MLB Trade Rumors: Roy Oswalt To Be Next Yankee Pitching Target?

July 28, 2010   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

With the MLB trading deadline three days away, teams are evaluating their rosters and trying to figure out what pieces they need for the second half of the season.

For the New York Yankees, their attention so far has been on getting more pitching.

Earlier this month, they were on the verge of landing Cliff Lee from the Seattle Mariners, but Seattle backed out at the last second, and then sent Lee to the Texas Rangers.

Last week, the Yankees were believed to be the front runners to land Dan Haren from the Arizona Diamondbacks, but Yankees general manager Brian Cashman felt Arizona was asking for too much for Haren, especially with the money left on his contract. So, instead, Haren was dealt to the Los Angeles Angels.

So now, with 72 hours to go, two of the biggest pitching names are off the board.

The question is, do the Yankees still pursue a starting pitcher?

The biggest name still out there is Houston Astros right-hander Roy Oswalt, who could be holding up any trade from Houston because he wants his 2012 option picked up, which is worth $16 million.

Last week, rumors had the Philadelphia Phillies being the front runners to possibly land Oswalt by dealing away right fielder Jayson Werth, but the Phillies may have backed off at the 2012 option demand.

It was also rumored that Oswalt doesn’t want to pitch in Philadelphia. He was more open to pitching in St. Louis for the Cardinals, but people don’t expect the Astros to deal with their long-time division rival and give them their best pitcher.

Plus, the Cardinals feel that the asking price for Oswalt may be a little out of their reach, so they may pass.

According to the Houston Chronicle on Thursday, Oswalt said he was willing to re-work his 2012 option if he were traded to the right team.

Oswalt also said he would be willing to be traded to an East Coast team, but again, it would have to be the right fit.

Would the Yankees be that right fit? One of Oswalt’s good friends and former teammate, Andy Pettitte, is still on the team and could sway Oswalt into coming to the Bronx.

Oswalt is currently 6-12 with a 3.48 ERA, 120 strikeouts, and only 34 walks in 2010. The 12 losses aren’t a cause for concern, because everyone knows Oswalt is a better pitcher than what his record shows right now.

Many have different views on whether the Yankees would actively pursue Oswalt. ESPN has rumored that the Yankees could be interested in him, but just aren’t showing an active interest.

However, other writers, like Sports Illustrated‘s Jon Heyman, feel like the Yankees won’t show any interest and won’t pursue Oswalt.

Up until the All-Star break, the Yankees rotation looked sound and, at times, flat-out dominant. But with Andy Pettitte on the DL, recovering from a strained groin, A.J. Burnett’s inconsistency, Phil Hughes’ innings limit, and having Sergio Mitre and Dustin Moseley as the backup starters in Pettitte’s place, some wonder if the Yankees’ rotation is vulnerable now.

Granted, Javier Vazquez is pitching much better as of late and, despite losing on Tuesday, CC Sabathia has pitched extremely well. But everyone knows that good starting pitching is the key to winning down the stretch and, eventually, winning in the playoffs.

Many also wonder if Oswalt would be able to perform and handle the pressures of pitching in New York and for the Yankees. Granted, Oswalt has pitched in the playoffs for the Astros, but pitching in the playoffs for the Yankees is on a completely different level, one that Oswalt has never seen before.

So now I pose the question to all of you, do the Yankees pursue Oswalt in the next three days?

My gut feeling is that the Yankees will pass on Oswalt and possibly try to add a reliever. Rumors have been saying they are interested in Royals closer Joakim Soria, although he has the Yankees on his no-trade list.

Or maybe New York will pursue a bat to come off the bench; they are rumored to be interested in Baltimore Orioles infielder Ty Wigginton, although the Orioles, too, aren’t in a hurry to make a trade with their division rivals.

Expect the rumors in the next three days to heat up and, with the Yankees ability to add payroll or trade prospects to enhance their chances of a 28th World Series Championship, anything can happen in that time.

Stay tuned for the next three days of possible trading craziness or, at least, a ton of hot stove rumors.

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