Baltimore Orioles: Why the Orioles Should Sign Roy Oswalt

Jonathan Ty LangCorrespondent IMay 7, 2012

Baltimore Orioles: Why the Orioles Should Sign Roy Oswalt

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    The Baltimore Orioles are playing fantastic baseball and currently have the best record in the Majors at 19 wins and nine losses.

    Even the most skeptical of baseball fans are starting to recognize the O's as a team on the rise. That being said, Baltimore's baseball team still has some holes.

    One glaring hole the Orioles have is the lack of a starter at the top of their rotation who has been in a pennant race before. In most seasons, a team would have to trade away several top prospects to land a guy to fill that role, but this year there is a three time all-star with World Series experience preparing to join a team mid-season Roger Clemens style.

    Roy Oswalt was one of the arms most sought after this off season before deciding he wouldn't sign with a team until after the season was well underway.

    If the Orioles think they can make a playoff run this season they should seriously consider signing Oswalt for the season. 

Pitching Depth

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    Winning baseball games begins and ends with starting pitching. It is no secret and it has been that way since the start of the sport.

    So far this season the O's starters have been among baseball's best.

    Jason Hammel has found himself after coming over from Colorado in the off season and import Wei-Yin Chen has been even better than advertised, both have sub 3.00 ERA's.

    Jake Arrieta with the exception of a couple starts has been dominant as well and has a ridiculously low WHIP of 0.991.

    Brian Matusz continued to struggle at the start of this season, but has only given up one earned run in his last 12.1 innings. He looks to be turning a corner as a professional pitcher.

    Tommy Hunter has been the other Oriole starter this season but was sent down earlier today partly because of ineffectiveness and partly because of the Orioles need for bullpen arms following yesterday's marathon game.

    With most of the starters pitching well, there isn't a pressing need for Oswalt at the moment but in all likelihood that will change as the season goes on. 

    Circumstances can change quickly because of injuries and ineffectiveness. The Yankees appeared to have too much pitching and are now counting on an Andy Pettitte comeback to stabilize their rotation only one month into the season.

    There are some experts that feel Hammel will slow down and with Arrieta coming off of surgery he could fall victim to fatigue as the season wears on. Chen could also slow down as his first season pitching in America reaches the dog days of August.

    Rarely does a team avoid injuries to the rotation all season. The lefty Zach Britton is getting closer to rejoining the rotation, but one injury could derail the O's fantastic start this season.

    Signing Oswalt would give the Orioles a top arm that would help them through any obstacles they face, whether it be injuries or ineffectiveness of current starters. 

Keep Him from Playing for Other Teams

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    One big reason the Baltimore Orioles should sign Roy Oswalt if they want to make the playoffs is to simply keep him from suiting up for their competitors. 

    There are teams with a glaring hole at starting pitching and Oswalt will surely hear from these teams soon, if he has not already. 

    Both the Red Sox and Yankees will likely make a run at the veteran starter. Panic is starting to manifest itself in Boston and they desperately need a consistent starter sooner rather than later.

    The Yankees are another team the Orioles will be in direct competition with if this season is going to be truly special for Baltimore. If Andy Pettitte can't save the day, look for New York to try and bring in Oswalt with Michael Pineda out for the year and Freddy Garcia performing poorly so far this year.

    Oswalt is more than likely going to have his choice of almost every contender in baseball but if the Orioles can keep him from joining an A.L. East rival it would go a long way to keeping them in the division race.

He Is a Bonafied Ace with Experience

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    The biggest reason the Orioles should add Oswalt is simple, he is really good at baseball and has been for a long time.

    It isn't everyday a team can add a star pitcher without forfeiting top prospects in exchange. Oswalt may be older but he can still win ball games and has done it on the biggest stages in baseball.

    Oswalt has a career ERA of 3.21 and has been just as good over the past two seasons as he was throughout his career.

    A pitcher like Oswalt would be huge for the O's and even if they fall short of the playoffs, adding a pitcher like Oswalt would help get the Orioles above .500 and continue their effort to change the culture in Baltimore.