With Roy Oswalt still on the market, seemingly holding out for either the Rangers or Cardinals to make a decision, will the right-hander be left with an ultimatum similar to the Manny Ramirez situation a few years ago and sign with a willing team or will he sit the year out in hopes of getting signed to a contender for the late-summer push. I feel as if with Oswalt’s options running down, his ability to be selective in this market is going to lead him to pitch for an unexpected team. Can that team be the Mets?
Oswalt wants to win, and is such a competitor that the thought of missing part or all of the year because he did not wind up on his preferred team seem foolish. While the Mets are apparently hamstrung financially, Sandy Alderson is adept at knowing the values and has thus far in his brief stint shown he will strike when the iron is hot. If the Mets could offer Oswalt a 1 yr/6-8 million contract with some incentives, then maybe the Texas native would debate coming to pitch against his former team, who decided against resigning him and instead splurged on closer Johnathan Papelbon. Oswalt could be a mentor to the younger pitchers, and would give the Mets a substantially better rotation. In terms of capitalizing on the investment, Oswalt could be easily flipped to a team in the playoff push looking for a starter. While it may not net the same caliber player as Zach Wheeler, a franchise looking for an established starter may be willing to part with something that could be a part of the Mets future
Roy is still unsigned, and as spring-training approaches has been steadfast in his wishes to pitch for a select number of teams. With the Mets possibly being a year or two away from true contention, would Oswalt want to go into a situation that is in limbo just to be able to pitch? Oswalt could just utilize the 1 year deal angle to rebuild his value for what may amount to his last big contract in the majors. Edwin Jackson, many years his junior was forced to take a one-year deal, and in this market many players have used it as a launching-pad. Maybe a healthy year of Roy will get a team to give him a 3 year/36 million dollar deal to ride off into the sunset.
The Mets aren’t going to win this year, so Roy would essentially be rehashing the role he wanted out of on the Astros. Though the Mets are nowhere near as bad as the Astros, they are going through financial troubles, have an offense with more questions than answers and although may be willing to pay, will probably look to move the starter. Winning is the name of the game, and the Mets just don’t have it.
While all three of these ideas make logical sense, the biggest question remains the finances. If the Mets made the offer, meaning they’d be around the 100 million dollar mark, would Roy even accept it? Sandy knows not to throw good money at bad money, but one-year deals are the new rentals in the MLB and Chris Capuano, a much lesser pitcher with a much spottier injury history used his average year on the Mets to land a 2 year/10 million dollar deal. If Roy could turn in a year similar to last year, keep the ERA below 4 and pitch 27-28 games, then it wouldn’t seem out of line for a team in the offseason looking to pick up Mr. Oswalt.