Blog Entry

Nationals interested in Roy Oswalt

Posted on: November 4, 2011 4:55 pm
By Matt Snyder

After the Jayson Werth signing last season, we know the Washington Nationals aren't shy about throwing around big bucks in free agency. And just in case you aren't convinced, consider that Ted Lerner is the richest owner in baseball. So it shouldn't be a shock if the Nationals are in on some of the bigger names in the free agent market. Thus, the Friday afternoon rumor -- via Bill Ladson of -- that they're interested in former Astros and Phillies pitcher Roy Oswalt should come as no surprise.

The Nationals already have four spots on their rotation filled, assuming everyone is healthy and there are no trades involving the foursome of Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, John Lannan and Chien-Ming Wang. According to Ladson's report, general manager Mike Rizzo wants to add a veteran to sit atop the rotation.

"The type of pitcher we are looking for is a good leader-type of guy that throws a lot of innings, has shown that he can win in the big leagues and really lead our staff," Rizzo said without mentioning any names ( "It's not by having the best stuff on the staff, but showing how to be a professional, how to be a winner, how to pitch 200 innings in a season many, many times in a career. That's kind of the guy we are looking for."

Hot Stove Season
The Nats can easily fill the final rotation spot from within the organization if they so choose. Young pitchers with pretty good potential like Ross Detwiler, Tommy Milone and Brad Peacock would be legitimate options, but it appears Rizzo doesn't want to wait. After a third-place finish -- the best-ever for the Washington Nationals -- he appears ready to become a contender. And, again, factor in the deep pockets of Lerner. Why take the chance on a youngster when they could just overpay for a proven veteran? Oswalt could fit. He might not be an ace anymore, but Strasburg as a two, Zimmermann as a three, and Lannon/Wang as the four/five guys looks like a pretty deep rotation.

Oswalt, 34, was 9-10 with a 3.69 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 93 strikeouts in 139 innings in 2011. He battled back issues and also had a family issue at one point (when a tornado ravaged his hometown). He had thrown at least 208 innings in seven of the previous nine seasons.

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Since: Apr 21, 2007
Posted on: November 7, 2011 10:36 am

Nationals interested in Roy Oswalt

I don't think that I - or anyone really in the know - are "over-rating" Oswalt at this point.  Just stating that he's a good fit for the Nats *IF* he can be had for a reasonable price.  

That having been said, guys with Oswalt's tenure - even when on the decline - do tend to get overpaid by *somebody*.  This will be a good litmus test to see what the free-agent season is going to be like.

Since: Nov 30, 2007
Posted on: November 5, 2011 12:04 pm

Nationals interested in Roy Oswalt

Good, let them have him.
That would make 2 years in a row that they sign an over rated, overpaid ex-Phillie.
Who'll it be next year?

Since: Apr 21, 2007
Posted on: November 5, 2011 10:59 am

Nationals interested in Roy Oswalt

The bulk of the comments here regarding Oswalt are negative in terms of how valuable he really is at this stage - and hate to say it, but I agree.

He's 34 years old, his velocity seems to have dropped a good 3 MPH off the fastball and my guess is the health problems from last year may well continue.

That having been said, I always LOVED this guy's bulldog tenacity and fierceness on the mound.  His "presence" - in the rotation and the clubhouse might be a very good fit for the Nats.  They certainly would seem to need more in terms of bats than arms at this point, but if Oswalt can be had at a reasonable price, maybe it's worth a roll of the dice for a team like Washington.  Only hunch I have is that I see him staying in the NL.

We'll need to see what Oswalt himself is looking for.  If it's a ring, then he goes to a "top" contender and is more a 3-4 guy than the ace or even a #2.  If it's money, he goes where the biggest bucks are thrown at him.  

I sure as hell don't know too much about him personally, but he's one guy who I think is in the minority - NOT necessarily going after the biggest buck - but the "nicest" situation for him, the team that gets him and his family.  That *could* be Washington, where he'd be a mentor and a leader on a potentially up and coming team.  AND - although I can't imagine them going way overboard like they did with Werth - maybe they throw enough bucks at Oswalt where this becomes one of the first "big name" signings of the off-season.

"Let the games begin."   :-)

Since: Apr 5, 2011
Posted on: November 5, 2011 3:07 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Nov 2, 2006
Posted on: November 5, 2011 12:18 am

Nationals interested in Roy Oswalt

Oswalt is 34 and after watching him struggle with his back and his velocity why would you pay the guy anything above average market value....He wont even make 20 starts for a team next season.

Since: Jul 4, 2007
Posted on: November 4, 2011 10:12 pm

Nationals interested in Roy Oswalt

I wish Rizzo would spend that money on a bat instead of a pitcher. the Nationals dont really need Oswalt, as the article said they have 4 spots already locked up, and they have a bunch of promising pitchers who can fill the 5th. pitching wasnt the problem last year, its was the offense.

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: November 4, 2011 9:32 pm

Nationals interested in Roy Oswalt

The Nats should have learned their lesson after signing another Phille casyoff in Werthless.  If these guys were any good the Philles would never let them walk.

Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: November 4, 2011 7:27 pm

Nationals interested in Roy Oswalt

If he was worth keeping the Phils would pick up his option

CODY, it's only fair to point out that the Phillies may still be interested in Oswalt, but they didn't think he was worth the $ 16 million option price.  My guess is that no one else will take him at that price either, including Washington.  Assuming he'll accept a lower price, who knows where he winds up.

To be honest, though, at this point the Phillies are more interested in dealing with the bullpen than with their starters, and in figuring out what to do about shortstop and third base.  Even without Oswalt, they still have six starting pitchers--Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Worley, Blanton, and Kendrick--and they may have to trade one of the latter three.  Interested?

Since: Jul 22, 2010
Posted on: November 4, 2011 6:13 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Oct 7, 2006
Posted on: November 4, 2011 6:04 pm

Nationals interested in Roy Oswalt

WHoever picks up Oswalt and his back probems can expect maybe a half a season of hit and miss production and the other half season of dl time. If he was worth keeping the Phils would pick up his option since their window of opportunity is closing fast if it didn't just slam shut already.

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