Astros History

Astros: Reviewing the 2010 Roy Oswalt trade with Phillies

WASHINGTON - MAY 05: Roy Oswalt #44 of the Houston Astros pitches against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on May 5, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - MAY 05: Roy Oswalt #44 of the Houston Astros pitches against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on May 5, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /
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HOUSTON – SEPTEMBER 12: Pitcher Roy Oswalt #44 of the Phildelphia Phillies throws against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on September 12, 2011 in Houston, Texas. Houston won 5-1. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON – SEPTEMBER 12: Pitcher Roy Oswalt #44 of the Phildelphia Phillies throws against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on September 12, 2011 in Houston, Texas. Houston won 5-1. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

What the Astros Gave Up

The Astros lost a player who’d been one of the biggest keys to their success since his debut in 2001. Oswalt went 143-82 with a 3.24 ERA in 10 seasons in Houston with three All-Star selections and six top-six finishes in the Cy Young voting. He was one of the faces of the franchise and was just one win away from tying Joe Niekro for the most in club history.

At the time of the trade, he had a 3.42 ERA in 20 starts, though his 6-12 record reflected how poorly his team played behind him. After the trade, he kicked it up a few notches, similar to how Justin Verlander did when the Astros acquired him in 2017.

Oswalt went 7-1 with a 1.74 ERA in 12 starts and one relief appearance down the stretch for Philly. He also put up a 1.84 ERA in two starts and one relief appearance in the NLCS, but the Phillies lost anyway. He certainly had playoff pedigree, having won the 2005 NLCS MVP award with Houston.

Under contract for one additional season, he made 23 starts in 2011 and went 9-10 with a 3.69 ERA. He made a subpar start in the division series as the Phillies were bounced from the playoffs again, and thus ended his tenure. All told, he gave the team 5.4 WAR in his regular season work in 2010 and 2011.

While he might have been on track for the Hall of Fame, those chances evaporated along with his effectiveness after leaving the Phillies. He signed on with the Rangers for 2012, but struggled to a 5.80 ERA in 59 innings in what was his age-34 season. He was worse in 2013, going 0-6 with an 8.63 ERA in 32.1 innings with the Rockies before calling it quits.

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