Rob Parker, the rumor spewing, fact twisting columnist who no longer writes for either Detroit paper, but for ESPN New York, claims the Tigers made overtures to the Astros after Roy Oswalt supposedly formally requested a trade last week.
Via a piece headlined "Tigers Want Oswalt" from Parker's part-time gig writing for WDIV's ClickonDetroit.com (As the local rags want nothing to do with him):
The Tigers are seriously in the Roy Oswalt sweepstakes.
The Tigers contacted the Houston Astros about their ace right-hander over the weekend and are apparently willing to make a deal, my baseball moles told ClickOnDeroit.com on Monday.
Last week, Oswalt asked the Astros to trade him. After nearly 10 seasons in Houston, Oswalt said he is ready to move on and he wants to pitch for a contender. Enter the Tigers.
First off, you need to take whatever Parker says with a Buick Deuce and Quarter sized grain of salt. There's a reason I long ago tabbed Parker as the "worst columnist in America." See the above mentioned rumor spewing and fact twisting.
As for Oswalt, damn straight the Tigers would WANT a pitcher who was often a Cy Young candidate. So would every other major league team. The real question is would the Tigers have enough ammo in their minor league clip to get him?
Of course, the writer I consider the Matt Millen of writing, the 2003 Tigers of columnists, doesn't bring up what it might take to pry Oswalt from the Astros.
We all know the Astros, if they ever get to the point where they'll entertain letting Oswalt go, are going to want plenty in return, an almost unreasonable haul of some combination of major league players and top prospects. The asking price is likely going to be more than the Tigers even have, let alone are willing to give.
I'm sure any discussion initiated with the Astros is going to start with Rick Porcello, and only go up from there. If there is one player Dave Dombrowski has shown he refuses to even consider in trade, it's Porcello.
So a trade for Oswalt isn't going to happen, despite the breathless and pointless speculation by the worst columnist in America.
Parker's "column" does nothing but state the blatantly obvious, such as...
Getting Oswalt would be the right move if the Tigers can make it happen.
When you're in the hunt to win a division, you have to do all you can to get the job done. Sure, Oswalt has $29 million left on his contract for this season and next. But the Tigers will shed a lot of payroll after next season, including Willis' $10-million salary for 2010.
Duh, duh, duh and duh.
Of course the Tigers will do all they can to win the division. But it's also only the last week of May, and the Tigers have not shown they are in any danger of falling out of the Central division race.
So I doubt much of anything happens on the Oswalt front until the calender is closer to the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline. If the Tigers are still in the hunt in July, and I'm guessing they will be, only then will the team explore their trade options.
By that time, Dombrowski may not need to break the prospect bank for Oswalt. If Max Scherzer gets his mechanics straightened out in Toledo (Going by his first start for the Mud Hens, that's already happening.), the Tigers have that 3rd starter Parker goes on and on about.
As usual, Parker's column was exactly what I expected. A waste of my time and much ado about nothing.
Take 75 North has started a series taking a look at positions the Tigers are getting less than league average production, and possible replacements in the minor league system. So far T75N has gone down the rabbit hole at 2nd base and catcher. 2nd base has options (Scott Sizemore, of course), but It's even more ugly that you could imagine at catcher. Seriously, it's painful to read.
Samara once again makes excellent use of her artistic talent in a tribute to Lima Time at Roar of the Tigers.