Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports reports that the Reds remain in conversation with Roy Oswalt’s agent attempting to strike a depressed-market deal to bring the starting pitcher to Cincinnati.

The Reds remain in talks with Oswalt, according to major league sources. Oswalt, 34, would prefer to pitch for the St. Louis Cardinals or Texas Rangers, sources say, and some in the industry doubt that he would sign with any other team. But the Reds, just as they were with Madson, are willing to make a deal work.

Other recent Oswalt articles offer a mix of news and opinion.

Rob Bradford at Boston’s WEEI reports that a Red Sox-Oswalt deal “doesn’t seem likely at this point.”  Christopher Carelli at Redbird Rants notes that the Cardinals-Oswalt rumor seems to be “losing ground every day” although Jeff Sucher argues it would dramatically help St. Louis in a variety of ways.  Jim Salisbury has pretty strong evidence knocking down the idea that the pitcher could resign with the Phillies and Mike Angelina reasons that Oswalt wouldn’t help the Phillies that much anyhow.

Chris Rolling supports the Reds signing Oswalt, with the overly sunny conclusion that the move would “instantly” make the Reds “World Series favorites.” (Does Oswalt bat clean-up? Will he reliably back-up 3B for Scott Rolen?)

My own view is that while a one-year rental of a healthy Roy Oswalt would definitely improve the Reds rotation, if the conventional wisdom is accurate that the cost, in addition to his salary, would be Homer Bailey, I’d be considerably less enthusiastic about it.

I’m not the only one who believes Homer may end up as one of the best Reds starters this year.  Bill James projects 25-year-old Bailey for 2012 to have a lower FIP (3.88) than Mike Leake (4.47), Bronson Arroyo (4.68) and even Johnny Cueto (4.02).  James has Oswalt’s 2012 FIP at 3.52 and Mat Latos (yay!) at 3.11.