July 29, 2010
As you've probably heard by now, it is official. Roy Oswalt(notes) has waived his no-trade clause and agreed to bring his pitching talents and $11 million of Drayton McLane's money — though sadly not Oswalt's Mike Scott-era throwback uniform — to the Philadelphia Phillies.
In return, the Houston Astros will receive starting pitcher J.A. Happ(notes) and minor league prospects Anthony Gose (an outfielder) and Jonathan Villar (a shortstop). Houston general manager Ed Wade will receive a fruit basket from grateful Phillies fans as this might qualify as the best move he ever made for the Phillies — even counting the time he was Philadelphia's GM.
So long as we resist the urge to make the easy Cliff Lee(notes) comparison and view the move in a vacuum, it's a good one for the Phillies. Add Oswalt to Roy Halladay(notes) and Cole Hamels(notes) and they arguably have the best top-three starters in the National League. As long as their offense can stop being inconsistent and return to its explosive self, they have a solid shot at their third straight NL pennant.
As for the Astros, this trade doesn't smell quite as nice when you consider that Oswalt was their most attractive tradebait and the haul they came away with was less than stellar. Then again, Oswalt didn't make things easy for the team to create a fierce market during his drawn-out soap opera of a trade demand. Wade had a lot of roadblocks to work around.
Now that this deal is complete and the top-three starters — Oswalt, Cliff Lee and Dan Haren(notes) — are off the trading block, it looks like we're in for a somewhat sedate deadline as it approaches on Saturday afternoon. Get ready for plenty of Adam Dunn(notes) and Ted Lilly(notes) speculation.