Blog Entry

GM: Reds not actively courting Roy Oswalt

Posted on: February 5, 2012 6:17 pm
Roy OswaltBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Roy Oswalt is still a free agent, although at least one general manager seems to think the right-hander is headed to Texas.


"We had discussions with them a while ago," Reds GM Walt Jocketty told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. "The last we heard he was going to Texas. That was on Monday. I don't know if that deal is still in place."

Oswalt had reportedly wanted to sign with the Rangers or Cardinals, but a report on Saturday said neither team had enough money to sign the 33-year-old right-hander. The Reds, who have signed Ryan Madson and Ryan Ludwick this offseason, don't have much left in their budget, either, according to Jocketty. The former Cardinals GM said the Reds would need to move payroll in order to sign Oswalt.

"If he doesn't sign," Jocketty told Fay, "we'd take another look at it."

The Reds currently have Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Bronson Arroyo and Mike Leake penciled in as their first four starters, with Homer Bailey the favorite for the fifth spot and Aroldis Chapman transitioning into a starting role during spring training. The Reds' moves of acquiring Latos, Madson and Sean Marshall show the team is being aggressive in trying to take over the Albert Pujols-less National League Central and adding Oswalt would be another step in that direction. It would also keep the team from having to face Oswalt, who is 23-3 with a 2.81 ERA in his career against Cincinnati.

The Red Sox and Phillies were also reportedly still interested in Oswalt, along with the Reds, according to Jon Paul Morosi of

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Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: February 7, 2012 2:43 pm

GM: Reds not actively courting Roy Oswalt

No one wants to pay the price tag for a guy with back issues and getting up there in age.  He may not get anywhere until the end of spring training and have to sign an incentive filled contract.

Since: Feb 7, 2012
Posted on: February 7, 2012 10:11 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: February 6, 2012 7:02 pm

GM: Reds not actively courting Roy Oswalt

I guess I am on the side of saying ... no way is Oswalt better than Hamels.

But this isn't about Hamels. If I am the Reds, I take only a discount ... we already have Bronson Arroyo.
Scrapping still more of the system to make room for one-year deals ... bad policy.

Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: February 6, 2012 6:23 pm

GM: Reds not actively courting Roy Oswalt

I would love to have him, but a player with back troubles like Oswalt is a luxury a mid/small market team like the Reds cannot afford, unless they can get him for peanuts (and that won't happen).  A player with large risk/reward profile is best left to larger market teams that can absorb a mistake (ala if his back flairs up and he misses weeks/months).  The only way is if his cost comes down markedly and a team like the Reds can sign him to 4 or 5 million with incentives that might bring it up substantially ( 170 innnings pitched, 12 wins, etc).

I still think Chapman arm soreness will reappear with attempted starts and he'll end up in the bullpen, if that happens there is likely room for an Oswalt, assuming Homer Bailey disappoints again or an injury occurs (always likely).  If price is right, sign him Walt, if it remains high, pass on the risk.

Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: February 6, 2012 3:08 pm

GM: Reds not actively courting Roy Oswalt

Oswalt is better than Cole Hamels,

At this point in his career? I don't think very many GMs would agree with you there, sdg. Nor would I. Oswalt's still a good pitcher--and as a Phillies Phan I certainly wouldn't mind having him back--but money aside I think few would rather have him than Hamels right now. Your figures, of course, are heavily skewed by his figures from considerably earlier in his career. At this point it really doesn't matter too much what he was doing 10 years ago.  What's the point of a comparison with a lefthander like Hamels anyway, whether favorable or unfavorable?

If Oswalt's head's still in the game--which is somewhat doubtful right now--and if his back can hold up (which is also questionable), he can still help someone.  But don't minimize his problems at age 34 over a top lefthander still getting into his prime. 

Since: Nov 18, 2011
Posted on: February 6, 2012 12:44 pm

GM: Reds not actively courting Roy Oswalt

Right on, sdg77459.  The Rockies just traded for and paid Jeremy Guthrie, age 33, 8.2 mil.  Whaaaa?  Gimme Oswalt  -- clutch guy --

Since: Sep 28, 2010
Posted on: February 6, 2012 10:37 am

GM: Reds not actively courting Roy Oswalt

I do not understand people saying that Roy Oswalt is done, or that he is not worth 10 million.  Check your stats people!!! Oswalt is better than Cole Hamels, and is more reliable than Cole Hamels based on their previous experience.  Roy Oswalt has averaged 195 innings per season over 11 seasons. He has a better win percentage than Cole, he has a lower era than cole. He has finished in the top 6 in Cy young voting 6 times. He has only had 1 season with an ERA OVER 4.  He has had 6 seasons with an era under 3.     Additionally, Cole Hamels has had the benefit of playing on a playoff team for 5 straight seasons, while oswalt's astros only made the playoffs 3 years during his 10 year stint there.    Meanwhile, Cole Hamels has had an era over 4 for a third of his big league seasons.  Oswalt is only 2 years older than CC Sabathia, and I don't hear anyone calling for CC to retire.  If you compare Oswalt to Sabathia you will notice that Oswalt actually has comparable, if not better, stats than CC, while CC makes twice as much. 

Since: Dec 11, 2009
Posted on: February 6, 2012 8:27 am

GM: Reds not actively courting Roy Oswalt

Not disageeing with you at all! But can the Reds afford him after all the offseason moves?

Since: Jan 11, 2012
Posted on: February 6, 2012 8:21 am

GM: Reds not actively courting Roy Oswalt

The guy is overrated. He ain't no Goose Gossage or Rollie Fingers for crying out loud. I say bring in Catfish Hunter and Louis Tiant if you wanna get the job done.

Pat Gray
Cavendish, Vermont

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: February 6, 2012 7:40 am

GM: Reds not actively courting Roy Oswalt

Roy Oswalt will probably cost $8 mil or more. About $6 mil of that is paying for what he USED to be able to do, and the rest is for the chance his back will allow him to actually take his turn in the rotation more than half a season. That cost doesn't include removing a player from the 40 man roster to make room for him...a player by definition, the Reds felt worth protecting. If you also have to clear salary to fit that $8 mil in the budget, the $8 mil is the equivilent of Homer Bailey, Nick Masset AND Bill Bray's salary. You think Roy Oswalt is worth that for a one-year deal ?

If Jocketty can swing a trade and get value, while making room on the 40 man roster....BEFORE Oswalt signs with the Cardinals, so be it...I wouldn't count on it. If he goes for a discount, he'll go to the Rangers. If he wants to win, he'll go to the Rangers, or back to the Phillies...or maybe even the World Champ Cardinals. If he wants to say goodbye and thanks, he'll go back to the Astros. Why would he want to go blow up his ERA in possibly his last year, in the shoebox in Cincinnati ? Only if he doesn't get a better (or any) offer.

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