That’s the world from Ken Rosenthal, who says that the Astros’ efforts to make a deal for Roy Oswalt are being thwarted by:
- Money. We knew this, of course. Oswalt is owed about $6 million more this season and $16 million in 2011;
- Oswalt: Rosenthal suggests that Oswalt is getting cute with his no-trade clause, and that the teams he will or will not agree to be traded to is a “moving target.” and
- The front office: Ed Wade is trying to “hit a home run” in terms of prospects, while not being all that willing to kick in any money in the deal. Those two concepts don’t really go together.
Is it just me, or does it sound like no one in Houston is all that hot to deal Oswalt? Oswalt made the trade demand to kick all this off, but since then I haven’t gotten the sense that he really wants to go. If he did, he’d be less fussy about the no-trade, right? The Astros, it seems, would love to keep the guy around. It’s like they’re shopping him simply because a critical mass of people have said they should be.
And that critical mass is not really wrong. But if neither the team nor the player have their hearts in it, why bother?
The Mariners are in the midst of reconstructing their roster, a process which most recently resulted in the trade of first baseman/DH Edwin Encarnación to the Yankees, per a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan. While the teams have yet to publicly confirm the deal, the Mariners are expected to receive pitching prospect Juan Then and will likely eat a significant portion of Encarnación’s salary as well.
Encarnación is a sizable get for the Yankees, who could benefit from the veteran’s power and consistency in their ongoing drive toward the postseason. The 36-year-old infielder missed some time with a bout of lower back tightness, dental issues, and soreness in his left hand, but has still maintained a decent .241/.356/.531 batting line with an AL-best 21 home runs, an .888 OPS, and 1.7 fWAR through his first 289 plate appearances of the year. Per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, Encarnación has another $11-12 million left on his contract in 2019, with a $20 million option for the 2020 season and a $5 million buyout.
Then, 19, was acquired by the Yankees in a three-person trade with the Mariners during the 2017 offseason. The right-hander currently ranks no. 27 in the Yankees’ system and made his last pro ball appearance for New York’s rookie-level affiliate in 2018, pitching to a 2.70 ERA, 2.0 BB/9, and 7.6 SO/9 across 50 innings. It’s not clear if any other players are involved in the trade, though USA Today’s Bob Nightengale notes that no other prospects are thought to be included in the package for Encarnación.