Roy Oswalt became a Phillie today in a prospect packed 3-team deal involving the Astros, Blue Jays, and the Phillies. Here are some moving parts from the deal that will help us find the correct grade for all 3 teams.
-Roy Oswalt(From Astros)
-$12 Million(From Astros)
-JA Happ (From Phillies)
-Brett Wallace(From Blue Jays)
-Jonathon Villar(From Phillies)
Blue Jays acquire
-Anthony Gose(From Astros via Phillies)
The Phillies acquired Roy Oswalt and $12 Million for JA Happ, Anthony Gose, and Jonathon Villar.
The $12 Million will cover more than half of Oswalt's salary for this season and the next. Oswalt then agreed to buyout his 2012 $16 Million option for $1 Million. Oswalt will provide the Phillies a former All-Star starter who has pitched nicely for Houston thus far. His line features a 3.42 ERA, with a 1.11 WHIP, and 120 K's in 129 innings pitched. According to ESPN that puts him on pace for a 3.42 ERA, with a 1.11 WHIP, and 192 K's in 207 innings pitched for this season. Oswalt should provide the Phillies a steady innings eater, who can also pitch out of trouble. A top 3 of Halladay, Hamels, and Oswalt gives the Phillies one of the best rotations in the big leagues.
Anthony Gose was then flipped to the Blue Jays for Brett Wallace so the Phillies get the possible luxury of not facing him when he reaches the Major Leagues every year. Gose is a speedy center fielder playing at the High A level, who was ranked sixth among the team's prospects by Baseball America heading into the season. He rates highly for his speed, defense, and arm tools, but remains a work in progress. The Blue Jays think he has Gold Glove potential, but we will see about that one.
JA Happ finished second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting last year with a 2.93 ERA in 166 innings. However, he's tallied only 53 pro innings in 2010 due to an April forearm injury. Happ won't go to arbitration until after the 2011 season and the Astros control his rights through 2014. Which makes him a nice cost effective starter who could benefit pitching at Minute Maid Park rather than Citzens Bank Park.
Jonathon Villiar is a shortstop in Low A ball, who was ranked 22nd among Phillies prospects heading into the season. The results haven't been there yet but scouts say he has "plus tools across the board except for power."
The Phillies caught a major break not having to give up more than one "premium minor league prospect", but they do take on money that will end all hopes at re-signing Jayson Werth this off-season. But the good news is that Werth will be a Type A free agent this off-season so he will give them draft picks, and that will only happen if the Phillies offer him arbitration as expected.
The Phillies are trusting their farm system, and a 32-year old workhorse in saving their season. It could or could not work for the Phillies, but for right now the grade comes in at a B.
The Astros acquired JA Happ, Brett Wallace, and Jonathon Villar in this complicated 3-way swap for Houston.
Happ is entering his prime and could be an intriguing starter for the Astros the next 4 years, but there are red flags. Rob Neyer recently compared him to Mark Redman (which is a bad comparison for the only major league ready player in a prospect based trade) and he has struggled with injuries all this season pitching just 53 innings due to a forearm injury as previously stated. Happ features a major league fastball, slider, and changeup, but a forearm trouble could spell trouble for his slider. Keep an eye on Happ the next few years, and hopefully he isn't the next Mark Redman.
First Base prospect Brett Wallace has been called a "hitting machine" by Astros GM Ed Wade, but he gets mixed reviews from scouts. Some scouts have called him the next Jack Cust, and others have called him the next Justin Morneau. Overall Brett Wallace is going to be a solid player for the Astros for many, many years. If they can just get adequate defense from him at first they will have found themselves an All-Star offensive weapon that will be able to lead the Astros in RBI's for many years.
Shortstop Jonathan Villar has hit .270/.345/.352 in his three-season career, making the jump from the DSL in 2008 to Rookie ball in 2009 to Single-A in 2010. The first thing that jumps out about Villar is the stolen bases. He has 82 in his career, and 38 of those so far in 2010. He's also posting a .272/.332/.358 line, which means he doesn't have much power. Baseball America says: Scouts rave about Villar's range and easy actions, saying he could play defense in the big leagues right now. "Defensively, it's all there—60 arm, very good range," one scout told us recently. Villar runs very well and is aggressive in terms of stealing and taking extra bases. Like Gose, he'll need repetitions to refine his offensive game. Villar likes to swing at fastballs early in the count and rarely walks. The switch-hitter has fared marginally better from the left side this season, batting .270/.333/.363 with both of his home runs."
The Astros save roughly $12 million by trading Roy Oswalt, but lose a fan favorite and arguably their best player.
But for right now the grade for the Astros comes in at a C.
The Blue Jays swapped prospects trading Brett Wallace for Anthony Gose which enabled them to get the player they actually wanted in the Roy Halladay trade.
Gose is what the Blue Jays believe is an "athletic, Gold Glove caliber center fielder," Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told the FAN 590 shortly after the deal. They tried to acquire him in the Halladay deal and again this spring. Gose has appeared in 103 games this season batting .263 for Clearwater, the Philadelphia Phillies affiliate in the Florida State League (A). The 6-1, 190 lb., left-handed hitter has collected 17 doubles, 11 triples, four home runs with 20 RBI while adding 36 stolen bases. The Paramount, California native was the Phillies second round selection in the 2008 First Year Player Draft. In 2009, he led all minor league players with 76 stolen bases while hitting .259 for Lakewood of the South Atlantic League (A).
Wallace on the other hand has hit .301 this season with Las Vegas of the Pacific Coast League (AAA) with 24 doubles, 18 home runs and 61 runs batted in. The 6-2, 205 lb. left-handed hitting first baseman was in his first year with the Blue Jays organization after being acquired from the Oakland Athletics on December 16, 2009 in exchange for OF Michael Taylor. Wallace was originally drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2008 First Year Player Draft.
The Jays most likely wanted the younger player in this deal as Gose is 19 compared to Wallace's 23, but as I previously stated Wallace is an All-Star caliber hitter. Which makes me wonder what the Jays line of thinking is considering Lyle Overbay is their current 1B.
I'm going to have give the Jays a D for doubtful on this entire idea of getting involved in yet another Phillies trade.