For the Philadelphia Phillies, are two Roys better than one?
Multiple sources are reporting Thursday morning that the Phillies and Houston Astros have agreed to terms on a deal that will send Roy Oswalt to Philadelphia. The teams are said to have the players and the money in place, and are simply awaiting Oswalt's okay.
According to Mark Berman of FOX 26 Sports in Houston, the Astros have approached Oswalt, he is aware that a deal is on the table, and the teams are simply waiting for his response.
Oswalt has a No Trade Clause, which he must waive in order for the Astros to deal him. Oswalt has said to be insistent that his $16 million 2012 team option be picked up by any team seeking to acquire him.
The deal, which comes one day after the smashing debut of Phillies rookie Domonic Brown, looks to reinvent a team that has struggled this season under the weight of expectations and injuries. The Phils are currently without their starters Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Shane Victorino, as well as veteran starting pitcher Jamie Moyer.
While the official trade deadline is this Saturday at 4:00 pm, there is an informal deadline of sorts attached to this deal. Oswalt, who is one win away from Joe Niekro's Astros career record of 144, is scheduled to start against Milwaukee on Friday night.
Sources say that if Oswalt is still an Astro by then, he will not be dealt.
The deal would bring a mixture of excitement and consternation for the Phillies and their fans. Oswalt, who is owed $16 million for each of the next two seasons, would appear to be quite a bit more expensive, and a little more removed from his prime, than Cliff Lee, whom the Phillies had and chose to trade citing salary concerns.
Lee is making $9 million this season.
And if the Oswalt deal involves dealing Phillies second year man J.A. Happ, then the Phils will have gone from a potential front four of Roy Halladay, Lee, Cole Hamels, and Happ, to a rotation of Halladay, Hamels, Oswalt, and Joe Blanton.
While the latter would seem to be quite good, the former would have been unstoppable.
Asher B. Chancey lives in Philadelphia and is a co-founder of BaseballEvolution.com .