Oswalt trade rumors hot, but so what? 

May, 25, 2010
5/25/10
2:07
PM ET
Roy Oswalt trade rumors are swirling about, and while I agree that the statistical fate of the Houston Astros starting pitcher can only improve with a trade to a contender, I think fantasy baseball owners might be overrating the situation just a bit.

For one, it's hardly a guarantee Oswalt gets moved, not with the financial commitments on his contract and what figures to be a hefty asking price from the Astros in return. Fantasy owners should never try to acquire a player -- especially a pitcher -- on the premise a real-life trade will so positively affect his statistics that it alters his value. Often that trade never comes. However, I feel like people are viewing Oswalt as a CC Sabathia- or Cliff Lee-type of top pitcher who puts up spectacular numbers following a trade. Now that I don't quite see.

Roy Oswalt
Dennis Wierzbicki/US PresswireRoy Oswalt is quietly pitching very well for Houston.
Yes, Oswalt's 2-6 record has obviously been affected by the team's serious lack of offensive run support. Of the 127 pitchers with 40 or more innings pitched entering Tuesday, Oswalt ranks dead last in run support, getting just 2.66 runs per game. Second-worst in the category is Charlie Morton of the Pittsburgh Pirates, and he's getting 3.27 runs per start. Third-worst is David Huff of the Cleveland Indians at more than a run per game above Oswalt (3.75 runs). That's a huge difference. Oswalt and pretty much every Astros starter is going to have to be really good to win games. While one would assume that changes on a contending team, I would point out that not all contenders score a lot of runs (San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres, Washington Nationals).