Roy Oswalt is still on the MLB open market and his price is reportedly dropping. For a team like the Kansas City Royals, the time might be right to strike on the best available pitcher on the open market.
Oswalt is wanting to turn a one-year cheaper deal into a better one on the free agent market next season. That means that Oswalt is going to be on his best behavior for whoever acquires his services this spring. The 36 year old has been among the better pitchers in baseball for quite some time, and even with his advancing age, he's still a strong frontline starter for most teams. Just last season, Oswalt went 9-10 for the Phillies with a 3.69 ERA. Injuries, however, limited him to 23 starts.
Dave Cameron of Fangraphs still believes he's the best starting pitcher available on the market and that he's a steal at around $8 million.
Cameron writes, "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."
The Royals have made moves to bolster their starting rotation with the trade for Jonathan Sanchez early in the MLB offseason and the resigning of Bruce Chen. However, the team lacks a top starting option and could use a veteran like Oswalt to help mentor the younger pitchers like Danny Duffy on the team. The Royals are also a possible contender in the AL Central with such a dynamic young line-up, and Oswalt would likely excel in a low-pressure market with such reasons for optimism like Kansas City.
If the Royals are going to spend on anything left on the shelves this winter, Oswalt would make a nice addition.