UPDATE: Jayson Stark tweets that Oswalt is expected to give the green light on a deal that would send him to the Phillies. However, nothing is official just yet.
UPDATE(2): According to ESPN's Amy K. Nelson, the Phils will add $1 million onto Oswalt's 2012 buyout, making it likely that's the option they'd take. The two sides are also trying to work in a no-trade clause for Oswalt with the Phillies.
UPDATE (3): ESPN's Jerry Crasnick and AOL FanHouse's Ed Price are both hearing outfielder Anthony Gose could be the third guy the Phils send Houston. In all, it would mean Happ, Worley, and Gose for Oswalt and $11 million.
After a couple weeks of back and forth talks between the Phillies and Houston Astros, it appears as though a deal could finally be in place. And, according to rumors, J.A. Happ is one of the guys the Phils will have to give up in order to acquire the Astros' pitcher.
For now, the only two names being mentioned with any certainty are Happ and Oswalt. There are reports that the Astros were pushing hard for Class-A first baseman Jonathan Singleton, but it doesn't appear as though the Phils were willing to part ways with the young slugger.
Outside of Domonic Brown, Singleton is widely considered the Phils' best young hitter, and could one day find himself in the majors.
Another name being kicked around in the deal is Vance Worley, the kid from Double-A who was called up for three days before being sent back down. It's not much, but just seeing him on an MLB roster might have made him attractive enough for Houston.
Other than that, the only thing we're hearing is a "young pitcher" from the Phils, and a lot of cash ($10-$12 million) from Houston to help pay Oswalt's salary for the remainder of this season and next year. Oswalt is still owed $5.46 million for the remainder of 2010, $16 million in 2011, and either a $16 million option in 2012 or a $2 million buyout.
Oswalt, however, is demanding that any team he is traded to picks up his option for 2012 or he'll refuse to waive his no-trade clause. The Phillies have basically said that's not happening, but there is a possibility they open up talks to restructure his deal in order to keep him around longer at a more reasonable price.
Oswalt does of course have the right to refuse this trade, but it seems unlikely since he's made it quite clear he wants out of Houston. They're a team going nowhere and the Phillies are yearly contenders not only for the division, but for the pennant.
There had been talks that Oswalt doesn't like Citizens Bank Park (since it's a hitter's park), and would have preferred the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals have, however, dropped out of the Oswalt talks and the Phils appear to be the only team seriously interested at this point.
So if Oswalt truly wants out of Houston, he'll waive the no-trade clause and spend at least a year and a half with a winning franchise.
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