Cheap Seats

Could Roy Oswalt fit Cardinals' plans?

I keep hearing little beeps on the radar about Roy Oswalt.

Maybe it stems from Lance Berkman last week saying on the radio that he things the Cardinals should sign his former Astros teammate.

But there might be a little logic behind it, too.

If the Cardinals could trade Jake Westbrook and replace him with Oswalt, not only would the pitching staff be better for it. But maybe the Birds could work it to the benefit of their future financial flexibility as well.

Beyond the possibility of the Cardinals signing Carlos Beltran to be a middle of the order replacement for Albert Pujols, there aren't really many options for improvement through free agency this season. So maybe they front load a two year deal with Oswalt that gives them no only a better rotation this year -- but a cheap starter next season that will allow the team to add a core player next year when potentially David Wright, Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler, Brandon Phillips, Michael Bourn, BJ Upton, Zack Grienke, Cole Hamels and Ervin Santana could be free agents -- just to name a few players.

While there isn't any real need for Oswalt, the interest level might go up considerably if he is motivated enough to pitch for the Cardinals that he would take a two-year deal that paid him $13 million the first year and $7 in the second.

Oswalt is coming off a bad, injury-interrupted 2011. But in 2010 he was 13-13 with a 2.76 ERA in a season split between the Phillies and the terrible Astros. He gave up 162 hits in 211 2/3 innings. He struck out 193 and walked 55. In short, he'd make a heckuva third of fourth starter behind Chris Carpener and Adam Wainwright and he would offer top of the rotation potential if either of those two were hurt.

I think that sort of deal is doable, especially if you consider two things: Oswalt tried to engineer a trade to the Cardinals in 2010, saying that it was his first choice to play in St. Louis if the Astros dealt him. And, the main teams looking at him right now are the Nationals and the Royals. Oswalt, who is pals with Berkman, probably would appreciate a chance to get a ring after the much ballyhooed Phillies lost in the playoffs the last two years.

2012 Cardinals rotation 2013 Cardinals rotation

Chris Carpenter Chris Carpenter

Adam Wainwright Adam Wainwright

Roy Oswalt Roy Oswalt

Kyle Lohse Jaime Garcia

Jaime Garcia Shelby Miller