As I wrote earlier, instead of going through countless rumors about these three pitchers (speaking of which, see what I mean?), let’s do something a little different. If you were a GM in the majors right now and forget about ballpark and league switches, no-trade clauses or what prospects you would have to give up, which pitcher would you want for the remainder of the season to try to shore up the rotation for a playoff run—Roy Oswalt, Dan Haren or Ted Lilly?

It may not be as clear-cut as you think, but let’s break down the numbers…

Haren (29 yrs old) is having a down year by his standards with a 4.60 ERA in 141 ip, one complete game and 9.0 K/9, 1.9 BB/9 with a 2.6 WAR. His strikeout/walk ratio is still very good, but he’s giving up home runs at a crazy pace already allowing 23 home runs. Haren’s ERA is most likely a bit unlucky though as he BABIP (batting average on balls in play) is high at .350.

Oswalt (32 yrs old) has made 19 starts in 2010, posting a 3.12 ERA in 124 innings with one complete game as well. He has an 8.5 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 while 11 home runs. Despite a much lower ERA than Haren, Oswalt’s WAR is 2.9, just 0.3 better than Haren, which is an indication that Haren has pitched better than his ERA shows this year.

Last by not least is Cubs starter Ted Lilly. Lilly (34 yrs old) sports a 3.88 ERA through 17 starts in 111.1 IP. He does not own a complete game this year and has a 6.5 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 while serving up 19 long balls. Lilly’s WAR value is just 1.0, significantly lower than Haren and Oswalt, but Lilly’s last two starts have been stellar with a 2.51 ERA, including 10 strikeouts on July 21 to possible raise his trade value.

Oswalt has had the better overall career to this point, there’s no denying that, but his health history isn’t the greatest and you never know when his back problems will creep up. Moreover, at 29 years of age Haren is younger than both Oswalt and Lilly. Therefore I rank the pitchers I would want in this order: Haren, Oswalt and Lilly. I think Haren has more to offer at this time and when he’s on, he can be one of the top pitchers in the game. His BAPIP indicates that he’s been unlucky, so I think he poised to have a sterling second half and suddenly pitching in a pennant race may just be what he needs to turn it up a notch.

Haren is also slightly cheaper than Roy. Haren is owed $12.75MM in 2011 and 2012 while Oswalt gets $16MM next year with a club option for 2012. Lilly ($13MM this year) would be more of a rent-a-player since he will become a free agent next year. Haren or Oswalt could give you a couple of years of top of the rotation stuff.

Out of the three, who would you want to help pitch your team into the playoffs?

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