The Oswalt Trade

oswalt 3.jpg

Roy Oswalt makes his Phillies debut tonight.

A few thoughts about the trade:

  • It looks like a favorable one for the Phillies, doesn’t it? They get Oswalt through 2011, possibly 2012. They get $11 million to help pay the remaining $23 million on his contract. They did not have to trade Domonic Brown, Jonathan Singleton or Jared Cosart — who Baseball America considers three of the top 50 prospects in baseball.
  • Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Oswalt would be a scary rotation in the postseason, wouldn’t it?
  • Ruben Amaro Jr. redeemed himself for the Cliff Lee trade, although it remains a mistake. Since I’ve been covering the Phillies, I’ve heard Ed Wade, Pat Gillick and Amaro say one thing over and over and over again: You can never have too much pitching. The Phillies never should have traded Lee, but now they have Oswalt at an affordable price for one-plus seasons. That is a nice bounce back.
  • The Phillies said they are confident they are getting a healthy pitcher in Oswalt, who has had a history of back issues. (Those issues have required cortisone injections.) The Phillies should hope so. They also thought they were getting a healthy pitcher in Freddy Garcia, who won just one game for the Phillies in 2007 because of shoulder problems.
  • The Phillies have 16 players under contract next season for $145 million. I’m guessing that means the end of Jayson Werth‘s time in Philadelphia, and any thoughts the Phillies had about bringing back Lee in the offseason. (Lee would like to come back to Philly, for what it’s worth.)
  • The Phillies lose a tremendous guy in J.A. Happ, who always treated me with respect. It’s not easy when you’re an athlete and you’re asked the same questions over and over and over again – especially when some of those questions are questions you don’t like. But Happ never made you feel like less of a person. He seemed to get that we were doing our jobs. I wish him luck in Houston.
  • The Phillies liked outfielder Anthony Gose, who Baseball America ranked sixth in the organization late last year. He’s got a lot of talent. And he’s young. Just like Jonathan Villar. It will be interesting to see how they develop. But take a look at trades the Phillies have made in recent seasons. Not many of those prospects have come back to haunt them. Why? Because the Phillies know their prospects better than anybody (just like some might say the Mariners knew Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies and J.C. Ramirez better than anybody).


Sounds like there will be plenty of Phillies fans tonight in DC.


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to put this trade in perspective:
But we basicaly gave up Cliff Lee, Happ, Gose, and Villar for Oswalt, Aumont, Gillies, Ramirez and $11 million . Is that a good deal?? I wouldn’t do it. THe only redeming thing is we have a rotation set for the next year or two if we want in Doc, Hammels, Oswalt, Blanton and Kendrick. Let’s just hope none of them get hurt, because there isn’t anything ready in the minors to bring up, everything that is good is in A ball

I’m satisfied with the trade, but sad about losing J.A. as a person. I hope that the Stros clubhouse helps him develop and gives hima good career. At least he has old teammates there, right?

Do you think they’ll resign Jamie cheap as a backup starter?

Todd, now you write how the Lee trade was a mistake? Why did you not question the party line at the time? Regardless, it now appears Junior has made the Phillies competitive through next year at a price cheaper than if they had retained Lee this year and attempted to resign him for next year and beyond. But to clear all of Junior’s mistakes and remain competitive, it seems to me the Phillies are going to have to eat a salary spike in one, if not two, of the seasons beyond 2011.

I’m still holding out hope that Werth will be re-signed. Call me crazy but crazy things sometime happen. Until then, I’m so glad that it looks like he won’t be traded ( Is there still some minute possibility of that?)You just never know. Nice to hear about Happ. He certainly can conduct himself in a professional and intelligent manner during interviews. That says much about a person. I feel the same way about Ibanez who also interviews well. Happ will be missed. That’s the only bad part about the Oswalt trade as far as I’m concerned. So it goes! Barb / http://barbward.

pherrisphain: Because he’s paid by MLB which means the Phillies pay part of his salary. DO you go around badmouthing the decisions of the people who pay you your salary, even if the decisions were bad? Didn’t think so!

fij, you make me laugh. You were one of the biggest fish who took the hook when Junior’s bait was “restocking the farm system”. I do not disagree with your assessment of Todd’s relationship with MLB and the Phillies. But, I have no doubt he would claim that it does not “fog” his objectivity.

barb: OK, you’re crazy!🙂 Without doing a lot of math, I don’t think the Phils’ payroll can absorb a big contract for Werth, in addition to the money they’ll owe Lidge and Blanton, the raises for the rest of the veterans and whatever the Astros haven’t paid them for Oswalt.
The only other thing I can see them doing is making an off-season deal for Victorino and somehow signing Werth, but I think that’s a pie-in-the-sky scenario. Plus, keeping Werth would retard Brown’s development, and I think he’s here for the long-term. Don’t allow yourself to get sentimental over players.

Otherwise, the level of commentary I’m seeing here and hearing on talk radio reminds me of when the Phils let Burrell go and signed Ibanez. “Poor Pat,” they screamed. They didn’t know anything about Ibanez, only to find out that he’s a much better player than what they had and helped them win.
Happ is a nice pitcher, but Oswalt is a stud.

This team is built not only for this season, but at least for 2011. Beyond that, nobody knows.

cmagee: “I’m sure there are things that we as fans are overlooking, or just are unaware of…”
No kidding.

f-i-j, why are you so obsessed with the farm system and Cliff Lee? Cliff Lee was going to be gone after this season and Amaro just rectified the situation for this season by acquiring Roy Oswalt. Plus the Phillies control Oswalt beyond this season so that is ++.
What do you know about Gose and Villar? Neither one of them are high end prospects. BTW, Wade has already moved Gose. Gillies has a much higher end that Gose, but he has been hurt so we won’t see his development until next season. But they don’t matter in the equation, nor do Aumont and Ramirez. The Phillies have been able to keep their top prospects in the system (Singleton, Cosart, Valle, May, etc.) for future needs, whether in-house or trade. Basically they traded Happ for Oswalt. And now they have Roy Oswalt instead of Cliff Lee, and they have him for less money and for more years.
I guess playing in two straight WS, and ramping up for another run at one, hasn’t dampened the negativity of Phillies phans.

Why is everyone overlooking the fact that the Phililes need bullpen help? Starting pitching has not been an issue for the majority of this season. I don’t understand why they traded a left handed prospect for a right handed veteran when they had a left handed ace to start? I get that right now is the window of opportunity for another World Series run, but if this was going to happen why not keep Lee, try to resign him and if it doesn’t work you still have Happ as a future left handed started? I’m sure there are things that we as fans are overlooking, or just are unaware of, but this move is just an odd decision because in my mind the starters have been doing well. I thought they would go grab a bat or a situational lefty for the bullpen.

cmagee, the Phillies had preliminary talks with Lee last year and it became obvious that he was going to test the waters of free agency. He will most probably get a minimum of five years and the Phillies do not give pitchers five year contracts under any circumstance, nor should they. I think it’s funny that phans posit Oswalt as old and ‘injury prone’, while Happ is a 27 year old guy who took forever to develop and then broke down in the first year that they actually were going to rely on him as a part of the rotation.

The only advantage to Happ is the fact that he will not be a free agent until 2015, but Oswalt has a higher end during the limited time that the Phillies have the window with their current ML talent. Rollins, Utley, Howard, Hamels, Halladay, Polanco, Victorino and Brown are only going to be together as a group for a couple more years, and now they can add Oswalt to that mix ( I am assuming that Werth will walk). Yeah they need bullpen help, which I still think they will get, but having three studs at the top of the rotation makes up for a lot, especially in the postseason.

phan52, I agree that Happ is not the young. However, the difference is while Happ had injury problems, the Phillies knew what those problems were, where with Oswalt the Phililes don’t know everything about his injury issue, I think back to Freddy Garcia mentioned above. I just always agreed with Gillick’s philosophy of not trading for pitchers too often because you don’t know their entire history. Also it bothers me more that Oswalt is a righty, if they would’ve gotten a lefty it would’ve been a better move in my mind, because now we have Hamels and that’s it, where before we at least had Happ as an option once he got healthy. Ultimately if they get to the Series I won’t care about this trade because I realize that no matter what this team is quite different then the ones I grew up watching since about fourth grade, 1997-2008 was a long enough time for me so I’m fine with three appearances in three years with at least one series win, although two would be better.

I just hope the injury does not come “back” to bite them. They took the word of the doctors in Houston and did not give Oswalt an MRI…it is the exact same mistake they made with Garcia. History will not necessarily repeat itself, but the possibility makes me nervous. If he stays healthy this year, I’ll be happy. If not…do not want to think about it.
And thank you, Todd…nice to hear someone finally say outloud that the Lee trade was a mistake. Because the farm system is depleated once again, which is the very thing we were told the Lee trade would avoid. Crossing my fingers that it all works out :O)


Phan: I never bought into the RUbe spin about the farm system. I agrees when he traded lee and I agree with that trade now. My problem with it is the return we got, not the fact that we traded him. You’re wrong, BTW, the trade just completed was, in effect Happ and Lee for Oswalt and 11 million bucks )forget all the prospects who may or may not become real players). I have no doubt that Oswalt, today, is better the Happ, and worse then Lee. My question is if he will still be better then Happ next year, and the year after? My fear of this trade isn’t Lee, but Oswalt’s back and age…and the thought that perhaps Happ becomes this generations Fergie Jenkinson……

phan52, the way I remember it is that the Phillies made one offer to Lee and then traded him before he even responded. This “difficult to sign” garbage was just more of Junior’s smoke screen.

fij, you never bought into Junior’s spin? I wish I had a nickle for every time you posted here the “restocking the farm system” meme.

Maybe you have a hard time reading, Pherris, so I’ll say it again. I agree with trading Lee for prospects if they weren’t going to resign him after this year. I don’t agree with the trade they made as they could have, and should have gotten better prospects for Lee (look at what Seatle got for a 1.2 year rental of Lee). If we were going to lay out $12 million or so on a pitcher for next year (oswalt) I would have preferred they pay it to Werth and keep him if possible. Oswalt will not do anything for this team that Happ wouldn’t have done, except make a spoiled fan base happy. How many more games will the Phillies win between now and Oct with Oswalt instead of Happ, 1-2?? How many more will they loose over the next 5-=7 years as Happ becomes a solid #2-3 pitcher and Oswalt retires with back issues after a year or two at most? Most posters here only think short term (Win now) and not long term (win every year). Trading a player you can’t keep for prospects who will help you over time is great, as long as the prospects are quality prospects and not the fiasco Rube got for Lee.

fij, no I do not have a hard time reading but you seem to have a hard time remembering. You bought into Junior’s “restocking the farm system” hook, line, and sinker.

I think everyone should read phan52’s 2:54pm post, if you haven’t already. WELL WRITTEN PHAN52 !

erichh1 , why exactly should we read phan52’s post? For misinformation and conjecture? One offer was made to Lee. Before he even had a chance to respond, Junior traded him. Happ is late developing? What a crock! Warren Spahn didn’t even make his major league debut until he was 25 and won over 300 games after turning 27. Steve Carlton won 225 games after the age of 27. Curt Schillings record at 27 was 35-36. And does the Happ who pitched a shutout last night look like he is “breaking down”.

i would not have traded happ for oswalt. plus we should have (gotten) more players not them even with the money discount. the phillies were hot there was no need for this trade. they had the upper hand. how they gonna keep werth now. or keep this team in check. what is ruben thinkin. well anyway, i hope oswalt does good!!!!! good luck man.

fun lineup for today!


go phillies

Wow. Now Happ is the second coming f Fergie Jenkins, Warren Spahn, Steve Carlton and Curt Schilling, and six innings constitutes a shut-out.
It’s amazing what a little hate willd do to a person’s objectivity.

Wow. Now Happ is the second coming f Fergie Jenkins, Warren Spahn, Steve Carlton and Curt Schilling, and six innings constitutes a shut-out.
It’s amazing what a little hate will do to a person’s objectivity.

phan52, we need only read your posts to understand what hate can do to objectivity. Where is it posted that Happ is the second coming of Jenkins, Spahn, Carlton or Schilling? I get it though, the only statistic that count are those you pull out of your derriere. By the way, Halladay was 18-17 after 4 years with an ERA of 4.95 and 336 inning pitched. Happ is 15-5 with an ERA of 3.03 in 223 innings pitched and still is in his 4th year and should wind up with close to 300 innings.

LOL!! Now Happ is Roy Halladay. At least when Halladay throws a shut-out it is of the 9 inning variety.

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