Earlier today, former Astros ace and arguably the best pitcher in club history, Roy Oswalt, inked a deal with the Texas Rangers. He is scheduled to earn $5 million this year with $1 million more in incentives. He is expected to join the Rangers starting rotation in late June, after spending two weeks working out and another two weeks pitching in rehab games in their minor league system. He will not face the Astros next weekend when we travel to Arlington for a three game set.
Oswalt was the Astros ace for a decade- a run that included three playoff appearances, a World Series berth and some great memories along the way. He was traded to the Phillies in July 2010 for J.A. Happ, Jonathan Villar and Anthony Gose. Gose was later flipped to the Blue Jays for Brett Wallace straight up. Two years later, that trade looks terrible for Astros fans as Wallace can’t hit big league pitching and shows hardly any power and Happ hasn’t pitched as well as he did in Philadelphia. The only saving grace of a deal that saw one of, if not the greatest pitcher in franchise history traded away, may be Villar who is only 20 years old and at AA. He still has time to grow though.
Oswalt had previously worked out for the Dodgers and Red Sox but ultimately signed with the Rangers as his preference all along seemed to be either the Rangers or Cardinals. Both teams were close to his home in Weir, Mississippi. The opening in the Rangers rotation was created when closer turned starter, Neftali Feliz, went down with an elbow injury. I always liked Oswalt and wish him the best. He and Nolan Ryan had a great relationship when both were with the Astros and signing with the Rangers gives him his best shot at that elusive World Series ring.