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Rumor Mill: Roy Oswalt

The Houston Chronicle shoots down speculation that the White Sox and Astros could be working on a deal to send Roy Oswalt to Chicago... Well, at least he's not going to the south side of Chicago.

Oswalt told the paper that he would use his no trade clause to block a deal to the Pale Hose. While Houston might be reluctant to trade its ace within its division, it might not have a choice if it wants to shed the $14 million he makes this year, the $15 million he makes next year and the $16 million he'll make the year after that.

The hurler supposedly would only accept being dealt to the Cubs... Or the Cardinals.

I don't know if the Cardinals would be willing to accept that kind of contract, even thought they could save $12 million next season by letting Joel Pineiro and Todd Wellemeyer leave as free agents. But it is worth considering to not only pick up one of the best five or 10 pitchers in baseball, but also to keep him from going to the Cubs.

When it comes down to it, I can't imagine that the Astros would be willing to trade Oswalt, who is largely the face of the franchise following the retirement of Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell.

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