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Mets Already Have Roy Oswalt

By Mike Silva ~ July 30th, 2010. Filed under: Mike Silva.

What if I told you a player the Mets acquired midseason would have a 7-4 record and a 2.32 ERA? Would you consider that a good “in season” acquisition? One of the biggest midseason acquisitions the Mets ever made was acquiring Frank Viola – coming off a Cy Young season – from the Minnesota Twins. Frank V. was a pedestrian 5-5 with a 3.97 ERA in a season the Mets lost the division by six games.

I know Mets fans are wringing their hands about how everyone seems to be acquiring talent, but midseason acquisitions don’t always pay dividends. Very few achieve what Doyle Alexander (9-0, 1.53) did with the 1987 Tigers. In that case it only cost Detroit John Smoltz’s career. Yes, the Phillies got better by acquiring Roy Oswalt, but all they did was get their rotation to the same level as the Mets (the gap between the two teams didn’t exist there). As a matter of fact, the Mets already have their Roy Oswalt and his name is R.A Dickey.

Yes, Dickey doesn’t have the resume of Oswalt. However, outside of the name, both pitchers have been extremely comparable this year:

R.A. Dickey: 7-4 record, 2.32 ERA

Roy Oswalt: 6-12, 3.42 ERA

In a lot of ways Dickey has been better. He doesn’t have an overinflated BABIP (.296), the K rate is a solid 6 per nine, as well as a more than respectable FIP of 3.25. Oswalt in comparison has a bit lower BABIP (.283), strikes out slightly more (8.4 per nine), and a comparable 3.40 FIP. There really is no indication that either pitcher is extremely lucky, even for someone like Dickey who pitches to slightly more contact than Oswalt. Going into yesterdays action Dickey was actually outperforming Oswalt significantly if you take ERA+ into consideration (158 to 120). Also, Dickey has been great at Citi Field (ERA under 2.00), but his 2.81 ERA on the road is more than respectable.

The Mets could have used Cliff Lee or Dan Haren, but Roy Oswalt would have probably cost them Jonathan Niese and a couple of prospects. No thanks, considering you already have a facsimile in the rotation. Instead, acquiring a bullpen arm, bench bat, or fifth starter (see Tom Gorzelanny if on the cheap) would be more effective. Of course, all those things seem to be expensive, but let’s see what August brings. Easy to hold out now, but when Alex Anthopoulos is staring at draft picks for Scott Downs, perhaps he blinks and comes back to earth with his demands.

You shouldn’t be ready to give R.A Dickey a 3 year contract, but he seems to have figured something out at age 35. Don’t think a knuckleballer can be an elite pitcher? Look at Phil Niekro’s stats from 1968 to about 1979. Realistically the Mets may have found a #3 starter for the next few years, but right now he is pitching like the 1A ace the Phillies acquired in Roy Oswalt. Don’t be surprised they shake out very similar statistically over the next couple of years.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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23 Responses to Mets Already Have Roy Oswalt

  1. Patrick

    thanks but that is like turning a crap sundae into slightly less nuts crap sundae

  2. Mike Silva


    That’s a little unfair. I am not comparing Dickey to the Oswalt of 5 years ago, but the current version. When you consider contract, prospects, and upside their isn’t much of a difference.

    I don’t think Dickey is a flash in the pan.

  3. kranepool

    A very good reliable source has told me Omar has put in for a vacation day for tomorrow.

  4. Patrick

    I am not down on Dickey at all, and frankly Oswalt bothers me less than Haren. I refuse to believe that the Mets could not have created a package for Haren or Oswalt for that matter that might have centered around Mike Pelfrey and two minor leaguers. Hell if Astros are actually giving the Phillies cash, Minaya conceivably could have dealt Pelfrey, Perez and two minor leaguers and just paid Oswalt.

    He lacks creativity and foresight, that and he is married to his picks/signees as if they are all the cats meow. He has done a hap hazard job with player development and he has held on to wishful prospects like Fernando Martinez too long and it has paralyzed him.

    This is not an indictment on Dickey, it is an indictment on Minaya. I can’t believe that six years has gone by so fast, but I also can’t believe it has gone from 2006 to the count down to his canning for me.

    He is a man of half measures.

    Btw…watch him deal one of his better prospects for Ted Lilly or Jake Westbrook. Tell me you cant feel that coming.

  5. Mike Silva

    I would trade Pelfrey for Haren, but not Oswalt. Just not convinced Roy wants the big stage of NY

  6. john

    Sure. And the Mets already have Johan Santana. And they still need more starting pitching. And they also have Wright and Davis. And they still need more hitting. And they already have K-Rod. And they still need more bullpen help.

    Now, I agree that mid-season trades never work out. And maybe whatever deal they needed to make to get Oswalt wouldn’t have been a good one. But your argument? It’s worse than a bad mid-season trade.

  7. Chris

    wow…. This is the essence of idiocy.

  8. nik

    This is the worst logic i’ve ever seen from a baseball article.

  9. Mike Silva is an idiout

    Which three would you take?

    Johan Santana 3.11 era/8-5/94so/1.23 whip
    Mike Pelfrey 4.00 era/10-5/72so/1.51 whip
    R.A. Dickey 2.32 era/ 7-4/ 62so/ 1.16 whip

    Roy Halladay 2.21 era/12-8/149so/1.02 whip
    Cole Hamels 3.48 era/7-7/128so/1.3 whip
    Roy Oswalt 3.42 era/ 6-12/120so/1.11 whip

    If your happy with the mets rotation and loosing than your right the mets don’t need any pitching help. Midseason trades never work I’ll give you two examples in the past 2 years CLIFF LEE and C.C. SABATHIA. ONE CARRIED A TEAM TO THE WORLD SERIES THE OTHER TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS

  10. Frank

    Your contention that Phillies only “got their rotation to the same level as the Mets” with the Oswalt deal is an exercise in willful ignorance. You lost most of your credibility with that statement. Even accepting the RA Dickey revelation as permanent (and a late blooming knuckle-baller is very possible), both the hard numbers (somewhat close but not really) and the peripherals (not even in the same league) clearly demonstrate the Phils rotation to be far superior to the Mets in every conceivable way.

    Maybe the easist way to look at it is – what do you think the breakdown would be if you asked every MLB GM to choose either the Mets top three or the Phils top three for this and next season? If your answer is anything other than 30 phillies and 0 mets, I would love an explanation.

  11. Jason

    hey mike silva. this is jason from philadelphia. how can you compare r.a. dickey to roy oswalt numbers and career wise? you must be on something my friend.

  12. Brian

    Hi Mike,

    Sorry, but I have to comment. I am a Phillies fan but I am honestly trying to wrap my head around two things:

    1. R. A. Dickey = Oswalt
    2. The Phillies “got their rotation to the same level as the Mets”

    1.You can throw the comparison of records out the window between these two pitchers, because Oswalt received some of the worst run support in the league from one of the worst teams in the league. Also, you mentioned that Oswalt strikes out ‘slightly’ more per nine. The difference is 2.5 batters per nine. There is nothing slight about that. The Phillies are also a better fielding team than the astros, so don’t you think that will help?

    2. I can’t believe this would be uttered out loud or in print. I honestly don’t have the time to go into all the levels of idiocy in that statement. I am not calling you an idiot, just that your statement lacks any logic. I think you are being a little emotional in your reporting of ‘facts.’

  13. Mike Silva


    I never said career wise, I said this year going forward

  14. BW

    I would like to thank you for making me laugh so hard my sides started to hurt.
    So let me guess the Mets already have a Cole Hamels in Oliver Perez? How about Ike Davis is better then Ryan Howard, Castillo is better the Utley.
    You should write for the Onion.

  15. Mike Silva

    Actually, I said the gap exists between the two teams in other areas. The Mets are in the top 5 in pitching, starting pitching hasn’t been their problem.

  16. Jay

    Yeah, nobody in their right mind would ever even consider R.A. Dickey in the same league as Roy Oswalt. Hell, I’d rather have the guy the Phils traded to get Oswalt, J.A. Happ, than Dickey. Sorry dude, but whatever you’re smoking I’d lay off of for a little while…

  17. JimmyK

    I’ll give you a mulligan on this one, Mike, because really… I mean really… You’re not serious with this, are you?

  18. Mike Silva


    When you look at the #’s this season and the age/decline of Oswalt, I don’t think its crazy to see Dickey outperform him the next couple of years. I have watched Dickey, he is not your ordinary knuckleball pitcher, he has velocity and great control. I think Dickey can be a #3 starter if he stays healthy. Not sure Oswalt will continue to be more than that (certainly not as good as Hamels/Halladay) the rest of his contract.

    Again, the Phils made a great deal, but the Mets couldn’t justify giving up Niese (better than Happ anyway) when they have Dickey.

  19. Avlis Ekim

    LoL @ This Article! Nice try, though.

  20. phightinphils

    in response to your last comment: “the aging/decline of oswalt”… really? he’s 32, had a less than stellar season last year (4.12 era) compared to 3.42 so far this season. if you take last year out – and don’t include this year so far as it’s incomplete… he has a career era of 3.11. so yea, he had a “down” year (at 4.12 which is more average than 2009 brad lidgean numbers) and this year seems to be a ‘rebound’ year as per your definition of his career trends… i’ll take a career 3.24 (current listing on baseball-reference.com) over a 35 year old ‘late bloomer’ in dickey. i mean come on, even the dude’s name is turrible (think: sir charles/taco bell).

  21. Mike Silva

    Again, the Phils and Mets are in different situations.

    I don’t think the Mets would have received the $11 million in salary relief. Plus giving up Jonathon Niese is robbing Peter to pay Paul. You guys are looking at this in the vacuum. I do think you are underrating Dickey, a pitcher that shut you down and made the Phils look foolish not too long ago.

  22. phightinphils

    looks like the phightins don’t have to worry about the met’s version of roy#2, i hope you feel dumber for have written this awful article.

  23. Mike Silva


    He had a bad outing. I guess you didn’t see how he pitched against Atlanta the rest of the week. Dickey is pitching every bit as well as Oswalt, and other, top pitchers. Can it continue? We will see, but to answer you question no I don’t feel silly because I think the article brings up great points.

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