Oswalt prefers to stay with Astros
Willingness to waive no-trade clause 'ain't a new story'
SAN FRANCISCO -- Just as Lance Berkman did a week ago when he was quoted as saying he would be open to waiving his no-trade clause if the Astros asked him, ace pitcher Roy Oswalt said he's content playing in Houston.Oswalt, in an interview on Sirius XM on Thursday, said he told the Astros he would allow them to trade him to a team of his choice if the club was struggling near the Trade Deadline and the Astros could get prospects in return. "This ain't a new story," Oswalt told reporters Friday. "It's as old as it is. I don't know. They asked me on the radio if I would accept a trade and I told them I would listen. Pretty much it. Same thing I said last year. No different." Neither Oswalt nor Berkman have asked the Astros to be traded. "Our goal is to win with the club that we've got," general manager Ed Wade said, "and at some point in time, if we decide we have to do something different, we'll address it at that point in time." Astros manager Brad Mills considered it a non-issue. "I talked to Lance and I talked to Roy and they're fine," he said. "They enjoy it here and want to be here. Both of them are playing absolutely outstanding right now. That's all we want." Oswalt's contract with the Astros expires at the end of the 2011 season, but the club has a $16 million option for 2012. He's making $15 million this year and scheduled to earn $16 million next year. He has a full no-trade clause. "I understand that part and I've told Houston before when they get ready to do that that I would be open to it," Oswalt said in the radio interview. "Some of the other guys, probably not. But with me, you know, Houston has been great to me. They drafted me and I've come all the way through the organization and been there since '97. So I understand the process. "When you get to a point where you need to start rebuilding, they're going to start with a guy that's got a lot of value and I understand that if I'm throwing well that they maybe can get two or three guys that can fill holes that they need. I told them from the very beginning when they get to that point I would be open to do it." Oswalt reiterated his desire to stay in Houston when he was asked by reporters Friday prior to Houston's game against the Giants at AT&T Park. "I'm satisfied right here," Oswalt said. "But I'm pretty much saying if a team comes to you and asks you that means they're going a different direction. I don't understand why people wouldn't understand why I wouldn't [approve a trade]." Berkman said last week he would consider waiving his no-trade clause, but wanted to finish his career in Houston. Oswalt, who's scheduled to pitch Saturday against the Giants' Tim Lincecum in a rematch of Opening Day, has been terrific this season. He posted quality starts in all seven of his outings and has a 2.45 ERA, but he's 2-4 because of poor run support. Oswalt was asked during the radio interview if there were any limitations to what he would accept if he were to be traded. "Oh, yeah, there would be only certain teams that I would want to go to," he said. "I don't want to get traded and get put in the same situation that we're in right now. I would want to go to a contender that's a true contender, not someone that just kind of has a chance, a far chance to get there, you know, if every card was played right you'd make it. I would want to go to a contender. You know, I only have this year and next year on the contract so hopefully try to get a ring before that one's over."
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.