According to mlb.com's Peter Gammons, the Red Sox are the club most likely to sign Roy Oswalt, who moved to the top of the free agent food chain when Prince Fielder signed yesterday with the Tigers.
Boston moved $6 million by trading away its starting shortstop, Marco Scutaro, to potentially free up money for Oswalt. The former Astros ace is said to be asking $8 million for one season. Still, Oswalt has held off signing on the dotted line.
Gammons said it is the opinion of some front office types that Oswalt would prefer to sign with the Rangers. Others think he still wants to play for St. Louis where he asked to be traded by Houston in 2010.
Texas just spent a ton of money on Japanese import Yu Darvish. But the Rangers were thought to be players for Fielder. So if they had money set aside for the superstar slugger, who ultimately landed a $214-million, nine year contract they could probably find a way to swing $8 million for one season.
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The Cardinals seem to like Oswalt -- although there is no obvious fit with five starters under contract for the 2012 season. Unless Jake Westbrook or Kyle Lohse are traded, the Redbirds don't have room under their self-imposed $110-million payroll ceiling.
Both pitchers have no-trade clauses and Lohse has said he would reject any trade proposal. Westbrook hasn't spoken publicly on the matter. But he would be the more attractive guy to deal if the Cardinals could find a taker. Lohse seems to have more upside than Westbrook after rebounding from injuries that ruined his 2009 and 2010 seasons.