The Nationals reportedly are interested in acquiring Roy Oswalt, making them the first team to be linked to the Astros right-hander since his trade request last week.
MLB.com’s William Ladson cited an unnamed baseball source saying the Nats are looking at Oswalt, who told Houston ownership he’d waive his no-trade clause to join a contender. Washington is 23-22 and tied for third place in the NL East.
Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo would neither confirm or deny having interest in Oswalt, but he was complimentary when asked about the right-hander.
"We have interest in a lot of people," Rizzo told reporters Sunday. "We’re always on the phones, we’re always doing our due diligence on players. Oswalt is a tremendous competitor and a tremendous pitcher."
Oswalt’s agent, Bob Garber, did not return a phone message.
Washington is seeking rotation help even as it prepares to promote top prospect Stephen Strasburg. Jason Marquis and Scott Olsen are on the disabled list, Chien-Ming Wang is coming off shoulder surgery and Jordan Zimmermann is coming off Tommy John surgery. Livan Hernandez has been the club’s most reliable starter this season.
Oswalt, 32, is 2-6 with a 2.66 ERA in nine starts in 2010. He’s owed about $31 million through the 2011 season.