Phillies have deal in place for Roy Oswalt

08 Mar 2002 : Roy Oswalt of the Houston Astros during the Spring Training Game against the Kansas City Royals in Haines City, Florida. The Astros won 11-0. DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Did you think the Phillies were just going to lie back and let the Braves take the NL East from them? You did? Well then you, my friend, were wrong. Dead wrong.

According to FOX 26 in Houston, the Phillies have a deal in place for Astros’ starter Roy Oswalt and are waiting for the pitcher to sign off on it. He needs to waive his no-trade clause before any deal goes through, but unless he really, really likes the Beer Can House (it’s made of cans! Cans, I tell ya!), then there’s little doubt that Oswalt is on his way out of Houston.

Apparently the two sides have agreed on the amount of money that the Astros will take back in the deal and the two teams have agreed on the players that the Phillies will have to give up. Who those players are nobody knows, but J.A. Happ is probably one of them.

Speaking of Happ, it was rumored yesterday that he may have been involved in a deal that would have sent him to the Cubs in exchange for Ted Lilly. But obviously if the Phillies acquire Oswalt, Lilly would be dropped from Philly’s plans like a (insert clichéd line here).

More on this story as it develops.

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Yankees, Dodgers, Phillies and Cardinals want a piece of Oswalt

Jul 17, 2009; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston Astros starter Roy Oswalt (44) pitches during the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Photo via Newscom

…Actually, they want the whole thing – not just a piece. The Houston Chronicle reports that scouts for each team were in attendance Saturday to watch Roy Oswalt’s start against the Reds.

Too bad he was hammered for nine hits and six earned runs. He also allowed two home runs and walked a batter as his ERA jumped from 3.12 to 3.42 and his WHIP from 1.07 to 1.11.

No matter – teams will still peruse him and it’ll be interesting to see which team puts together the best package in order to acquire him. Of course, whichever club pulls the trigger on a trade will also have to be willing to pick up the $16 million tab that he’s owed in 2011. Obviously that wouldn’t be much of a problem for a team like the Yankees, but the same can’t be said for the Dodgers or Cardinals.

Either way, with the trade deadline rapidly approaching, it’s likely that he’ll be wearing another team’s uniform by his next start.

Trading within the division: Advantageous or to be avoided?

July 18, 2010 - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America - 18 July 2010: Houston Astros starting pitcher Roy Oswalt (44) delivers a pitch to the plate during the National League game between the Houston Astros and the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates Paul Maholm.

While things change by the hour around this time of year, the latest trade rumors involving Roy Oswalt have him eventually landing in St. Louis. And based on recent reports, it sounds as if he wouldn’t mind wearing red and white at some point this season either. (Who could blame him? He pitches for the Astros, who dodge being the butt of jokes only because the Pirates have yet to climb out of the suckhole they fell into during the early 90s.)

Money (he’s owed $16 mil next season) and compensation (the Cards may have to part with top prospect Shelby Miller) remain the biggest hurdles in any trade involving Oswalt and the Cardinals, but the question of whether or not teams should trade within their division is relevant in this scenario as well.

Should teams avoid trading within their division? Is it wise for a general manager to either trade for, or deal a star that could come back and haunt them in the future? It still happens of course, but it’s always a topic of discussion when the trade deadline nears.

This may be a simplistic take on the subject, but isn’t the purpose for any GM to help their team win (either presently or in the future)? Isn’t that what a trade boils down to in the end?

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Cardinals in the hunt for Oswalt, but will they take on his salary?

June 10, 2010 - Denver, Colorado, U.S. - MLB Baseball - Houston Astros pitcher ROY OSWALT throws during a 5-4 win over the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.

One day after reports surfaced that the Phillies were on the verge of acquiring Roy Oswalt via a trade, Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports hears that the Cardinals are now the front-runners for the Astros’ ace.

In fact, the Astros have been talking with Cardinals GM John Mozeliak for several days now, and Oswalt is quite amenable to go to St. Louis if the teams can agree on what players will head back to Houston. For their part, the Cardinals are convinced that matching Roy Oswalt up with Dave Duncan would take a guy who is already an ace and turn him back into the Cy Young candidate he was a few years ago. I’ll stop believing stuff like that when Dave Duncan actually fails for once. Which I wouldn’t bet on, frankly.

Of course, the big issue everyone has been talking about today has been Oswalt’s desire that his 2012 option be picked up. That’s $16 million, and that ain’t hay. My source tells me, however, that Oswalt would be willing to work with the Cardinals to make the option more palatable, possibly in terms of deferring some money. The sides aren’t quite that far yet.

The other issue is that the Cardinals’ farm system is tapped out, outside of top prospect Shelby Miller, who was the club’s first round pick in 2009.

Would St. Louis be willing to give up Miller and take on Oswalt’s salary? That’s a reach, especially considering Oswalt and Albert Pujols are each due to make $16 million in 2011, Matt Holliday is set to make $17 million, Chris Carpenter $15 million, Adam Wainwright $6.5 million and Kyle Lohse $11.9 million. That’s a lot of dough for six players and that doesn’t even include Ryan Ludwick, who is due a raise soon.

Speaking purely from a baseball standpoint, Oswalt makes every bit of sense for the Cardinals. But it’s a whole other story from a financial perspective.

Phillies could be on the verge of trading Werth, acquiring Oswalt

July 18, 2010 - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America - 18 July 2010: Houston Astros starting pitcher Roy Oswalt (44) delivers a pitch to the plate during the National League game between the Houston Astros and the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates Paul Maholm.

Several heavy-hitters in the media are proclaiming that the Phillies are on the verge of making a couple of trades.

The first involves Jayson Werth, who is currently hitting .283 with 13 home runs and 50 RBI. ESPN’s Buster Olney and Jayson Stark report that the Rays are involved in discussions for the outfielder, who is a free agent at the end of the season and is unlikely to be re-signed in Philadelphia.

The second trade rumor involving the Phillies has Astros’ ace Roy Oswalt as the key piece. Stark reports that the Phillies have spent a lot of time exploring a deal for Oswalt, who won’t come cheap seeing as how he’s still owed $16 million next season and has a $16 million club option for 2012 (or a $2 million buyout).

While a trade for Oswalt would certainly bolster the Phillies’ starting rotation, is a move like that wise for GM Ruben Amaro Jr. to make? It’s not like his club is one starting pitcher away from fixing all of their current problems, even if that one starting pitcher is Oswalt. Plus, this is a team that needs to start preparing for the future and giving up more prospects in a knee-jerk trade in attempts to win now might not be the most advantageous move.

We’ll see how this plays out.

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