Cheap Seats

Oswalt holds on to hope of pitching in St. Louis

Despite the Astros reluctance to deal Roy Oswalt to St. Louis and the club's high demands for compensation, the pitcher is still set on playing for the Cardinals.

Oswalt talked to a Cardinals player over the weekend, according to a story in the Washington Post, and said that he is willing to do whatever it needs to facilitate a trade here -- even if it requires him to restructure his contract.

The Astros, in a Monday report from the Houston Chronicle, said they are optimistic of a trade because at least four teams are involved in the Oswalt bidding. But, if he won't accept a trade to the other three, is there really a bidding war for the Astros ace's services?

The Cardinals need to prepare a last, best offer for Houston and stick to it. The bottom line is the Astros can take what the Cardinals are giving and save a pile of money ... or they can take nothing and continue to stink with or without Oswalt.

Compared to the package of mediocre prospects the Angels gave up for Dan Haren, the Astros would seem very lucky to get Texas pitching prospect Shelby Miller. I think the Cardinals should push salary relief as their main bargaining chip and the club should hang onto its top pitching prospect. I'm also not excited about giving up Jon Jay. But Allen Craig, Fernando Salas and lesser pitching prospects could be on the table.