Oswalt, Astros agree to 5-year, $73 million extension
The two-time 20-game winner agreed to a five-year, $73 million contract extension on his 29th birthday Tuesday, the biggest multiyear deal ever given to an Astros pitcher.
Oswalt, the MVP of the 2005 NL Championship Series, passed up a chance to become a free agent after the 2007 season and is now under Houston's control through 2011. He is currently in the second year of a two-year, $16.9 million contract that pays him $11 million this season.
His new deal, which has a no-trade clause and an option for a sixth year, will pay Oswalt $13 million in each of the next two seasons and $14 million in 2009. He will get $15 million in 2010 and $16 million in 2011.
The Astros hold a $16 million option for 2012 with a $2 million buyout. Or, Oswalt could opt out of that year and take a smaller payment.
"This is a big step for the organization and a big step for Roy and his family to commit to us as we have committed to him," Houston general manager Tim Purpura said. "We're happy to keep Roy under our control at least five years and hopefully six years and hopefully take us to another few World Series."
The right-hander is 10-8 with a 3.25 ERA in 27 games this season. He is 93-47 in six seasons in Houston.
The Astros were said to have listened to trade offers for Oswalt before the July 31 deadline, including one report that indicated they offered him as part of a proposed deal for Baltimore shortstop Miguel Tejada.
"I think it's an honor to be here," Oswalt said. "I told my agent, Bob [Garber], that I really wanted to stay in Houston. If we could get something done, I'd love to stay here."
An emotional Oswalt fought back tears as he said his father was the first person he called after agreeing to the deal.
"He's my life. The things he's done for me growing up, he's been tremendous," Oswalt said. "Hopefully, now I can put them out of work. I've been waiting on this day."
Oswalt's wife, Nicole, and almost 2-year-old daughter, Arlee Faith, attended the news conference, at which McLane presented him with a large birthday cake.
Arlee was clad in a black tank top bedecked with Oswalt's No. 44 in sparkling crystals on it, and she interrupted the event several times by squeaking "there's daddy."
By winning 20 games last season, Oswalt became the first pitcher in the major leagues to post 20 wins in consecutive seasons since Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling did it in 2001 and 2002. It was also the first time an Astros pitcher had achieved the feat since Joe Niekro in 1979 and 1980.
Oswalt gave up three runs and four hits in seven innings Tuesday night against Milwaukee but did not get a decision. He won two games in the 2005 NLCS against St. Louis, including the clincher in Game 6 to send the Astros to their first World Series.
"No one lights up better than Roy," Astros owner Drayton McLane said. "Remember that sixth game in St. Louis and how magnificent that was? Roy was the dominating person in that game that lifted us to something we've never achieved before. We know the best is yet to come."
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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