Not only is free agent starting pitcher Roy Oswalt going to pitch in 2012, but the right-hander will apparently be seeking a multi-year deal this winter. Oswalt’s agent, Bob Garber, told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that the pitcher’s “back feels great” and that he is “definitely looking for a long-term contract”.
Earlier this season, the back that is now feeling great had some questioning if Oswalt would ever be able to pitch again. The bulging disk and lingering inflammation had Oswalt contemplating retirement after the 2011 season but that is no longer on the veteran’s mind.
Making 23 starts last season for the Phillies, Oswalt maintained an ERA and WHIP of 3.69 and 1.338 over his 139 innings pitched. Though it was a down year by his standards, Oswalt was able to finish the season strong, holding an earned run average of 3.51 over six September starts.
Following their early playoff exit, the Phillies decided to decline Oswalt’s $16 million option, making the 34-year-old a free agent. Philadelphia and Oswalt’s representation noted a mutual interest in a return, but under the current circumstances I don’t know how likely that will be.
As good as he has been, Oswalt was the Phillies fourth starter in 2011. As much as they might like to keep their ridiculous rotation together, other teams may be willing to out-bid the Phillies for Oswalt’s services once he hits the free agent market.
Combine Oswalt’s career numbers, the need for starting pitching and the weak current class of free agent options, and Roy might just be able to find the multi-year deal he desires.
You can check out all of the available free agents by position below.