The biggest name on the trading block this summer has finally been dealt.
Former Houston Astros ace Roy Oswalt knew this year was going to be tough. As an aging player wanting to get a ring, he knew his time in Houston was numbered.
Many teams tried to make a move for Oswalt the past month, but there were problems with his contract. Originally, it was thought that the St. Louis Cardinals were the front runner to land Oswalt, but his contract situation could have been in the way to sign Albert Pujols in the future.
Oswalt has two years left on his contract for over $30 million, as well as a team option of over $16 million in 2012. With the addition of a no-trade clause, Oswalt was going to block any trade that did not guarantee that his option would be picked up. However, it looks like his mind has changed.
ESPN's Jayson Stark has reported that the Phillies and the Astros have a deal that would send Oswalt to Philadelphia, while the Phillies would send J.A. Happ along with two minor league prospects yet to be determined. As of right now, we are currently waiting to see if Oswalt will allow the trade to occur. However, I have heard rumors this afternoon that it is a done deal and will break at the six o'clock SportsCenter.
Even though Phillies have been disappointing this year, they've started to heat up at the right time. They are currently on a six-game winning streak riding their excellent pitching. With the bats starting to heat up, they are now becoming the team to beat in the National League.
The addition of Oswalt gives the Phillies the best one-two punch along with Roy Halladay. Only 3.5 games back from the Braves and 2.5 back in the wild card, it looks like they are primed to take over the National League. Don't be surprised to see them not only make the playoffs, but make it to their third consecutive World Series as well.
Even though I'm not a Yankees fan or a Phillies fan, it is important that the MLB creates a big-time rivalry from each league. Notice how the NBA has increased in popularity renewing the Celtics-Lakers in the Finals. Although it is unlikely to happen, it would help create new interest in the game.