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.
Depending on what “friend” you talk to, Oswalt would also accept trades to Philadelphia, St. Louis, the Yankees 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.
Oswalt would represent less a risk than Lee. He is somebody the Mets should roll the dice with — now.