My post on Saturday about the Texas Rangers mentions that acquiring a front-line starter should be key for the Rangers and their postseason hopes this summer. And one front line starter that asked to be traded to a contender earlier this season just happens to be Roy Oswalt.

Now, I honestly haven’t followed the rumor mill surrounding Oswalt and the Astros and what teams are interested, but Oswalt to Texas just makes sense. Oswalt is from the south and moving from Houston to Arlington wouldn’t exactly be a cultural shock for him. Texas needs a starter, especially with Derek Holland and Rich Harden currently on the DL, and Oswalt wants to be moved to a contender, and Texas is just that.

The Braves are another team that I think would be interested in Oswalt, and they also could certainly use a veteran starter in a rotation that continues to run Kenshin Kawakami to the mound every fifth day despite his 0-9 record and 4.78 ERA.

Now the Astros continue to say they won’t trade Oswalt just because he wants to be dealt, but I have a problem believing a team that is 26-44 and going nowhere would stand pat and hold onto an all-star pitcher that obviously wants out of there. I believe they will listen to offers and eventually deal him at the deadline.

The problem with Oswalt going to Atlanta is I’m not sure that Braves are anxious to deal one of their young pitchers or hitting prospects in the minors. The Braves aren’t known to trade their prospects for a one- or two-year pitcher no matter what the reward is. The Rangers, on the other hand, have a plethora of pitching prospects in the farm system (which seems to be a norm for them these days) and could get by with trading them due to the young talent already up to the big league team.

At the end of the day the bottom line for if any deal gets done will be the Astros expectations of the return they will get for Oswalt. They aren’t going to get a Jason Heyward-type prospect back. Oswalt doesn’t exactly have the healthiest past with his back and shoulder, plus he turns 33 this August. They may not even get a top prospect in return, but the fact of the matter is the Astros are going nowhere in 2010 or next season, they need to begin the rebuilding process and dealing Oswalt for multiple mid-level prospects is a start.

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