Buster Olney's Insider-only blog post today addresses the trade market for Berkman and Oswalt.
Rival executives said in interviews this week that both players would have trade value -- but perhaps not nearly as much as Houston owner Drayton McLane would require. Remember, McLane has demonstrated a fight-to-the-last mentality in his time with the Astros, imploring his front office to reload midseason in years when folks with other teams considered them a lost cause. He might well pass on the compromised offers he would get for Oswalt and Berkman.
Unnamed GM on Roy:
"What scares you about him is his injury history. He's had back problems, and you'd hate to get the guy and then have him break down or underperform -- especially at that salary."
Unnamed AL Executive:
"I just don't know how many teams would be willing to take on that kind of salary right now. Not many, that's for sure. The White Sox are always a wild card -- they took on [Alex] Rios and [Jake] Peavy when nobody else probably would have. And even if someone was willing to take the contract at face value, I don't think they'd give up much."
Olney, on the two options the Astros may have:
1. The Astros could absorb a large chunk of the money owed to Oswalt/Berkman and receive decent prospects in return.
2. The team that acquires Oswalt/Berkman could absorb the salary cost -- but basically give up no high-end prospects.
Can't argue with that, and it kind of pisses me off, because Your Humble Constable will be on 610 Sports Radio with honorary citizen John Wessling about 10pm tonight talking about this very thing.