Astros trade Roy Oswalt to Phillies for J.A. Happ, two prospects

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.

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Astros have traded starter Roy Oswalt to the Phillies for J.A. Happ, and prospects Anthony Gose and Jonathan Villar. Oswalt had to waive his no-trade clause in order for the deal to go through, which he obviously did. (Or else, you know, there wouldn’t be a story.)

Here are some details for the y.o.u.:

The Astros also agreed to pay $11 million of the more than $23 remaining on Oswalt’s contract, which runs through 2011, so the Phillies will owe him about $12 million for a season plus two months. They also can exercise their end of a mutual option in an effort to keep Oswalt for 2012.

Some teams were reluctant to pursue Oswalt, who turns 33 on Aug. 29, in this trade market due to injury concerns. He has been on the disabled list three times since ‘06 with back or hip issues, including each of the past two seasons.

As Rosenthal points out, exactly one year ago, the Phillies traded for Cliff Lee and they went on to appear in their second World Series in two years. Will they strike magic two years in a row? Tough to say. They were six games above the Marlins in the NL East at this date last year and now they’re chasing the Braves by three.

That said, a three-game deficit is nothing with a starting rotation that features Oswalt, Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels. The key is whether or not the offense will come around, which it looks like it may.

Oswalt is having his worst career as a pro record-wise at 6-12, but he’s pitched better than the numbers suggest. He should be re-energized by re-joining the pennant race and should be a welcome addition to the Phillies’ rotation. It’s time for him to step up now, though.

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