When rumors first surfaced that the Washington Nationals might be the kind of team that could take a shot at Houston Astros' starter Roy Oswalt, should he become available, ESPN.com's Buster Olney explained in an article entitled, "For some, bullpen mileage piling up," that, "The feeling among rival executives,":
"...is that [the Nats] are apt to be aggressive before the trade deadline, the kind of team willing to take on a contract -- like Oswalt's -- that might appear oversized to other teams."
The Nats were off to a surprising start then.
They were 20-19 on May 17t, the day Olney's article was published, and on June 1 after a 14-4 win over the Astros left them 26-26, Oswalt, who's no-trade clause allows him to decide which teams he'll accept a trade to, told Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore, in an article entitled, "Roy Oswalt would accept trade to Nationals," that, "...the Nationals' offensive potential and the ensuing call-up of phenom Stephen Strasburg [were] reasons for his potential interest in playing in Washington."
Since then, however, Washington's gone 4-7 in their last eleven, (30-33) overall, and after last night's loss to the Indians, the Nationals found themselves once again at the bottom of the NL East standings, 6.5 games behind the first place Atlanta Braves. The Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) retweeted an article today by CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler entitled, "Oswalt says 'anywhere,' but he may go nowhere," in which Knobler writes that:
"The one requirement [Oswalt] will admit to is that he will only go to a team that is pretty sure bet to make the playoffs this year. 'Pretty much,' Oswalt agreed."
Are the Nationals a playoff contender? A wild card contender? A threat to get out of the NL East basement for once? The Nationals, if all goes well, might have a chance to finish the 2010 campaign a .500 team, which would require a 23 game improvement over last year's 59-102 record. Can the Nats get to .500? Maybe. Are they a "pretty sure bet to make the playoffs"? I don't think so. Why would Roy Oswalt?