Cardinals In Play for Oswalt?

Earlier today Jayson Stark of ESPN reported that Roy Oswalt would okay a trade to any team under one condition, to pick up his $16million option for the 2012 season. Well the Phillies didn’t like the idea of picking up his $16Mil option. Both sides are shut down for now. Guess who has entered into the picture, the Cardinals. At 10:30pm Craig Calcaterra with NBC Sports has reported that the Cardinals are now the front runners for Roy Oswalt. This is what Calcaterra wrote:  


A major league source tells me that, contrary to what we’ve all been hearing for the past several days, the Phillies are not the front runners for Roy Oswalt.  The St. Louis Cardinals are.

In fact, the Astros have been talking with Cardinals GM John Mozeliak for several days now, and Oswalt is quite amenable to go to St. Louis if the teams can agree on what players will head back to Houston.  For their part, the Cardinals are convinced that matching Roy Oswalt up with Dave Duncan would take a guy who is already an ace and turn him back into the Cy Young candidate he was a few years ago. I’ll stop believing stuff like that when Dave Duncan actually fails for once. Which I wouldn’t bet on, frankly.

Of course, the big issue everyone has been talking about today has been Oswalt’s desire that his 2012 option be picked up.  That’s $16 million, and that ain’t hay.  My source tells me, however, that Oswalt would be willing to work with the Cardinals to make the option more palatable, possibly in terms of deferring some money.  The sides aren’t quite that far yet.

As for that option: my and everyone else’s sense on this as the news spread about it today was that wanting the option exercised would effectively scuttle any deal. If Oswalt is willing to be flexible on it, however, it wouldn’t be daunting.  And let’s not forget: Oswalt bargained hard for a no-trade clause, and one of the things he gave up to get the security that he’d stay in Houston was a guaranteed pay check in 2012. If he’s going to lose in-season home he’s come to love in Houston, it’s not unreasonable to expect that someone is going to have to pay for it. 

So that’s the state of play: the Cardinals are hot for Oswalt, and Oswalt likes the idea.  Now let’s sit back and see if these kids can work something out.

Here’s my take:

If the Cardinals can land Oswalt what a strong rotation we will have for the rest of the season. Carpenter-Wainwright-Garcia-Oswalt-Hawksworth/Lohse. Love to have Oswalt here with us. I know Bill DeWitt had said before if there is an opportunity to make this team stronger there would be money av available to get that player. So lets get it done.

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