Buster Olney's blog post this morning has a financial note about the Cliff Lee/Roy Oswalt sweepstakes:
There just doesn't appear to be much in the way of available cash in the trade market, with few teams willing to take on much money. If this holds, it will limit the number of deals that can be made, as well as the size of the deals. The player most directly impacted by this, in all likelihood, is Roy Oswalt, who bears $27 million in salary obligations and is overpriced in the current market.
There's a trade-off GMs have to examine in whether or not to pursue Lee or Oswalt: Do you pay less for Lee in the short-term and run the risk of him walking at the end of the year, or do you pay more for Oswalt and have him locked up for a season and a half? (Note: This is not groundbreaking analysis).
If we put the number of Oswalt's remaining contract at $25 million, and the Astros agree to pay $15 million, the destination team will be getting a top-of-the-rotation pitcher for $10 million over 1.5 seasons, and a few prospects for that privilege. What say you? What's a reasonable number that Ed Wade could put forth to restock the upper levels of the farm system?