Several media outlets have reported that the Astros are one of a handful of teams that are interested in signing veteran RHP, Roy Oswalt. This came as a bit of a surprise as the Astros are clearly a team that is rebuilding and when Oswalt was traded, it was due mainly to his request to be traded so that he could win a title. The Red Sox, Cardinals, Tigers and Rangers have all expressed interest in Oswalt but it may be hard for St. Louis and Texas to find a spot in their rotation for him, which leaves me thinking that the best pitcher in franchise history, may be on his way back to Houston.
On July 29, 2010, Oswalt was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for LHP, J.A. Happ, SS, Jonathan Villar and OF, Anthony Gose. Gose was immediately flipped to the Toronto Blue Jays for 1B, Brett Wallace. At first glance, I loved this deal for the Astros as I thought Happ would be serviceable lefty in our rotation for a few years and Wallace could be just the power hitter we needed as our 1B at the time, Lance Berkman, seemed to be trending downward. They have been anything but. Happ has been lit up like a Christmas Tree time and time again and Brett Wallace cant seem to find any power in his swing. They have both been shuffled back and forth between the minors and big leagues. The only saving grace of this trade may be Villar but he is still a few years away from the big leagues. If Oswalt were to return, could we wipe the slate clean on that trade as he would have only been gone for a year and a half and we weren’t in a position to win during that time frame anyway?
I, for one, would welcome Oswalt back with open arms. I believe that his interest in the Astros may be genuine as we are a comfortable environment and a familiar place in which he could re-establish his market value. If he stays healthy and pitches well enough, he could be traded at the deadline to a contender, have another chance at a championship and then re-enter free agency with a strong, healthy season under his belt. Of course, he could just be using the Astros as leverage to solicit an offer from a contender. I’m hoping that the former, not the latter is true. After all, he is only two wins away from the franchise wins record.