The Astros would like three top prospects in return for ace starting pitcher Roy Oswalt, according to ESPN's Jayson Stark .
But what they want and what they can get are two very different things.
Stark said no one seems to be even remotely interested at that asking price. Any potential trade partner would probably expect Houston to pick up a large chunk of the $19 million Oswalt is owed this year and next.
Houston maybe forced to make a less than ideal trade to get rid of one of the team's brightest stars. Stark said he's become a disruptive force in the clubhouse and on the field because of bitterness about the way his team has been allowed to disintegrate around him.
"Every time he goes out there he's basically telling you, 'I'm finished here.'" Stark quotes a scout as saying about Oswalt. "He's frustrated, and he's making it very obvious to everyone."
Stark adds that he doesn't think that Mark Buehrle -- or any other White Sox starter is available on the trade market, contrary to earlier reports.
He said Chicago GM Kenny Williams thinks he still has a pretty decent chance to field a good team in 2011 and that he expects the starting rotation to be the foundation.
As I mentioned last week, even if the Sox wanted to trade Buehrle to the Cardinals to accommodate his wish to play for his hometown team before he retires, I don't see any way the Redbirds could swallow his ridiculous contract. Buehrle has a limited no trade clause that calls for his $14 million salary this year and next to be bumped to $15 million per year if he is traded. A swap would also automatically vest an option for 2012 that would pay the lefty another $15 million. I'm pretty sure that's not it the budget.