I will admit that when word first broke earlier today that former Astros ace, Roy Oswalt, was going to make a decision today and that both the Rangers and Red Sox were out of it, I was optimistic about his chances of returning to Houston. My thought was that Oswalt would pitch here for the first half of the season, in a familiar setting and be flipped at the deadline to a contender for a chance at a World Series ring. He could also re-establish his market value by pitching here and with whichever contender we were to trade him to. Word then came out that Cardinals GM, stated that they would not be signing Oswalt, I became even more optimistic. However, it was not to be as Oswalt’s agent, Bob Garber, then released a statement stating that Oswalt will wait until mid-season to sign, thus essentially taking the Astros out of the picture.
Does this news upset me? Yes, but not because Oswalt isn’t coming back. I’m now more concerned that the Astros will have difficulty dealing one or both of Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers now since Oswalt will essentially be a free agent and will not cost anything to acquire, except for money of course. Say for instance a team such as the Rangers, Cardinals, Braves or even Royals are contending and suffer an injury to one of their starters, Oswalt could be signed by any one of those teams as they are all close to his home in Mississippi thus eliminating that team from possibly acquiring Wandy or Myers. Now if a team that isn’t close to his home suffers an injury, they could still be in play for one of the Astros pitchers but Oswalt’s decision could end up hurting the Astros inadvertently . It is a good decision for Oswalt as the 34 yr old veteran was limited to just 23 starts last year due to his back injuries. He compiled a 9-10 record with a 3.69 era. Oh and Wandy’s back is already bothering him after a few days in Spring Training. That’s definitely not a good sign.