It wasn’t too much of surprise when 33-year-old Roy Oswalt requested a trade from the Astros last week.

After all, the Astros and their awful offense aren’t going anywhere in 2010 and the right-handed Mississippi native isn’t getting any younger.

But, what was surprising was the list of teams Oswalt offered up for teams he’d wave his no-trade clause to go to.

St. Louis, Texas, and the Atlanta Braves.

Two pitching-rich franchises with polished arms in their rotations and an up-and-coming Rangers squad not necessarily in need of a big contract?

No real fits, right?

But, the terms “contender” and “close-to-home” (Oswalt lives in Mississippi) are at least somewhat applicable to all these teams in one way or another.

And since I’m a Braves dude, this seemed like something that’d be cool to at least explore from the Braves’ perspective.

So, without further adieu, we’ll begin the “analysis.”

Oswalt is a grizzled veteran that would make any staff better.

I mean, just look at his 2.66 ERA and 60 strikeouts to 16 (yes, SIXTEEN) walks thus far this season.

Granted, the six-foot-even right-hander is just one year removed from a 4.12 ERA in 181.1 innings… but those were each the worst of his time as an Astros full-time starter (previously, his highest ERA was 3.54 and his lowest innings tally was 208.2) and back problems were abound (and there have been no reported flare-ups in ’10).

And for a guy with 139 career wins that averages 222 IP per season, $19 million isn’t too ungodly for the next two seasons.

If you can add that to the Braves’ pitching recipe to yield Hudson, Hanson, Oswalt, Lowe/Kawakami, and a healthy Jair Jurrjens, you’re bringing some serious at least four out of five days—albeit at a hefty total price tag.

And therein lies the problem with a potential trade for the Braves.

They’d have to drop one of Lowe or Kawakami to even make the cost feasible (with payroll restraints) and would be cutting into budget to further solidify a strength rather than addressing a real issue (the offense—although it has been coming around).

Additionally, the Astros owner Drayton McLane isn’t going to settle for scrubs in any deal and isn’t going to be willing to eat much (is any) salary.

So, basically, you’d be looking at letting some combination out of the crop of Schafer, Teheran, Delgado, Vizcaino, Kimbrel, Bethancourt, Salcedo, Medlen, Venters, and Cody Johnson to get away without giving up a ton .

No, there would be no Chris Resops in this sort of deal.

And that’s why I say, even though Oswalt has expressed a desire to waive his 10/5 rights to come to the Braves, it’s really not worth the cost.

Lowe has showed signs of coming around; Kawakami has pitched 100 times better than his 0-6 record; Hanson has been solid save a couple bad starts; Hudson has been phenomenal; and Medlen has filled in admirably for an ailing Jurrjens (who we all know is ace-like when healthy.

Couple that with the somewhat desperate need for a “big” bat (a la Ty Wigginton, Luke Scott, etc.), and, while he would arguably give the Braves the best rotation in baseball, Oswalt’s presence isn’t needed for the price (in monetary and farm terms) he’d come at.

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