Just one win shy of the Astros' franchise win record, Roy Oswalt is leaving the only team he's ever known. The 32-year-old righty approved a trade to the Phillies, who sent J.A. Happ and low minors prospects Anthony Gose and Jonathan Villar to Houston for Oswalt and $11MM. The Astros then flipped Gose to the Blue Jays. The Phillies will not pick up Oswalt's 2012 option, but will add $1MM to the buyout as compensation. Seven months after trading Cliff Lee to the Mariners for prospects, the Phillies added a different ace to their rotation to support Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels. Oswalt has a 3.42 ERA, 8.4 K/9, and 2.4 BB/9 in 20 starts this year.
Oswalt asked the Astros for a trade in late May, and talks ensued with the Phillies, Cardinals, Rangers, Padres, and Dodgers, among others. Astros owner Drayton McLane dealt directly with Phillies president David Montgomery to complete the complicated trade. As expected, Oswalt's full no-trade clause, his 2012 option, and the $23.46MM guaranteed to him through '11 were significant obstacles.
Happ, 27, 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.
Gose, a speedy center fielder playing at the High A level, 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.
Villar, a shortstop in Low A ball, was ranked 22nd among Phillies prospects heading into the season. The results haven't been there yet but BA says he has "plus tools across the board except for power."
Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston first reported the agreement late Wednesday night, while Ken Rosenthal, Jayson Stark, Jon Heyman, Matt Gelb, Amy K. Nelson, Jerry Crasnick, and Danny Knobler contributed more information today.