The rich certainly got richer in this case.
The Rangers already own the best record in the American League and are second only to the Los Angeles Dodgers in all of baseball. The addition of Oswalt bolsters their pitching staff as they continue on their voyage to make it to their third consecutive World Series.
So how exactly does this signing impact the Boston Red Sox?
The obvious answer is the fact that adding pitching depth for nothing more than money is now off the table. If the Sox are interested in adding an outside arm they will be forced to make some type of trade in order to do so.
That is, of course, unless Roger Clemens or Pedro Martinez walks through that door...I'm kidding.
That brings us to the list of truly viable pitching options that will be available at the trade deadline. There are of course the top tier players that the Red Sox will likely not touch: Cole Hamels and Zack Greinke. The cost to obtain either of these guys would be too high for what could result in just a short-term rental arm.
The next tier would fall to players like Chicago Cubs Ryan Dempster or Houston Astros Wandy Rodriguez.
Sure, Dempster might be 0-3, but he has a 2.14 ERA and a 1.061 WHIP after eight games, proving that he just doesn't get offensive support. Rodriguez is also having a fine year for himself, with a 4-4 record with a 2.49 ERA and 1.161 WHIP.
Unfortunately, both Dempster and Rodriguez would likely require a larger return package than what the Red Sox are willing to give up for their services.
This brings me to Kevin Millwood.
No, this is not the same Millwood that was lights-out in the late-90s and early-2000s for the Atlanta Braves. That said, he is having a solid season for the Seattle Mariners. He currently owns a 3-4 record with a 3.56 ERA and 1.286 WHIP.
By itself, that comes across as decent numbers for a starting pitcher. However, the true merit to that stat line is what Millwood has done over his last four outings. He has recorded a 3-1 record with a very impressive 0.66 ERA and a 0.747 WHIP, recording 20 strikeouts in 27 innings of work.
Its entirely worth noting that those stats came against the New York Yankees, Colorado Rockies and the Texas Rangers twice. Furthermore, he owns a 2.66 ERA against AL East opponents this season, having played the Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays once a piece and going 20.1 innings.
With that in mind, Millwood is only making $1 million in 2012 for the Mariners. He is only signed for the 2012 season. The Red Sox could potentially offer up a mid-level prospect, two at best, and could likely get their hands on Millwood.
It may not have been in the original plan, but this is one contingency plan the front office should certainly entertain.
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