would Oswalt cost? Likely somewhere between the $14 million the Chicago Cubs gave to Ryan Dempster and the $4.5 million the Seattle Mariners gave to Erik Bedard.
Let's say Roy Oswalt to the Giants for $12 million for one year. It's low risk and he would come off the books along with Aaron Rowand next fall, freeing up some serious cash. Oswalt also wouldn't affect the long-term ability to sign Matt Cain or Tim Lincecum.
The Giants aren't known for thinking outside the box. Many teams choose not to spend big on a fifth starter, but the Giants are different. Management seems committed to fielding a team capable of scoring two runs per game. The Giants are in win-now mode, and an Oswalt move makes them a World Series contender in 2012.
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