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The 34-year-old right-hander is exactly what the Red Sox need. He’s a proven veteran with an extensive track record and a history of big-game experience.
The three-time All-Star has finished in the top six of the Cy Young voting six times in 11 seasons and boasts a lifetime record of 159-93 with a 3.69 ERA.
The fact that he’s willing to play next season on a one-year contract before jumping back into free agency in 2013 is a gift from above as the Red Sox methodically conduct this offseason under patient general manager Ben Cherington.
Herald | One year of Roy Oswalt fits in with Sox' plan
Yesterday, Roy Oswalt announced he'd be willing to take a one-year deal to help re-establish his market value. Hopefully, Ben Cherington had a similar reaction as John Tomase did.
He is indeed a good fit. Yes, he'd push us into luxury tax territory. But isn't this the kind of risk that's worth taking? One year for a proven veteran who isn't always hurt (Sox management usually prefers the latter, though). He'd get a big-time spotlight to help with his next free agent push (not that he couldn't get that in Philadelphia). The change of scenery would at least show that he can do it in the AL -- if indeed he can do it in the AL.
The only way Oswalt isn't a good fit is if such a signing would make it harder to fill the bullpen appropriately. I've already talked about my distaste for Francisco Cordero, and I feel the same way about Ryan Madson, so that's not what I mean. If we're not signing a guy like Oswalt, I'd rather see us bring in a handful of relatively strong relievers and hope a couple stick. I know, that sounded dangerously close to closer-by-committee, but we're a little short on options at this point. (Or we could roll the dice on the bullpen cheaply and make a run at Yoenis Cespedes, but that's for another day.)
I'm not head over heels for Oswalt or anything. He only pitched 133 innings last year, and is getting older. After toiling away in obscurity for years, he dazzled in 82 innings for Philadelphia in 2010. Maybe he enjoys the spotlight. We should at least see if he'd be interested in our spotlight. As always, the price tag is important, but if we could get a big year out of him without any long-term risk, that would be pretty great.
Globe | Can the Red Sox make a major move? | ESPNBoston | Adrian Gonzalez has positive outlook | CSNNE | Red Sox now escalating their search for pitching | Cespedes, possible Sox target, to accept bids next month | Source: Sox shifting Bogar to bench coach