Astros' Wade inquires about Schilling
Houston GM makes phone call to veteran right-hander
HOUSTON -- Free agent right-hander Curt Schilling listed on his personal Web site 13 teams he would play for in 2008, and the Astros weren't one of them. But that didn't stop Houston general manager Ed Wade from calling the veteran starting pitcher, just to express interest in case Schilling decides to expand the wish list.
Wade called Schilling, who represents himself without the help of an agent, on Wednesday. The only team allowed to talk money with Schilling is Boston, which, as the team Schilling played for in 2007, has exclusive negotiating rights until Monday, Nov. 12.
But clubs can relay interest to any free agents, as long as money is not discussed. Wade, who knew Schilling while the two were with the Phillies organization from 1992-2000, thought highly enough of Schilling to give him a call.
"It's hard to walk past somebody like Curt," Wade said. "He's shown he's not only a big game pitcher, but from a personal standpoint, I know he's the most prepared pitcher I've been around in a long time."
On his Web site, 38pitches.com, Schilling said returning to the Red Sox would be his first choice. But in the event that doesn't work out, he revealed 12 more teams he would consider: Cleveland, Detroit, Anaheim, New York Mets, Philadelphia, Atlanta, L.A., S.D., Arizona, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis and Milwaukee.
"The list of teams that our family has talked over, that we think would be a fit for next year, should we not come back, are pretty much teams in cities we agree would be OK for our last year, and teams I think have a legitimate shot at being in the post season and/or World Series," Schilling wrote. "Teams we didn't include aren't for any one reason. There are a million little things that go into this from stadiums to school districts to travel to Spring Training to etc. etc. etc. But the list represents the teams after Boston that have some of the off the field things that are big to us, plus the potential to go into October next year."
Wade said he saw the Web site but did not let that stop him from reaching out.
"It's why I made the call," Wade said. "I was aware of what had been posted on the Web site and felt compelled to call anyway."
Schilling, who turns 41 on Nov. 14, recently completed his 20th Major League season. He has a career record of 216-146 with a 3.46 ERA and 3,116 strikeouts. A six-time All-Star, Schilling has played in five postseasons and has been part of three world championship clubs, including the 2001 Diamondbacks and the 2004 and 2007 Red Sox.
It appears Schilling is looking to pitch one more year, and the desire for a short-term commitment makes him that much more attractive to the Astros, who need a veteran presence in a rotation that has just one marquee name -- Roy Oswalt.
"He has some years on him and a health history," Wade said of Schilling, "But if anyone can transform himself from a power pitcher to a finesse pitcher it's him, with his level of intelligence, command, and the way he prepares.
"When you've got that command and study hitters as diligently as he does, it speaks to the point that he's not a one-dimensional guy."
Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.