Mike Puma of the NY Post is reporting that “a player friendly with Roy Oswalt ” said the Astros 32-year-old pitcher would approve a deal to the Mets.

The Astros have been in the bottom of the league all season and Oswalt, who has a no-trade clause, told the front office that he would rather be traded than go through a rebuilding process with the team. Because of the no-trade-caluse he has some say in where he lands, and has asked the team to only deal him to a contender.

The Mets have been in need of a veteran pitcher all season long, but until now it was unclear whether or not Oswalt would accept a deal to the Mets because they seem both on the verge of contending and irrelevancy this season. If this is true that he would accept a deal to Flushing, it is unclear whether the Mets will pursue him heavily.

He’s still quite an effective pitcher; he’s got a 3.16 ERA and his losing record has more to do with his team’s weak offense than anything he’s done. The problem is the amount of money he is owed is quite substantial. He is in the fourth year of a five-year deal, and is owed $16 million next season plus a $2 million buyout if the Mets decided against picking up his 2012 option that is worth $16 million (it is almost impossible to imagine them picking up that option).

So unless the Mets decide to add quite a lot of money to their payroll they aren’t likely to make a deal. Houston could eat some of his salary, but it is more likely that they would prefer to keep him rather than do that. If this turned into a deal breaker for the Mets they might be able to convince the Astros to pay some of that salary if they sent some strong prospects to Houston.

This is good news for the Mets, but it remains unclear that they will actually pursue a deal. Still, it’s nice to know that if they want to they can.

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