Last week, Houston Astros ace Roy Oswalt made it publicly known that he wants to be traded. The 23-22 Washington Nationals have expressed interest in acquiring Oswalt. Could the Mets once again jump into the bidding for the Houston right-hander?

AP Photo/Pat Sullivan

The 32-year-old Roy Oswalt has posted a 2-6 record so far this season, but has a 2.66 ERA with 60 strike outs and 61 innings. Hitters have a BAA of .216 against him this season. In his career, Oswalt carries a 139-76 record with a 3.21 ERA. He has a K/9 of 7.4. Oswalt is also 4-0 with a 3.66 ERA in seven post-season starts. Needless to say, Oswalt has been one of the best pitchers in the National League over the last six seasons.

Roy Oswalt’s contract is very manageable. He is owed $15 million in 2010, $16 million in 2011, and has a $16 million club option in 2012. So realistically, the Mets would be on the hook for $31 million for two seasons before evaluating whether or not they want to pick up the $16 million option. Compared to the $100 million the Mets would have to shell out for Cliff Lee, this deal would make more sense in the short term.

There’s only two problems with Oswalt: his back and his price.

Oswalt has a balky back that limited him at times during the 2009 season. Even though Oswalt did not land on the disabled list in 2009, he missed 31 total days with a lower back strain in one case and inflammation of the lower back in another. He hasn’t had any back problems in 2010.

It’s imperative for the Mets to make sure that Oswalt’s back is 100% before completing a trade.

Since Oswalt has two, possibly three years left on a very manageable contract, the Astros will want good, young talent in return. The Astros will probably open negotiations asking for pitcher, Jenrry Mejia. The Mets have used the 20-year-old as a reliever this season, but there has been some debate within the organization about his long-term role. Mejia has electric stuff and would give the Astros a cheap, high-ceiling prospect that can help contribute right away. The Astros will probably command a few other young prospects, but the Mets won’t part with Ike Davis or Fernando Martinez.

If the Mets can evaluate Oswalt and find no injury concerns, he’d be a no-brainer. The Mets already missed out on dealing for Oswalt once in 2007 (Apparently, Mike Pelfrey was a part of the deal). They do not want to miss this opportunity again. The Mets do not want the Nationals pairing Oswalt with Stephen Strasburg for the next few years. Let’s be honest, the Mets will not survive with the way their rotation is right now. Pairing Roy Oswalt with Johan Santana and Mike Pelfrey would alleviate depth concerns and help the Mets match-up with the Phillies. I don’t think the Mets will beat out the Phillies for the division, but with Oswalt, the wildcard is definitely possible.

Do You Think Roy Oswalt  Is The Answer?