Houston Astros ace pitcher Roy Oswalt has asked owner Drayton McLane Jr. to trade him by this year’s trade deadline.

The catch is that Oswalt has a no-trade clause and has asked that he be traded to a contending team. He also makes $15 million this year and is under contract for $16 million next year with a $16 million club option for 2012.

That leaves the Mets, who have as big a pitching need as any team in baseball, as sort of a question mark. Assuming the two teams could work out a deal together, a question mark in of itself, Oswalt might decide that he doesn’t want any part of the Mets and veto a deal.

There is also the question of whether or not the Mets can afford taking on that big of a contract. I have always assumed that they can handle a contract like that no matter what they say, but they did pass on John Lackey and Joel Pineiro this offseason. Attendance has also been down, which hurts the team’s spending.

Last week Mike Puma of the NY Post wrote that fans shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for the Mets to trade for Oswalt as the team seems so strapped for cash that they have stopped short of eating even $1.8 million that they owe outfielder Gary Matthews Jr.

That might not be the entire story though. It is possible, although admittedly unlikely, that the reason why they are tight for cash is because they are saving up for a big deal like this at the trade deadline.

Right now there has been nothing leaked that makes us believe that a deal for Oswalt to any team is imminent, so this could be a long drawn out process. Astros’ GM Ed Wade was also quoted saying something like, and I’m paraphrasing here until I can find the exact quote, “He has a no-trade clause, not a trade-me clause.” That translates to—we’ll trade him if it makes sense for us to trade him.

So there is nothing to say that he definitely will get traded. There is also no way of knowing right now if he would veto a trade to Flushing. On top of all of that, there is no way to know if the Astros like the Mets prospects enough that they would accept a deal.

Roy Oswalt is on the trading block right now, but it is way too early to tell if he is coming to Flushing or not. Wait and see.

What are your thoughts? Will the Mets get serious in pursuit of a pitcher of Oswalt’s skill level?


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