Roy Oswalt(notes) has pitched brilliantly this season, like the 2001-02 version of himself. He's delivered a 2.66 ERA, a 1.07 WHIP and 60 Ks in 61.0 innings. He's completed at least six frames in every start and hasn't allowed more than three runs — earned or unearned — in any game.
Nonetheless, he has a record of 2-6, because he pitches for the lowest-scoring team in baseball.
In fact, the Astros currently rank dead-last in runs scored (2.98 per game), batting average (.228), on-base percentage (.274), slugging (.321), hits (305), doubles (53) and homers (21). They were shutout by Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez(notes) on Thursday, as Oswalt lost again. In his last four decisions (all losses), these were the final scores: 0-4, 1-2, 0-1, 2-4.
So it's tough to blame him for today's news. The Chicago Tribune's Mark Gonzales reports that Oswalt has requested a trade.
The July 31 trading deadline is more than two months away, but one of baseball's best pitchers has asked to be put on the market.
Oswalt is under contract for $15 million this year and $16 million in 2011. The following season he has a $16 million team option or a $2 million buyout. Despite the 32-year-old's stellar track record, his pricetag will obviously scare off a few teams. (It has the Cubs thinking that he'd make a nice addition to the bullpen).
According to an earlier report from ESPN's Jayson Stark, the potential trade destinations that interest Oswalt are St. Louis, Texas and Atlanta. But if he's requesting/demanding a move, then presumably he's open to other options. Considering the abysmal run-support situation in Houston, Oswalt's fantasy value is almost certain to increase (though if he heads to the Rangers, the league change and home park will complicate things).
Ed Wade was born for this moment, Astros fans, so you're in good hands. Let's deal.
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