Did the Detroit Tigers make the right call on Roy Oswalt?


Roy Oswalt has signed with the Texas Rangers, and the Detroit Tigers may get to see him pitch in the very near future. The difference between him being a Ranger and a Tigers is about 4 million bucks and the daily lineups for each team. Tigers’ General Manger Dave Dombrowski says he made an offer to Oswalt this past off season that was in line with what his camp was asking for. It seems pretty safe to assume that the offer made by the Tigers was in the 4 million dollar range. However, Oswalt looked at the defense that was going to be behind him each and every outing and declined saying he didn’t want to pitch atComericaPark(which is a garbage excuse since it is after all a pitcher friendly facility).

About a month after the start of the regular season Dombrowski says Oswalt’s people approached the Tigers again. This time saying he was willing to play, and probably thinking he could make a difference on this roster. Dombrowski declined that offer, and that is where we come to a fork in the road. The Tigers seemed willing to let someone win the fifth starters job in spring training, and so far have been pretty comfortable with that decision. Drew Smyly has been ok, but with the injury to Doug Fister why not sign Oswalt and see what he could bring to the table. We still don’t know if Fister will be back long term, or how effective he will be when he does. If this in fact happened a month ago, then Oswalt likely would have had a few tune up starts and 1 to 3 starts with the big team. The Tigers would have way more options at this point, and quite possibly a few more wins.

Granted we do not have all the facts yet, but in a season coming off the rails why not spend four million to give the team options down the road? Why not take a flyer on Oswalt for 2012? Those kinds of moves have worked for this team before (Kenny Rogers was very good in his first season inDetroit). The Tigers looked like a team to be all in on a World Series run this year why turn down Oswalt a month ago? Especially when we consider the Tigers had all the leverage in negotiations then and may have gotten him for a little else money.

It seems to me that the Tigers made an error here. Casey Crosby especially and Drew Smyly as well could have used another year of minor league seasoning. The Tigers still would have had Drew available to make spot starts here and there, or with Fister on the DL had him and Oswalt in the starting rotation. Not to mention Rick Porcello has not exactly let the world on fire so having an extra arm seems to have been the better way to go.

Granted Oswalt may be a total and complete disaster, we will have to see how this plays out before making a final decision on the mater.

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