Rumor has it that the Sox are reaching out to pitchers Roy Oswalt and Edwin Jackson to their 2012 pitching rotation. With the Yankees boosting their already impressive pitching staff, with the additions of Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda, the Sox are frantic to fill the holes that exist in their pitching staff. Is going after Jackson and/or Oswalt the right move?
According to sources, the Red Sox have offered Oswalt a one year deal somewhere around $5 million and have sent an unknown offer Jackson’s way as well. It sounds that the Sox are more likely to land Jackson than they are Oswalt and will not attempt to sign both.
Jackson is five years younger than Oswalt and posts a career 60-60 record. It seems as if Boston’s priority rank puts Oswalt ahead of Jackson. I think Oswalt’s career is just about over and if anyone is to pull the “John Lackey Syndrome” this year, it will be Oswalt. He was great in Houston, but has had some struggles late in his career, not to mention back injury issues. As a pitcher who struggled a serious back injury, I know how difficult it is to be successful through that type of pain. I think Roy posts a personal 12-12 record at best this year if he lands in Boston. The AL East is going to be a tough spot for old Roy to finish his career. I wish there were better options on the table, but the Sox need something.
Jackson is that type of pitcher who can go out and post a shutout and strike out 10+ in a game and follow that performance by giving up 4 bombs, 6 earned, and 6 walks in his next outing. His inconsitency is proven in his career record. He has good games and then he has shit games. He is younger than Oswalt, but Oswalt is the overall more successful of the two. The talent levels are similar with different styles. Last year Oswalt was 9-10, with a 3.69 ERA and 93 Ks while Jackson was 12-9, with a 3.79 ERA, and 148 Ks. Jackson is certainly more likely to post more strikeouts and brings more velocity than Oswalt does. It really is a coin toss of a decision between the 2. Neither excite me but if I had to make a choice it would have to be Oswalt simply for post season reasons. I believe Jackson will have a better 2012 regular season than Oswalt will but it would be nice to have a verteran righty with plenty of experience in the post season. I’m getting ahead of myself talking about playoffs, but if the Sox can’t find a way to make it again there will be some serious trouble in the Red Sox office. If it were possible to sign Jackson for regular season purposes and Oswalt upon a playoff berth, I think that would be the best way to go. Otherwise, the safer move is to bring in Oswalt and keep your fingers crossed. Neither will have a great year, but to me, Jackson will be a bit more solid. Why then, did I go with Oswalt? Like I said, postseason. The Red Sox making the playoffs this year will not be determined by their 5th starter in the rotation. Instead, it will be the big bats and the 1-2-3 pitchers who will determine it.
*** This just in, Oswalt may sign with Cardinals.