Buster Olney's daily blog on Roy Oswalt's situation. Regard:
He is stubborn and shrewd and smart, and if anybody thinks he will settle for anything less than exactly what he wants, well, he doesn't know much about Oswalt. Particularly when it comes to agreeing to a trade.
Oswalt holds the leverage hammer. Many other teams would love to have him, for sure. At age 31, he has a 130-66 record and is the type of guy with whom you win games. The Phillies would love to trade for Oswalt, as would the Mets, the Cubs and the Brewers. But he wields a full no-trade clause.
Maybe there is a place where Oswalt secretly would really like to play; maybe there is a place he would run to if given the opportunity. Many teams probably would have to lure him, but Oswalt is unlikely to waive his no-trade clause for nothing. It stands to reason that any team looking to acquire the right-hander will have to surrender more than the boatload of prospects that the Astros would require.
The guaranteed portion of Oswalt's current contract runs through 2011. He is making $14 million this season and will make $15 million next year and $16 million in 2011. There is a $16 million option for 2012 on his deal.
Moving forward, and as he ages, Oswalt's leverage will only go down. He is in position right now, if he so chooses, to require any team interested in acquiring him to extend his contract -- perhaps guaranteeing that 2012 option, perhaps adding a year or two to the back end of his contract. Then again, if a team adds him now while the second half of the season inches closer, it may get the best of Oswalt.
Then there are some splits, provided by ESPN Research:
Career before June 1:
K per 9: 6.8
After June 1:
K per 9: 7.7
So what do you do?