The one guarantee of whatever contract Roy Oswalt gets is that it won't be appropriate for his production this coming year. Oswalt's aging, coming off a year where he spent a lot of time hurt, and about as uncertain a bet as you can imagine. On the other hand, when he finally got healthy last year, he was still Roy Goddamn Oswalt, as good a starter as you could hope for.
All of which means, of course, that he's going to get paid - but not too much. Whoever signs him - and right now, it looks like Texas or St. Louis, because Ruben Amaro Jr has an unhealthy fascination with Joe Blanton - is going to get him on a one-year, mid-priced deal. It makes sense; don't want to go all in, because he might not be healthy. Can't lowball him, because he can still own the park on any given night. So the contract will be somewhere in the middle, probably 1 year at $6M-$8M or so - a lot less than Edwin Jackson's gunning for. And Oswalt will either outperform it or underperform it by a wide margin, because pretty much the one guarantee is that he's not going to recreate last year's performance.
But he'll get paid like it, and someone will either make out like a bandit, or get totally screwed.