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The Astros didn't tell any other teams that they'd kick in $11 million on Oswalt

Jul 30, 2010, 4:06 PM EDT

The general consensus immediately after the Oswalt deal was announced yesterday was that the Astros got hosed.  Then, after some time, more and more voices spoke up saying, “hey, don’t you think that if there was a better deal out there the Astros would have taken it?”

Well, maybe not, because Joel Sherman reports that the Astros may not have known if there was a better deal out there:

Executives from multiple teams complained they had no idea the Astros
were willing to include $11 million of the $23.5 million owed Oswalt
through next year and his 2012 option as they did to move him to the
Phillies . . .

 . . . an executive of a team interested in starting pitching said, “I don’t
know how we didn’t know [what Houston was willing to pay]. I don’t know
how it is in the best interest of your organization not to explore every
avenue. We knew the pitcher [Oswalt] was available, but we didn’t know
it was a financial giveaway.”

Sherman notes that while the Yankees and Mets were unaware of the money, it’s possible that Houston wouldn’t have offered to send money to those teams anyway, which is a good point. But Sherman implies that the last quote came from a different team altogether that may very well have been in on Oswalt if they knew that it was a good deal financially speaking.

When we call a trade dumb, we risk making faulty assumptions about the market. But we do the same thing when we assume that general managers run out every potential ground ball when going to make a deal.

On this one it sounds like Ed Wade locked in on the Phillies and very well might have bypassed other, better deals.

  1. geoknows - Jul 30, 2010 at 4:32 PM

    Like the Phillies locked in on the Mariners with Lee? Sounds like this goes on more often than we think…a club is determined to deal only with one team. I guess if that team has the exact targets you want, though, it makes sense. Maybe Ed Wade was determined that he wanted JA Happ, so that made the Phillies the only team he really felt like dealing with.

  2. Schlom - Jul 30, 2010 at 5:00 PM

    The whole thing was kind of odd. I’m thinking one of the teams that didn’t know how much money the Astros were going to kick in was the Padres as Jerry Crasnick tweeted: “Also, the San Diego Padres made a surprising late run at Oswalt. Tried to get creative, but couldn’t make it work.”
    If they only had to pay $12m for the next year plus of Oswalt, why would they need to get creative? They could have easily topped what the Phillies sent.

  3. Mavix - Jul 30, 2010 at 6:25 PM

    Didn’t Ed Wade work for the Phillies before??? I’ll wash your hands, if you wash mine.

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