Houston holding tight to Oswalt
Astros, ace right-hander dispel rumors of possible trade
CINCINNATI -- An amused Roy Oswalt sat at his locker on Thursday morning, chuckling at the line of questioning reporters threw at him regarding his supposed interest in waiving his no-trade clause.
A recent comment made on ESPN's "Baseball Tonight" indicated Oswalt was willing to waive his no-trade clause and that the Astros may have him on the trading block. The Yankees were mentioned as the front-runner in the Oswalt sweepstakes.
The report appears to be a rehashing of a story nearly a year old. Last season, as the Astros were in the middle of a season-long tumble to the bottom of the standings, Oswalt was asked if he would waive his no-trade clause if he thought the team wouldn't be competitive during the life of his contract, which expires in 2011. The club holds an option for 2012.
Oswalt said if the Astros approached him with a trade proposal, he'd consider it. He didn't specify which teams he'd go to, but it's unlikely the Yankees would be on the short list. The Red Sox, Braves and Cardinals would probably interest him.
"If management came to you and asked you if you'd approve a trade, well, that just goes to show that a team doesn't want you," Oswalt said on Thursday. "So, why wouldn't you? If a team doesn't want you to play there, why wouldn't you approve a trade?"
Last year's story has gained steam once again, but as word spread among frantic Astros fans over the Internet, a very important element of the truth was omitted -- the Astros are not interested in trading Oswalt, and Oswalt isn't interested in leaving Houston.
"I don't know where that came from," Oswalt said, referring to Peter Gammons' comments on ESPN that created the furor. "I don't know where he's getting that from. That came out of left field somewhere. I don't know if he just brought it up or if he heard it from somewhere. I don't know where he got it."
General manager Ed Wade dispelled any notion that the Astros are interested in trading their ace pitcher.
"I haven't had any discussions with any of our players that have no-trade clauses," Wade said. "I'm tickled to death we have a No. 1 starter. Anything about a trade, it's all news to me."
Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.