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Rosenthal: Oswalt should be more flexible

Jul 23, 2010, 9:10 AM EDT

But why should players surrender what they bargained for if teams never do?

Ken Rosenthal thinks that Roy Oswalt needs to drop his demand that whatever team he goes to pick up his 2012 option. He also thinks that Oswalt needs to be more flexible about the teams to which he’d accept trades:

If Roy Oswalt wants to be traded – really wants to be traded – he should start acting like it.

That means dropping any demand for a potential suitor to exercise his
$16 million club option for 2012; his new team could compensate him for
waiving his no-trade clause in a less extravagant way.

It also means staying open-minded on which teams he would approve
for a trade; the Cardinals, his reported first choice, are not the only
club with a chance to win the World Series.

Remember, Oswalt asked the Astros to trade him, relaying his request
through his agent, Bob Garber, in May. Some rival executives find it
galling that the pitcher now seems to be trying to orchestrate every
term of his departure.

I see what Rosenthal is saying — and I’d agree with him wholeheartedly if Oswalt was out there complaining about the Astros not being able to find a trade partner or something — but I’ll note that no one ever expects teams to simply surrender the leverage for which they have bargained.  And I’ll also ask: in what “less extravagant way” could a new team compensate Oswalt for dropping his no-trade rights?  The minute he drops them, he has zero leverage to demand anything.

We certainly shouldn’t hear Oswalt to complain if the Astros can’t trade him given what he’s asking for, but in a world where teams can control where players work for the first six to twelve years of their career before the player even gets a bit of say in the matter, I have no problem with Oswalt using whatever means are at his disposal to get what he wants for the final handful of years of his career.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Jul 23, 2010 at 9:24 AM

    But Craig, I think the bigger point is that Roy Oswalt ASKED to be traded. Yet he is now making it almost impossible for the Astros to trade him. So it appears that he really doesn’t want to be traded. And I read somewhere that he is “afraid” of the Philly media. If that’s the case, he doesn’t know our media too well, because the Ruben Amaro apologists are out in full force, and it is very RARE to read a negative thing about the Phillies. Are the fans tough? Absolutely…we are tough and passionate and knowledgeable. Maybe he doesn’t have the makeup to pitch in a big city like Philly. Let him and his fragility go to St. Louis, where the fan base hasn’t booed in a hundred years.

  2. Paper Lions - Jul 23, 2010 at 12:07 PM

    I think Oswalt’s wishes have more to do with geography that fan characteristics. He asked to be traded because he wants to have a chance to win a WS; it also in not clear that Philly is headed in that direction. What is making it almost impossible to trade him is that most teams that are interested already are at their budget limit, they don’t want to take on additional salary for the next 2 years as well, and the Astros aren’t willing to eat most of Oswalt’s salary so they can get decent prospects in return.

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