July 29, 2010
Let's tip our caps to Roy Oswalt(notes) – it only took him half a day to say yes to the Houston-Philadelphia trade. No made-for-TV special, no manufactured drama, no cliffhanger episode. Now we can all move on with our lives, real and fantasy.
Anyone who owns Oswalt in fantasy has to feel pretty good about the move; his fantasy value probably takes a mild step forward here. He's staying in the NL, he's heading to a contending club, he'll be working in front of an excellent defense, he gets to hand off leads to Brad Lidge(notes) again (okay, maybe that's not such a happy thing). Oswalt's career sample in Citizens Bank Park is small but solid – four starts, 27.2 IP, 25 K, 2.60 ERA, 1.30 WHIP – and he can safely take to the mound without having to pitch to all of the lethal Philadelphia hitters. He's in line to make his Phillies debut Friday against Washington.
Houston picks up left-hander J.A. Happ(notes) and two minor leaguers in the deal, along with cash considerations. Given how hapless the Astros have looked for most of 2010, it's fitting that they've made the move to acquire Happ.
Happ was a solid pitcher as a rookie in 2009 (2.93 ERA, 1.23 WHIP), albeit he was one of those "outperform the peripherals" surprises that can be hard to trust over the balance of a fantasy year. He's been dealing with forearm issues for most of 2010 and hasn't pitched that much. He returned to the Philly rotation last weekend and had an ordinary start against the Rockies (5 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 4 K). Mixed-leaguers should monitor what Happ does in Houston, but don't bother picking him up until he shows you something.
Outfielder Anthony Gose and shortstop Jonathan Villar are the two teenaged prospects the Astros grab in the deal; both are currently in Single-A ball. Gose turns 20 in a couple of weeks, Villar hits that birthday next spring.
2:56 pm update: Houston didn't hold onto Gose long; they immediately flipped him to Toronto for the well-traveled Brett Wallace. The Astros might give Wallace a shot to play with the big club right away; he's having a solid year in Triple-A (.301/.359/.509, 18 homers). Doc Behrens has already made a speculative Wallace pickup in the Yahoo Friends & Family League.