Thursday, July 29, 2010

Roy Oswalt is officially a Phillie

The Phillies have acquired their third ace pitcher in the last 12 months, getting Roy Oswalt from the Houston Astros in exchange for J.A. Happ and prospects Anthony Gose and Jonathan Villar. The Phillies will also get 11 million dollars in cash to pay some of Oswalt's salary, which is about 5 million more for 2010 plus 16 million more next season. Oswalt also has a 16 million dollar option for the 2012 season that the Phillies can pick up or buy him out for 3 million dollars.

The two teams had an agreement in place since last night but were waiting on Oswalt's approval of the deal since he had a no-trade clause. Getting Oswalt gives the Phillies a 1-2-3 punch in the rotation that rivals any other rotation in the majors. Sure, Oswalt is about to turn 33 and isn't quite the same dominant pitcher he was back in 2004-2006, but he's still a workhorse that goes deep into games, gets plenty of strikeouts and will keep the Phillies competitive every time he pitches. As long as he stays healthy, a legitimate concern the last few seasons, the Phillies just got themselves a No. 1 pitcher who will slot in third in their rotation.

To get Oswalt, the Phillies did have to give up some good, young players. The toughest player to lose was Happ, who has had a strong start to his career with the Phillies. Look beyond Happ's 14-5 lifetime record, though, and you notice a pitcher who lets a lot of guys on base and constantly has to work his way out of jams. Happ should develop into a nice middle of the rotation guy but he was never going to be an ace with the Phillies.

As for the two prospects in the deal, both has spent the season playing A ball and are a few years away from having any kind of impact in the majors. Gose is an outfielder with some serious speed that seems to be in the mold of fellow Astro and former Phillie Michael Bourn. Villar is a shortstop with a decent glove and very little power. Neither was considered the cream of the crop of the Phillies farm system.

Welcome to Philadelphia, Roy Oswalt. While there will be a number of fans who will complain that he isn't Cliff Lee, Oswalt is not a bad consolation prize. At this point, I think we all understand that Ruben Amaro made a mistake in the whole Lee situation but he is doing the best he can to make the Phillies a World Series team yet again. Say what you will about the job Amaro has done but having Oswalt and pairing him up with Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels for this season and next only further strengthens the Phillies title chances. The fact that Amaro pulled this deal off without giving up much and even got cash to pay Oswalt with from the Astros makes this trade a big win for the Phillies.

No comments: