You can bet they will now that Dan Haren is officially off the market and an Angel.
Two teams that are in on Oswalt are clear: the Cardinals and Phillies.
St. Louis would certalnly love to add Oswalt to their already-dangerous rotation, as the backend has left much to be desired. That tends to happen when Jeff Suppan occupies a rotation spot. The Cards reportedly dangled shortstop Brendan Ryan among others to Houston who was not interested. That's fortunate, as it would make no sense for Houston to deal Oswalt for anything other than top young players. The team reportedly wants them major-league ready.
Oswalt would waive his 2012 club option of $16 million being picked up if he headed to St. Louis as he owns hunting property in Illinois. He reportedly won't do this for Philadelphia, as he agreed to make the 2012 year an option as long as he received a no-trade clause. Philadelphia desperately needs Oswalt and is dangling Jayson Werth in a companion trade to get additional prospects to try to facilitate a trade, but both trade fronts haven't borne the fruit desired.
Cafardo names Minnesota as needing "Oswalt probably more than any team." Carl Pavano and Francisco Liriano are very good while Scott Bakers is deceptively having a solid season, but still is not strong. Nick Blackburn was just bumped from the rotation by reliever Brian Duensing and Kevin Slowey has regressed as well. Oswalt would immediately shore up the rotation, but is Houston interested in Minnesota's major trade piece of Wilson Ramos? The 'Stros are high on internal catcher Jason Castro, so there may not be a fit there. Indeed, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports chimes in and says the Twins have not engaged Houston in talks yet.
The Astros have talked to the Dodgers who have plenty of money woes due to the pending divorce of its owners, but have just $61.4 million commited to its big-league roster, according to Cot's Contracts. If the Dodgers can find a way to fit Oswalt into the budget for 2010, they may not have difficulty incorporating him into 2011's payroll (and even 2012's). Rosenthal says the Astros would prefer either Matt Kemp or James Loney, which L.A. will not even consider.
Not considering the immensely talented Kemp is understandable, but not Loney? Loney is not a gifted fielder and while he can hit for contact, is not a thumper in the lineup. At a position such as first base, his production is easily replaced. The Dodgers definitely shouldn't let Loney stand in the way of a deal, even if they have to go with a cheap piece for the remainder of the year although potential fits could be players such as Luke Scott, who would not require an arm and a leg in a trade.
-- Evan BrunellFor more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.