Price drops for Oswalt & Kuroda. Time is now for Red Sox to sign Oswalt
According to Buster Olney’s twitter account, the price tag for the big three remaining free-agent pitchers has dropped significantly. Roy Oswalt, Hiroki Kuroda and Edwin Jackson have, what Olney declares as lowered their asking price. Oswalt and Kuroda are still willing to accept a one-year offer, while Jackson’s price has dropped but still wants a four to five-year deal and appears to be out of the picture for Boston.
Olney reports that Oswalt is now seeking a one-year contract worth $8 million while Kuroda’s new price is said to be at $10-$11 million for next season, down from $12-$13 million.
At $8 million for Oswalt, it is now time for Cherington to get busy and sign the former NLCS MVP.
Oswalt, who has spent the past two seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies is recovering from a back injury that was the result of his decreased numbers last year. He went 9-10 with an ERA of 3.69 and a WHIP of 1.338. For his career, his ERA sits at 3.21 and his WHIP is 1.194.
Kuroda has comparable numbers to Oswalt. Last year in LA he went 13-16 with a 3.07 ERA and a 1.213 WHIP. His career numbers in the majors, which is just four years, are 41-46 with a 3.45 ERA and a WHIP of 1.187.
So when comparing the two and deciding which would be the better option for the Red Sox to sign to a one-year deal, I’m taking Oswalt. Why you ask?
Oswalt is three years younger at 34 and despite a history of back problems, he’s played in the crazy sports town of Philadelphia where the fans are ruthless, especially when players don’t perform. Just ask Michael Vick. So he can handle the tough media, the passionate/ruthless fans and he can still put up the numbers. He’s a former 20-game winner, twice with Houston and has logged over 200 innings seven times in eleven seasons in the majors. He’s a proven warrior and if the Red Sox could ever get 28-30 starts out of him then it’d be a huge return on a decent investment.
Kuroda on the other hand has good numbers as of late, but keep in mind he has pitched in the offensively challenged NL West where the lineups don’t measure up to the NL East. Also, ballparks such as Petco Park in San Diego and AT&T Park in San Francisco aren’t exactly short porches where hitters have a hay day.
I’d be worried about Kuroda in the AL East and while Oswalt doesn’t pass the concerns with flying colors either, I deem him to be a more viable option for Boston. He’s experienced and has a cool manner about him, something the Red Sox locker room needs after a circus type atmosphere last season.
Kuroda may not have the injury history that Oswalt does, but in a tight game in the Bronx in September with the division in the balance, I’d want Oswalt over Kuroda on the mound leading the Red Sox.
Cherington has gotten what he’s waited for. A lower price on a pitcher who can help his ball club immediately. The Yankees and Rangers are also said to be highly interested in Oswalt so it would be best if Cherington didn’t wait much longer to land the righty from Mississippi. I don’t see his price dropping much more than this before someone scoops him up. Go on Ben, make your move and satisfy a very eager Red Sox Nation.
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