Roy Oswalt Cheaper Than Jake Westbrook; Rumors Spite St. Louis Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals' strange, primal urge to recreate the Houston Astros they beat in 2004 worked to their benefit last year, when they signed Lance Berkman, and again this year, when they picked up the once-terrifying Carlos Beltran. Through no hard work of their own they'll just miss a third potentially excellent player acquisition—former Astros ace Roy Oswalt's price is down to $8 million over one year, according to Buster Olney, which makes him an outstanding option for any contending team with holes in its rotation.

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Unfortunately, the Cardinals don't have any holes in their rotation. Thanks to the volatility of the pitching market and their eagerness in signing Kyle Lohse back in 2008, they're paying two considerably-more-questionable starters at the back of their rotation on the last seasons of some ill-advised multi-year deals more money than Oswalt seems likely to command.

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Kyle Lohse: $11.8 million. Jake Westbrook: $8.5 million, plus a buyout.

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Free agent starting pitchers are designed to break your heart. Even when it looks like they're about to fit perfectly into your Killer B's reenactment.

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