It's that time of year. It's the middle of January, and Roy Oswalt, Hiroki Kuroda and Edwin Jackson are free agents. Those pitchers have been holding out for X, but according to a Buster Olney tweet, they are now seeking < X. I shouldn't really put this on the pitchers. This is about their agents. It's always about the agents, except for when it's Jamie Moyer.
Olney made a note of saying that Oswalt is now looking for about $8 million over a year. This is just a little report on Twitter, so who knows, but, Roy Oswalt? For a year and $8 million?
At FanGraphs, Dave Cameron writes about how he loves that price. For a buyer.
At $8 million for one year, the line for Roy Oswalt should be out the door. I’d venture to go so far as to argue that any contender with enough money to spend is wasting a potential golden opportunity by letting him sit out on the market any longer. At that price, Oswalt might just be the biggest bargain of the winter.
There’s not much in his 2011 performance that suggests a healthy Oswalt took any real step backwards as a pitcher. When he was throwing at normal velocity, he was still pitching at a the level of a +3 to +4 win pitcher, and that was the type of ability he was showing when the season ended.
Basically, Oswalt was hurt last year, but when he wasn't hurt, he was really good, and he finished the season not hurt. So while there is the obvious injury red flag, Oswalt is probably good to go for the time being. Sorry if I gave it all away.
Long-term contracts for free agent pitchers usually turn out bad. Short-term contracts for free agent pitchers often turn out good. Roy Oswalt for one guaranteed year and a seven-figure salary? At that price, he should attract so many suitors that he...ends up with an eight-figure salary, probably. Huh.