If you're a baseball fan, you might've noticed that the Houston Astros are bad. At 14-27, they're bringing up the rear in the National League, this a year after finishing 74-88. Their offense has been one of the worst in baseball history to date, and though the roster is littered with recognizable names, those names haven't done enough to keep the team afloat.
And now, on top of all that, one of those names apparently wants to be traded.
The July 31 trading deadline is more than two months away, but one of baseball's best pitchers has asked to be put on the market.
Houston Astros ace Roy Oswalt, a three-time National League All-Star, has asked owner Drayton McLane Jr. to be traded, a source said Friday.
Leaving aside the curiosity of why this story's coming from Chicago, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Oswalt is 32, and he hasn't pitched in the playoffs since 2005. Like anyone, he wants to win, and he can probably read the writing on the wall and understand that the Astros won't be winning any time soon.
Oswalt remains a remarkably effective and durable pitcher. He's made every start so far in 2010, and between 2004-2009, he started 196 games and threw 1301.1 innings. He's established a track record of posting shiny ERA's and striking out more than three times as many guys as he walks, and the whole package is an arm that most any team would be happy to call its #1 or #2. Complicating matters is that Oswalt doesn't come cheap - he has a $15m salary this year, and $16m in 2011 - but it isn't an unworkable situation. If Oswalt truly wants out, there should be some interest in his services, and the Astros should be able to bring back a handful of prospects.
This'll be an interesting situation to monitor. With Oswalt, the Astros are bad. If Oswalt gets dealt - and if others, then, get dealt as well - things could turn historical.
Check out more on the story at The Crawfish Boxes.