Boston Red Sox: Are the Roy Oswalt Talks Heating Up?

Christopher BenvieCorrespondent IIJanuary 16, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 01: Starting pitcher Roy Oswalt #44 of the Philadelphia Phillies delivers to a Washington Nationals batter at Nationals Park on June 1, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

According to Fox Sports' Jon Paul Morosi—via his Twitter account, the Red Sox and Roy Oswalt have been keeping an active dialogue.

What does this mean for the Red Sox and Red Sox Nation?

Well, frankly nothing at the moment other than potential. While the front office has not made any significant moves this winter, Red Sox fans have been wondering when new General Manager Ben Cherington will pull the trigger on something that will garner more of a reaction than just an "oh" from fans.

While Andrew Bailey, Ryan Sweeney, Matt Melancon, Andrew Cook and Carlos Silva have all been solid to good players during their respective careers, not one of these names caused Red Sox fans to clamor at the Cask N' Flagon to celebrate. 

It's okay. As a realist I understand what the front office is trying to achieve. I get that John Henry is leery of spending over the luxury tax threshold of $178 million.

For tax purposes in 2011, the Red Sox exceeded the luxury tax by $11.4 million and had to pay at a 30 percent tax rate or $3.42 million. In 2012, that penalty rate will rise to 40 percent.

While in the grand scheme of things it seems to be a minimal fee, Henry has maintained his lack of desire to shell out this money. Red Sox fans should be aware of how minor these fees truly are when talking brass tacks.

For the sake of argument, let's say that the Red Sox are right up against the luxury tax right now (and they are pretty close). Oswalt could be had for a one-year deal. Let's even speculate that it would be a deal that matches the $16 million he made in 2011. That would put the Sox $16 million over the luxury tax threshold.  

The team would have to shell out $6.4 million in luxury tax or less than half of one year of J.D. Drew, and roughly about a third of a year's worth of John Lackey's salary.

Stop wasting time Boston, go and get Oswalt.