Phillies Land Another Ace In Oswalt

Steve O Speak

The Deals: The Phillies acquire Roy Oswalt and $11 million from the Astros for LHP J.A. Happ (MLB), OF Anthony Gose (A+) and IF Jonathan Villar (A-)

The Astros acquire 1B Brett Wallace (AAA) from the Blue Jays for OF Anthony Gose (A+)

Phillies: Philadelphia did a great job in this deal, not only acquire Oswalt for a third N.L. Title run, but to get him at the price they did. Happ is a nice back of the rotation starter, who gets by because he is a lefty (and quite a bit of luck). The fact that he headlines this deal is a huge steal for the Phillies. Gose and Villar are nice young prospects but they weren’t going to be in Philly for another 3-4 years. Neither player is going to help the Phillies win these next two seasons, but that is exactly what Oswalt will do. The best part of this deal is the fact that the Astros kicked in $11 million of the $23 million owed to Oswalt, which means the Phillies have another ace at half the price. The fact that the Phillies didn’t have to give up any more or better prospects to get that amount of money shows just how desperate the Astros were to move Oswalt.

Astros: The Astros sold low on Oswalt and only saved half the money that was owed to him so they didn’t really help their bottom line. Happ and two low minors prospects is a weak return for Oswalt, not to mention the $11 million they kicked in. While Astros fans will talk about the $12 million they saved, I don’t think it will amount to that much, because I imagine they will lose some money at the box office. Now I fully believe they should have traded Oswalt and use that money in other areas, but they will lose fans and money by making this move. The Astros should have acquired 1-2 additionals prospects or one other top prospect to even begin to get to even value for what they gave up. The only positive is they were able to flip Gose to the Blue Jays for Brett Wallace. Wallace who has already been traded for Matt Holliday and former Philly prospect Michael Taylor in the past 12 months, is a quality 1B prospect. Wallace for Gose is a great deal for the Astros since it gives them not only the higher rated prospect, but the one closest to the majors. Wallace profiles as a solid defensive 1B, who has good plate discipline and 30 HR power. He should be starting for the Astros no later than the beginning of next season, and gives Houston a quality piece to build around for the future.

Blue Jays: Toronto made a bit of a strange move by making the side deal for Gose. Wallace was a top prospect and should have commanded a similar return or could headline a major trade. Gose could profile as a high quality center fielder, but they paid a high price for him. Wallace is basically major league ready and with Lyle Overbay moving on next season (earlier if they trade him), there is a starting spot for Wallace on the Jays. While they have some other nice 1B prospects, none are as good or ready as Wallace. The Blue Jays did seem to be poised to contend by the start of the 2012 season, but now I would begin to question that timeline.

Winner: The Phillies are the big winner in this deal, not only getting Oswalt but getting money in this deal as well. As for the Astros, they soundly lost the Philly portion of this trade, but helped offset that with a big win in the Toronto side of this deal. The Blue Jays made a strange move here selling low on Wallace, who seemed like a major part of their future.

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