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Nationals GM Mike Rizzo is mum on Roy Oswalt report

The Nationals have "expressed interest" in trading for Houston Astros starter Roy Oswalt, according to a report on the Nationals official Web site. While General Manager Mike Rizzo did not confirm or deny the interest, he intimated the Nationals have been active in pursuing players and praised Oswalt.

"We have interest in a lot of people," Rizzo said. "We're always on the phones, we're always doing our due diligence on players. Oswalt is a tremendous competitor and a tremendous pitcher."

Oswalt, whose contract includes a no-trade clause, has officially requested the Astros trade him to a contender. Whether or not the Nationals want to acquire Oswalt, it seems unlikely a deal could be struck.

First, the Nationals would have to part with pieces of a farm system they have made a priority to stock. Second, they would have to take on Oswalt's contract, and Oswalt, 32, is owed $15 million this season and $16 million next year. Third, Oswalt would have to green-light a trade to Washington. The Nationals have thrust themselves into position to contend, but Oswalt would still have to accept a trade to a team that carries a stigma of having lost 100-plus games in two consecutive seasons.

Speaking in general, Rizzo said the Nationals 23-22 start to the season will not alter their preexisting design to build their roster.

"We have a plan," Rizzo said. "We've had a plan since January. We're going to follow through with the plan. We're on the same path that we thought we would be."

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 23, 2010; 6:12 PM ET
 
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Comments

Another dead cyber-tree pablum piece presented by Nats MLB Beater Bill Ladson.

An Oswalt trade would mean...., JZIMM, Ross Detwiller and probably a A or AA like Michael Burgess, Chris Marrero or Danny Espinosa. On top of that after the Marquis 15M folley do you actually think Uncle Ted will be a part of paying anyone 31M. Like they say in NY "fagetaboutit". Oh yeah and does Roy want to play for a team only a tiny bit closer to the playoffs then the current one he is on?

Posted by: TippyCanoe | May 23, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Is Oswalt worth more now than, say, Bedard was worth at that time? Five prospects, two of them top-shelf?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 23, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Tippy, I don't think the Astros would do that deal.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 23, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

This has been a very enjoyable season for the Nats, and they certainly could be in a position to contend for a wild card spot through August. The team is going through the hardest part of its schedule, and if it is at .500 around July 1 they could make a move. Right now, the biggest uncertainty is starting pitching and that may settle down with Strasburg set to join in June, and Wang, Detwiler and Marquis getting healthy (Marquis clearly needed surgery to clean his elbow back in spring training; expect him to return to form in July or so). Big ifs, but not entirely far fetched. Oswalt would be a huge addition, but it really depends on what Houston wants. Perhaps Houston wants to restock its farm system, in which case the Nats could deal. Giving up a player like Zim or Dunn would be nuts but a hotshot prospect may make some sense. In the end, the Nats have the right approach. Pick him up if the price is right and you can get him without taking any unnecesary risks but do not alter the plan. Any contention this year is gravy -- the plan was to be contending no earlier than next year.

The bigger news is that the Nats are even in the conversation as a buyer and not a seller. That means they are getting noticed around the league and the future is brightening.

Posted by: haunches | May 23, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

At 32 and with some spotty back injury issues, I'm not sure I'd trade much for him. Clearly he is a fantastic pitcher, but I don't want to trade 2012-2015 for a long shot at a wild card in 2010. Just my two cents.

Posted by: HenryStin | May 23, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Little to no chance of happening looking at both organizations. We want and need him yes, but its only wishful thinking. STAY THE COURSE AND JUST FIGHT TO WIN ON THAT ONE DAY, EACH DAY.

Posted by: DMcCall2 | May 23, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Interesting trade rumor, id go after Oswalt, however I wouldn't give up much of anything to get him.

This club has done far better this year than expected.
That being said, what they[sic] are doing has been working.

The Nat's front office work this off season will be fun to keep on.

Posted by: dashriprock | May 23, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo is just stiring the pot. We would have to give too much up for him. Great win today!! The Hammer hammers!!

Posted by: ehardwick | May 23, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

The Nationals have always maintained that there are two reasons farm systems are important. One of them is a strong farm system with many prospects enables you to make trades.

If I were the Nationals, I'd try hard to make a deal...Oswalt is under contract for next year, too.

Here is what I am willing to give up:

Chris Marrero
Stephen Souza

Posted by: AnonymousSources | May 23, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

The Nationals have always maintained that there are two reasons farm systems are important. One of them is a strong farm system with many prospects enables you to make trades.

If I were the Nationals, I'd try hard to make a deal...Oswalt is under contract for next year, too.

Here is what I am willing to give up:

Chris Marrero
Steven Souza
Derek Norris
Brad Meyers

Further, I would take on his full salary.

Posted by: AnonymousSources | May 23, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

In the past two years, I have learned two things: First, Mike Rizzo knows what he is doing, and will continue to do the right thing. Second, The Lerners will spend money for quality players.

Posted by: cr8oncsu | May 23, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Here is what I am willing to give up:

Chris Marrero
Steven Souza
Derek Norris
Brad Meyers

Further, I would take on his full salary.


Roy Oswalt: too many back injuries, too many innings, Nats are not "real contenders" in 2010....I'll pass on this trade and continue to build within the organization and make trades for lesser "names" but who can make key contributions.

Posted by: CHAMP1464 | May 23, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

The SP for the Nats is an absolute joke right now. If they want to make a playoff run, they need to upgrade their SP by leaps and bounds.

Roy brings a HUGE, HUGE upgrade.

Is he a risk? Yes....but a risk worth taking BAR NONE if we want to win

Posted by: Bious | May 23, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm in the 'lerners don't spend enough money' camp, but oswalt's salary far exceeds his value at this point in his career-- would rather see the Nats try to steal Kevin millwood from the o's

Posted by: swanni | May 23, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Pitching is still a weakness but there are other strengths that are compensating for the weaknesses. That guy is too close to being old and too costly to add at this time. Strasburg is coming and there are other prospects coming with him so we should be okay for this year. Ride it out and maintain team continuity for a year. As fans, we at least need a chance to know the members of the team.

Posted by: Carole5520 | May 23, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm in the 'lerners don't spend enough money' camp, but oswalt's salary far exceeds his value at this point in his career-- would rather see the Nats try to steal Kevin millwood from the o's

Posted by: swanni | May 23, 2010 8:22 PM |
___________________________

Interesting thought...
Question then becomes, what would it take?

IMO, I would dangle Marrero, if for no other reason than he seems better suited as a DH, and another lower level prospect for Millwood and a prospect.

Posted by: TimDz | May 23, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang....wow! Do we EVER have a victory that ain't anxiety inducing...gut twisting......nerve wracking?....(I missed the blowout in Denver). And after each, Riggs and the players talk about it's importance, how it can get us going,,,,,only to eke out another win- But HEY- I'll TAKE it!!!
Now, that said...is there anyone else out there who thinks that Hammer is a better bet in "high leverage" situations than Paul "Adam Dunn"yan? Not a knock, but seems like the Hammer's been our silencer.
Hooo-Whee!!! Last good west coast swing I recall was when Frank and Mike Scosia got into it, so we're due...(for that and a lot more by my reckoning).
Some other thoughts:nice to see Nyjer have a decent game..and Adam Jones' drop was nice, too(sorry-as a general rule I try to never take satisfaction from another players misfortune or miscues). Glad Capps got that out of the way..and the rest of the pen performed splendidly.Lannan looked better, too....how nice was it to listen to Palmer in the booth?....as for Oswalt-no thanks;too pricey and balky the last few seasons.Lets not get TOO far ahead of ourselves...besides, mebbe the Slow Lerners are saving for the day when they have to outbid the Yanks for Jay-zuss.But I wouldn't mind Cliff Lee for next year!(Along with Werth or Crawford!).And I'm sure many of you saw the joke about Nick Johnson getting injured while getting operated on for his injury.
O.K....I'm exhausted....gotta rest for the 10p.m. starts, eh??? And God love 'em,...
GO NATS!!!

Posted by: zendo | May 23, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Have to agree that this is a great piece of discussion to get the Nats name out there as serious consideration for names in the future. I concur that it is nice to be considering being a Buyer rather than Seller for a change!

But, I just don't see it making sense for either team. Great job by Rizzo to get the Nats some positive publicity right now!

Posted by: mo_dc | May 23, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

At the game today, I noticed "Jordan Zimmerman" among the birthday messages and wondered whether the reference was to our pitcher. After looking at the roster just now, I see that it is, indeed, his b'day today. Wonder who paid for the announcement? Anyway, best wishes to the birthday boy.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 23, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, evidently I dropped this "n."

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 23, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

They've been talking about Chris Marerro for years. He must be 30 by now. Ought to give him a shot. He can join our other mendoza liners. Sara Gray who sang "God Bless America" is hot.

Posted by: lp_lodestar | May 23, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

If this happens I would be shocked. About the only way this makes any sense is if Kasten/Rizzo believe this is a year they can win the wild card. Then they could justify the move in hopes the fans would respond and they could sell more tickets this and next year. I hope they don't do this. I've always been a fan of the "plan" and I hope they continue to draft and develop our own players. I'm willing to be patient because I have confidence that we're moving the right direction.

Posted by: grforbes | May 23, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

It is great to see players like Oswalt as least under consideration for the Nats.
Houston is bad this year. I would give up maybe a couple of minor league guys (including Norris) and Marrero/Espinosa, etc., for sure. I would not give up anyone in our starting line-up for now. I wouldn't give up Guzman because he is looking like the second baseman we need for the next few years.

Posted by: shred11 | May 23, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

It is great to see players like Oswalt as least under consideration for the Nats.
Houston is bad this year. I would give up maybe a couple of minor league guys (including Norris) and Marrero/Espinosa, etc., for sure. I would not give up anyone in our starting line-up for now. I wouldn't give up Guzman because he is looking like the second baseman we need for the next few years.

Posted by: shred11 | May 23, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Except they aren't trying to win the wild card one year. They're trying to build a strong franchise for years to come. If they can get a deal, sure, go for it, but remember, this is all apparently based on one Ladson tweet--no more.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 23, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

And can we please lay off the "trade our 205-loss castoffs for another team's best player" silliness? I mean, please.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 23, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

First and foremost the Lerners are not going to take on that contract and obtaining Oswalt doesn't make us automatic contenders,look Oswalt is very good he would be the ace of this staff but that contract is waaayyy out there so Rizzo just stay the course.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 23, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Slow and steady wins the race. Build that farm system!

Posted by: colemanNC | May 23, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Zendo, you are right on, on all points. Oswalt is a nice pitcher, but he's not coming here.

I have to admire how the Hammer so wanted to pump his fist after the homer, but being the great pro that he is, he held it in and wasn't so demonstrative to invite a payback.
Still, watching the replay, I noticed Lugo kicked some dirt on him as he ran by.

Posted by: nats24 | May 24, 2010 1:31 AM | Report abuse

Not really intersted in Oswalt. But can someone explain to me why Nieves would be setting up low and outside on Lugo, where he could simply just lay out his bat and clink a bloop to the opposite field rather than bust him hard inside where he is helpless against Capps fastball? Seems kind of obvious. Am I missing something?

Posted by: dovelevine | May 24, 2010 1:44 AM | Report abuse

With Strasburg on an innings limit getting to the playoffs in position to win some games seems far fetched this year. If Stras is pitching in postseason, having 2 #1 starters gets you somewhere. So they must be thinking next year. It's not my money but it's only a 2 year commitment so I don't think it's a barrier.

We fans tend to overvalue our prospects, but that's what they are - prospects. In Rizzo I trust. Go get the pitcher. You need great players to win.

Brother, what a change of pace this conversation is - Nats? Playoffs? Straight face? Really?

Posted by: utec | May 24, 2010 6:05 AM | Report abuse

I saw Lugo kick dirt on Willingham as well. Nice. Howz 'bout Stasburg sticking one in his ear next time around? A classless act from a classless banjo hittler on a classless team playing for a classless owner in a dump of a town.

Posted by: Natstoyou | May 24, 2010 7:00 AM | Report abuse

I'm not so worried about the Oswalt salary, lord knows the Lerners could afford that if they wanted to spend the money. I don't however want to mortgage the farm system which is not as yet built up enough to warrant a major trade like this. Perhaps in a couple years it may be, but not now. Lets just have a nice year and see what happens this off season when more moves by magical Mike take place.

Posted by: cokedispatch | May 24, 2010 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of Baltimoreans, people need to get on over to Goessling's blog on the MASN site and vote for their fave moment from the series. Currently running away with the poll? The inside-the-parker. That's just wrong. :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 24, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of Baltimoreans, people need to get on over to Goessling's blog on the MASN site and vote for their fave moment from the series. Currently running away with the poll? The inside-the-parker. That's just wrong. :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 24, 2010 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Virtually no chance we get Oswalt. Rizz won't give away the farm (system) that they have been bulding for so long.

Posted by: shanks1 | May 24, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

IN RIZZO WE TRUST!!!!! Let the GM of the year do his thing. GO MIKE!!!!!

Posted by: eddie5 | May 24, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

"We have a plan," Rizzo said. "We've had a plan since January. We're going to follow through with the plan. We're on the same path that we thought we would be."

January?

I coulda swored I'd been reading about The Plan since about 2005. Live and learn.

Posted by: gilbertbp | May 24, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

It kills me when a GM says "We're going to follow through with the plan." Ridiculous. Roster assembly just does not work that way -- it is opportunism that makes a club not some strict adherence to a plan. (And as an asside, since when have the Nats been following any plan other than don't spend even moderate level money?) Players become available, expendable, hurt, etc. Rizzo does not have a plan for every contingency, no one could. Other clubs have needs/surplusses and may be willing to go the extra mile for some piece. Guys produce above or below expectations, etc. No GM has a plan as to exactly what they'd do when a healthy Roy Oswalt with a full no trade clause becomes available in May.

Anyway, the Nats should go after the guy. To sweeten the deal to get the guy here, add an option year on for 2012 that pays Roy $18M if they exercise $3-5M if they don't. Oswalt, a true Ace, at the top would be a thing of beauty for this club. Instant credibility as a 2010 contender with that move alone.

Posted by: dfh21 | May 24, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

"I coulda swored I'd been reading about The Plan since about 2005. Live and learn"

__________________________________________

The Lerners haven't owned the team since 05, so I'm not sure what you're referring to

Posted by: JDB1 | May 24, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

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