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Yankees Starting Pitching - Target #3: Roy Oswalt

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Full speed ahead, our next player in line is a man that the Yankees very nearly acquired in 2010 from the Houston Astros.

Yes, Roy Oswalt is a free agent after the Philadelphia Phillies declined his $16 million option for 2012 last week. Remember, the Astros agreed to pay $11 million of the $23 million Oswalt was owed through the end of the 2011 season. Philadelphia paid approximately $9 million of Oswalt's contract last season and clearly feel he's not worth the $16 million they would have to give him. 

For those that are unfamiliar with Oswalt's career, he's arguably one of the most underrated pitchers of the last decade. While he thrived as the ace of the lousy Astros between 2001 and 2003, he was largely overshadowed by a combination of a rejuvenated Roger Clemens and hometown hero Andy Pettitte between 2004 and 2006.  

Oswalt's career WAR is an astounding 50.2. He has been so good since 2001 that he only trails two pitchers in WAR over that span: Roy Halladay (68.7!) and New York's very own CC Sabathia (57.0). 

To list a few more statistics, Oswalt has a dominating career BB/9 rate of 2.09 that has remained consistent throughout the years, rarely surrenders home runs (HR/9 of 0.76), and a healthy career GB/FB rate of 1.46. 

It's worth noting that all of Roy Oswalt's success has come in the National League. There are obviously questions as to how he'd adjust to better hitters as well as having to deal with a DH rather than a pitcher. However, Oswalt's steady velocity on his pitches and great control of his pitches has helped him master the mound. 

The only factor that's hurting his impending contract would be his lower back injury history. It will more than likely scare off plenty of teams. According to an ESPN New York article from last week, Oswalt has two "degenerative discs" in his lower back and has never had surgery to correct the issue. Instead, he's only had cortisone shots. 

With his excellent track record, it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect a team to offer him a two-year contract worth roughly $28-$30 million. 

For all intents and purposes, it appears that the Yankees will not make a run at Oswalt. 

Good or bad idea?

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