Lance Berkman made headlines last week for saying he’d be open to a trade and suggesting the Astros would be smart to deal him, and yesterday Roy Oswalt joined him in publicly saying he’d be open to a move.
Oswalt said during an interview with MLB Network Radio that he’d consider waiving his no-trade clause for a move to a “true contender” and, like Berkman, explained why the Astros would be smart to pursue a deal.
When you get to a point where you need to start rebuilding they’re going to start with a guy that’s got a lot of value and I understand that if I’m throwing well that they maybe can get two or three guys that can fill holes that they need.
Obviously the Astros aren’t going to get as much in return for Berkman and Oswalt as they would have, say, two years ago, but whatever they do get back will almost surely help jumpstart the rebuilding process more than a 32-year-old and a 34-year-old. Oswalt has a 2.63 ERA in seven starts and Berkman is hitting well again following knee surgery, so general manager Ed Wade should be working the phones pretty hard.
Oswalt makes $15 million this season and $16 million next season, with a $16 million option or $2 million buyout for 2012. Berkman makes $14.5 million this season with a $15 million option or $2 million buyout for 2011.
The Rockies fell 9-6 to the Orioles on Saturday, but the loss wasn’t without its bright spots. Case in point: Third baseman Nolan Arenado passed a significant career milestone on an Andrew Cashner fastball in the third inning, slugging the ball a projected 394 feet into the left field stands for his 200th career home run.
Arenado is the 34th active player to join the 200+ homer club and the first to do so since the Braves’ Freddie Freeman crossed that threshold on May 19. The three-run shot was the infielder’s 14th of the season and third since Friday, when he went deep twice against Orioles rookie John Means and reliever Shawn Armstrong. Following Saturday’s performance, he’s batting a robust .333/.377/.632 with 30 extra-base hits, 42 RBI, and a 1.009 OPS through 220 plate appearances.
He isn’t the only Rockies slugger making history, either. Arenado’s feat trailed that of Trevor Story, who clobbered an 0-2 pitch from Armstrong during the seventh inning of Friday’s 8-6 win. The two-run blast was his 100th home run in 448 career games, making him the fastest shortstop to reach the mark in MLB history.
The Rockies will vie for the series win as they round out the series on Sunday, with right-hander German Márquez scheduled to take the bump against fellow righty David Hess at 3:10 PM EDT.