From Jon Heyman's rundown of pitchers who might be available:
- 3. Roy Oswalt, Astros, SP. This, says one GM, is a "problematic'' trade. It appears no team, not even the Yankees or Red Sox, wants to spend the $25 million left on Oswalt's deal through next season. Plus, some GMs say they are under the impression Oswalt wants his $16 million option for 2012 picked up, which could be a deal killer for many, if not most, teams. And while the Astros have signaled they might be willing to contribute toward that amount, they'd want big-time prospects back to do so. Then there's the matter of Oswalt's no-trade clause. "I hear he only wants to go to a couple teams,'' one GM said. Oswalt demanded a trade but isn't making it easy.
Yet another object lesson in the hazards of the no-trade clause. The money's one thing; if someone offered the Astros a couple of solid prospects, they could justify sending a few million bucks along with Oswalt. It would nice to have that option, anyway. But that no-trade clause gives all the power to the player, which is fine when you're winning but pretty annoying when you're losing.
The Astros are losing. And they should be annoyed.
All that said, is $25 million through 2011 really so out of line? Is $16 million in 2012 really so unreasonable?
According to FanGraphs, Oswalt was worth $14 million last season, and is heading toward $18 million this season. That's $16 million per season. Granted, you might not be able to justify those salaries if you're running an American League team, and you might not be able to justify spending that money and giving up two prospects. I'm just saying that Oswalt's contract really isn't outrageous, and that exercising the 2012 option wouldn't be a terrible risk.