Originally written on Phillies Nation  |  Last updated 2/4/12

Could Oswalt return to the Phils?

According to Fox Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi, Roy Oswalt‘s price tag is falling yet his preferred suitors remain strapped for cash and may not be able to sign the righty. It is no secret the World Series-winning Cardinals and runner-up Rangers are Oswalt’s top choice due to their proximity to his Mississippi home, yet Morosi reports that the Red Sox, Reds, and, yes, the Phillies have remained in contact with Oswalt as contract demands decrease. Oswalt is the best free agent pitcher available, yet teams looking for cheaper options are exploring trades, with Morosi mentioning the Nationals’ John Lannan and the Rays’ Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis being available with affordable, team-friendly contracts.

Of Oswalt’s interest in returning, Morosi says:

Oswalt had a positive experience in Philadelphia, where he went 16-11 with a 2.96 ERA in 221 2/3 innings after arriving in a trade midway through the 2010 season. Oswalt remains interested in returning to the Phillies, sources say. But they haven’t been aggressive in looking for rotation help this off-season, given the formidable – and expensive – cast of starters they currently possess.

This off-season, the Phillies have picked up a few role players whose salaries total what Oswalt may be asking for ($8-$10 million, 1 year). Phillies fans: is Oswalt someone you would be willing to go over the Luxury Tax for, do you have confidence in our fifth starter (Joe Blanton, Kyle Kendrick, or other), and are you disappointed that the money given to players like Ty Wigginton, Laynce Nix, Jim Thome, Chad Qualls, and others could have been used to re-sign Oswalt or does the strengthened bench out way fortifying what remains one of the most formidable rotations in baseball?

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