A week ago today, about this time of night, rumors started flying that the Astros and Phillies were in negotiations that would send right-hander Roy Oswalt to the City of Brotherly Love.

The talks ended up fizzling as Oswalt demanded that his $16 million option for the 2012 season be picked up by whoever acquires him.

That turned the Phillies off and the talks ended up going cold.

A day or so later, it was the St. Louis Cardinals that ended up being the front-runner and it looked like Oswalt would be headed to another National League Central team within days. Even Oswalt seemed to embrace becoming a Cardinal, even telling the Astros that he wouldn’t require them to pick up his option for 2012 as he had demanded the Phillies do just days earlier.

Here we are, a week later, and the Cardinals are now out of the race leaving the Phillies as the front-runner once again.

According to ESPN’s Jayson Stark , the Phillies and Astros have once again intensified talks over Oswalt. There are a few different opinions from a few different national writers and those opinions seem to be that the two sides will be at odds over who is going to pick up the majority of what’s left on his contract.

Not only that, but the Phillies have apparently been looking into other options which include Ted Lilly, Jake Westbrook, and Fausto Carmona.

It seems to me that these rumors keep popping up but don’t seem to have a leg to stand on. The Phillies have to know that Oswalt doesn’t want to play for them and doesn’t want to wear their jersey before the deadline comes. The decision they have to make at this point is predicated on whether or not they are willing to give up at least three prospects on top of adding on payroll for next season and beyond.

At this point, we’ll have to wait and see if the talks go from “intense” to “hot and heavy.” Until that time, I’m going to look at these talks in a skeptical light.

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