Friend: Oswalt would OK deal to Mets.

Just because Roy Oswalt told a friend he would accept a trade to the Mets doesn’t mean he’s in Manhattan on the off-day looking at apartments.

OSWALT: Won't come cheap.

Depending on what “friend’’ you talk to, Oswalt said he’d also accept trades to Philadelphia, St. Louis, the Yankees, Texas and Washington Nationals. However, if it means getting out of Houston, a chance at the playoffs and perhaps an extension, the list of places suddenly favorable to Oswalt could grow.

The Mets have been getting sterling pitching from rotation fill-ins RA Dickey and Hisanori Takahashi – together they are 9-2, but Takahashi is only 2-1 as a starter – but that’s not to say all their pitching concerns have been answered.

We don’t know how long this run will last as neither Dickey nor Takahashi are proven over the long haul. We don’t know that about Jon Niese, either, and John Maine continues to throw 88.

If the Mets are to get Oswalt, they should strike now while it is early. The closer to the deadline, the more the Astros will be asking.

After standing pat over the winter in the pitching market, general manager Omar Minaya has a chance to add an ace that would make his rotation arguably the best in the National League with Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey and Oswalt.

However, there comes a price tag, not only in terms of prospects, but in dollars.  Oswalt is owed $31 million for the remainder of this year and $16 million next season, and a $16 million club option for 2012 (also includes a $2 million buyout).

That’s pricey, but he would make the Mets formidable for the next three years.

Oswalt also makes more sense than Cliff Lee in that his cost is definable, while Lee wants to test the market. Trading for Lee over Oswalt would be foolish, as it would be dealing for a hired gun because he’s gone after the year.

9 thoughts on “Friend: Oswalt would OK deal to Mets.

  1. Maybe Maine no longer has the speed. so make him a glavine with off-speed or .. side arm.. or have dickey show him the knuckler! that would really get the other teams. 2 knuckle ballers! I so want main to wake up out of this nightmare of his and ours..

  2. I disagree regarding the Astros’ asking price increasing as the deadline nears. To the contrary, once the Astros announced that they would expect any would-be suitor to pick up the remainder of the contract (which would run between $33 and $47 million, depending on whether the 2012 option was picked up), as well as surrender prospects, their market of trading partners has reportedly dried up. In short, the Astros can expect financial relief or prospects — but not both.

    Considering that no one is biting on their prospects-plus-contract position, I think the pressure for the Astros to make a deal will intensify as the deadline approaches, with their demands likely falling in the process.

    At the end of the day, the Astros will have to decide which is more important: The prospects or the financial relief. If it’s the latter, then there are scant few teams which can afford to pick up Oswalt’s contract. If they adjust their demands to prospects (i.e., they’d be willing to eat portions of the contract), then they would likely find a much broader field of would-be trading partners.

    The Mets, believe it or not, are actually in a good position here, as most of the other deep-pocket franchises (e.g., Yanks, BoSox, Phils) either have enough starting pitching or don’t have the financial flexibility to add another $15-million arm.

  3. Tiffany (2): We don’t yet know the market for Oswalt. Once the market is defined of several teams, those teams would be bidding against each other thereby increasing the package in prospects to the Astros. … Conversely, if there’s a small or little market for Oswalt, the price would go down.-JD

  4. (3) By all accounts, there is currently no market for Oswalt based on the Astros’ terms of prospects _and_ the entire contract.

    This shouldn’t be surprising. I mean, just look at the Halladay deal: Because Toronto wanted prospects, it ended up paying a sizable portion of Halladay’s remaining contract.

  5. Tiffany (4): That could very well be the case. And, Houston is under no obligation to trade him. There might not be a market now, but that could change over the next six weeks.-JD

  6. So Roy Oswalt may waive his no-trade clause to join the Mets, huh? Wish he’d done that four years ago, when we REALLY could’ve used him and could’ve very well had a World Series Championship.
    Remember the buzz in the last week of July back in ’06? The Mets would’ve acquired Oswalt, along with Brad Lidge from the Astros in a three-way deal that would’ve sent Lastings Milledge to Baltimore, Aaron Heilman to Houston and Miguel Tejada to Baltimore?
    Remember Billy Wagner channeling then-pitching coach Rick Peterson, saying he’d be able to turn Lidge around and that he could talk Oswalt into coming to the Mets? A combo of O’s owner Peter Angelos and Oswalt’s reluctance to come to the Mets killed that deal. The Cardinals might’ve surrendered even before the first NLCS game, considering how Oswalt killed them in the ’05 NLCS, defeating them twice and getting the NLCS MVP Award.
    So if Oswalt didn’t waive the clause then, when the Mets were a juggernaut, why now, when the Mets are a longshot?

  7. (6) My understanding is that the Mets killed that deal because they had just found out about Duaner Sanchez’ taxi ride from hell and needed to shift gears accordingly: Instead of dealing Milledge for a starter, they dealt Nady for a reliever.

    As for Oswalt, he’s 32 now and wants out of Houston. As those ultra-sexy girls in Expose once sang, “Seasons change…people change…” Hum along, won’t you?

  8. The fact that Oswalt is letting it be known he would consider the mets (if true) tells me that his market is indeed thin. Astros have a history or not wanting to part with hometown favs so even if wilpon has the cash (who knows?)it will not be an easy deal. then you are taking a risk on a player with a bad back and getting past his prime years. All that being said, I could see us going all the way with him in the mix and beltran back healthy.

  9. 7 Hey, Tiffany. No, the Mets absolutely did not kill the deal. If anything Sanchez’s accident made it even more urgent for the Mets to get Lidge in addition to Oswalt, their main target. If you remember that fateful couple of days, the rumors were flying that the Mets — after getting thwarted in their attempts to grab both Oswalt and Lidge — were going to flip Oliver Perez back to his original team, the Padres, after acquiring him, to get reliever Scott Linebrink.