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Rumor Mill: Cardinals interested in Madson.

The Boston Globe, which last week reported that the Cardinals were interested in Roy Oswalt, this week alleges that the Redbirds might be interested in one of Oswalt's former Phillies teammates.

According to the publication's report, the Cardinals are keeping an eye on former Philadelphia closer Ryan Madson, 31, who became jobless shortly after it looked like he was going to sign an extension with the Phillies -- only to see the deal break down at the last minute.

Madson was 4-2 with 32 saves and an ERA of 2.37 games in 60 2/3 innings. He allowed 54 hits and walked 16 while striking out 62.

While I am sure they'd always be interested in a bargain, I can't imagine that Madson will get cheap enough where the Cardinals would sign him. He was reportedly entertaining a four-year deal with Philadelphia that would pay him in excess of $10 million a year. While that deal may be gone, it's pretty hard to imagine it would get down to one or two years at about half to two-thirds the annual amount.

Besides, while Oswalt could be an improvement over Jake Westbrook in the rotation, Jason Motte seems to have emerged as the Cardinals closer. And, if the Cardinals had cash to spend on improving an area of need, the obvious place to do so is at second base, not in the bullpen where the Birds are flush with stong arms.

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