Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
August 30, 2006
BASEBALL: Off the Market

Yet another big-time pitcher will be staying put, as the Astros lock up Roy Oswalt for 5 years and $73 million. It's a good deal for Houston - Oswalt's expensive, and being a pitcher he's a serious injury risk, but he's been mostly healthy and you gotta pay somebody to pitch, so he's as good a bet as you will find.

I'll get to this another day, but given the current state of the free agent market, and particularly if the White Sox pick up Mark Buehrle's option, Barry Zito is going to become a very rich man this offseason.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 6:57 AM | Baseball 2006 | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Too bad about Oswalt . . . from a Mets perspective. The Mets are gonna have to pay out the snot locker for some starter or two in the next year, with Tommy G & Pedro riding off into the sunset as I make like the kid from Shane, screaming "Coooooome baaaaaaaaaaack!!!"

I'd rather they'd have had the chance to overpay someone great, like Oswalt, rather than someone old (Schmidt), overrated (Zito), or not that great (D-Train).

* * *

Not sure this is related (in fact, I'm certain it's not), but I've got a new Mets post up over at my joint, which includes a little analysis intended to assuage some of my anxiety: a breakdown of the success of the wild card teams against the team with the best record since '95 (sound familiar?).

Check it out, if you'd like.

Posted by: Mike at August 30, 2006 8:30 AM

We'll see if the Astros can lock up Pettitte now (he's in the last year of his 3 year deal). If so they'll have their starting rotation anchored for the next few years.

*IF* they sign Pettitte the possibility of Clemens pitching another season (or parts thereof) for them becomes a little better than even I think. If Pettitte isn't with the Astros next year then Clemens won't be either.

With Pettitte, Clemens and Oswalt they can remain in contention even as they work out some of the problems they've encountered this year. Nothing the Astros did this past year worked out. Preston Wilson was a dud and Aubry Huff has been inconsistent at best, so both their attempts at "impact" moves failed.

To compound that just about every guy on the roster has been off. Ensberg has been awful (injury related supposedly). Biggio is hitting less than .200 since the all star break and he's so bad on the road they should sit him. Jason Lane...well nobody knows what's wrong with Lane, but I can hit better than him right now (ok, not really but almost). Lamb can hit but its painful to watch him try to slap the leather around.

Good news is Everett has turned into one of the best shortstops in the game. Taveras has improved defensively in center and has developed way better than I ever dared to hope at the plate. Lidge may have turned the corner (I don't think we'll know for sure until next year). Ausmus is already under contract for next year as is Berkman.

In truth they're just a player or 2 away. Well, that plus they need everyone to fulfill their role. You know...leadoff guy with a high OBA, #5 hitter that doesn't lead the league in SO's, etcetera.

Posted by: Dwilkers at August 30, 2006 10:49 AM

If you can get the ball over the plate and last for 5-6 innings you can be a very well compensated major league pitcher these days. Why retire if you are Maddux or Wells? You could still land multi-million dollar deals and still be in the upper-tier of hurlers in the game.

Posted by: jim at August 30, 2006 11:30 AM

Oswalt may age early and quickly. He is a bit of a tim hudson type, a power pitcher with a slight build, and it will be interesting to see how he performs over the next few years. He's not going to fall apart next season, obviously, but 5 years is a long time. At the very least, he will have to start pitching guys a little differently a la Pedro.

Posted by: hugo at August 30, 2006 12:51 PM

I think Pettit will be surprised at what kind of deal he can expect. The Yankees knew more than we did about how fragile he was about to become.

Oswalt I think might age quite well. His motion is a very smooth one, and is not as dependent on his arm alone as Guidry was. You don't need to throw 96 if you can throw strikes at the two sides of the plate at varying speeds.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at August 30, 2006 1:27 PM
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