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J.A. Happ Rumors
The Angels' $510K renewal of Mike Trout's contract for 2013 has made minor news this week. Now FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that Trout's agent, Craig Landis, has suggested his client wanted a $1M contract for 2013. Since Trout is a pre-arbitration eligible player and does not have a long-term deal, the Angels were not obligated to pay him any more than the league minimum salary of $490K, despite Trout's exceptional 2012 performance. One source tells Rosenthal the Angels did not negotiate the deal at all. Another tells him that the Angels initially offered Trout a contract of more than $510K, but Trout did not accept it, and the Angels gave him the $510K contract as punishment. In any case, as Rosenthal suggests, the mini-controversy over Trout's 2013 salary will quickly vanish into history if the two sides can agree on a long-term deal. And, of course, salaries near the league minimum are routine for pre-arbitration eligible players, even spectacular ones. Here are more notes from around the majors.
- The Blue Jays' offseason acquisitions of Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and R.A. Dickey have put the squeeze on several Jays pitchers, including J.A. Happ, who no longer has much of a shot at a rotation job. Nonetheless, Happ continues to prepare for the season as a starter, writes Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com. "Right now I'm focused on being a starter, building up and doing what I've done in the past," says Happ. Happ could win a job in the bullpen, or he could wind up in the rotation at Triple-A Buffalo, even though he will earn $3.7MM this year.
- Third baseman Eric Chavez, now with the Diamondbacks, says he needed to leave the Athletics organization behind after suffering numerous injuries in his last seasons there, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports. Chavez left the A's after the 2010 season, and signing a minor-league deal with the Yankees gave him a chance to "restart everything" by escaping from expectations established early in his career in Oakland. Chavez hit .281/.348/.496 in a successful 2012 campaign in New York, leading to a one-year, $3MM major-league deal with Arizona for 2013.
- Happ is “mired in a grey zone” in Toronto, writes Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca. Despite solid credentials, Happ may not even earn a roster spot as a reliever with the new-look Jays. With another potential lefty long-reliever (Brett Cecil) out of options, Toronto manager John Gibbons admits that Happ is not only “the odd man out” of the rotation, but could find himself “back down in Triple-A.”
- Justin Verlander was merely stating the obvious when he said he hoped to become the first $200MM pitcher, MLB.com’s Jason Beck reports. Verlander explained: “The question was posed to me: ‘Do you want to be the first $200MM pitcher?’ Well, yeah. What kind of question is that? Of course I do.”
- Cody Ross revealed today that “Texas was wanting to move pretty quick” towards a deal before the outfielder signed with the Diamondbacks, Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com writes. While it was previously reported that the Rangers had met with Ross, the Arizona-dwelling Ross explained the "crazy timing" that occurred. Ross sat down with Texas right after learning that Arizona was interested, and by the end of the next day had “basically agreed” to sign with the Diamondbacks.
Dozens of players will agree to terms with their respective teams today and avoid arbitration. We'll have detailed posts on the top earners around MLB, and we'll track more modest agreements — those worth less than $4MM — right here. MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker will have all of the details.
Teams had until 12pm CDT today to exchange filing numbers with their arbitration eligible players. Generally speaking the deadline creates lots of discussion and leads to early deals. Plus, for ‘file and trial’ teams this marks the final chance for negotiations in advance of a hearing. Here are the latest agreements from around MLB…
- The Padres announced that they have avoided arbitration with Edinson Volquez. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
- The Red Sox announced that they avoided arbitration with Andrew Bailey ($4.1MM), Daniel Bard ($1.8625MM), Andrew Miller ($1.475MM), and Franklin Morales ($1.4875MM). Terms courtesy of WEEI.com's Rob Bradford.
- The Mets and Bobby Parnell avoided arb with a $1.7MM deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
- The Red Sox avoided arbitration with Alfredo Aceves, agreeing to a deal worth $2.65MM plus incentives, according to O'Connell Sports Management, Aceves' agency (on Twitter via Jon Heyman).
- The Cubs avoided arbitration with James Russell and Jeff Samardzija, Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com reports (on Twitter). Samardzija obtains $2.64MM while Russell gets $1.075MM, Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com reports (on Twitter).
- The Diamondbacks announced that they avoided arbitration with Chris Johnson ($2.2875MM). The team also avoided arbitration with Brad Ziegler ($3.15MM), agreeing to a one-year deal, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reports (on Twitter). Terms courtesy of Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (on Twitter).
- The Nationals announced that they agreed to terms with Tyler Clippard, avoiding arbitration (via Amanda Comak on Twitter). The Nationals avoided arbitration with Ian Desmond, agreeing to a one-year, $3.8MM deal, Amanda Comak of the Washington Times reports (on Twitter). The Nationals also avoided arb with Roger Bernadina according to the outfielder's agent, James Wagner of the Washington Post reports (on Twitter). The Nationals and Ross Detwiler agreed to a one-year, $2.3375MM contract, according to CAA (via Twitter).
- Brennan Boesch and Phil Coke avoided arbitration, agreeing to one-year deals with the Tigers, Jason Beck of MLB.com reports (on Twitter). Boesch will earn $2.3MM while Coke will earn $1.85MM. The Tigers also avoided arbitration with Alex Avila, agreeing to a one-year, $2.95MM deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (all Twitter links). Austin Jackson agreed to a deal worth $3.5MM for 2013, Heyman reports. Doug Fister obtained a one-year, $4MM deal from Detroit, Heyman reports.
- The Dodgers and A.J. Ellis avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year, $2MM deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Ronald Belisario agreed to a one-year, $1.45MM deal, MLB.com's Ken Gurnick reports (on Twitter).
- The Mariners announced that they avoided arbitration with Kendrys Morales and Brendan Ryan on one-year agreements for 2013. Morales will obtain $5.25MM plus performance bonuses, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Ryan obtained $3.25MM, Heyman reports (on Twitter).
- The Rockies avoided arb with Tyler Colvin, agreeing to a one-year deal, the team announced (on Twitter). Colvin will earn $2.275MM, Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes (on Twitter).
- The Braves avoided arbitration with Cristhian Martinez, agreeing to a one-year deal, MLB.com's Mark Bowman reports (on Twitter). The Braves avoided arb with Kris Medlen, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports (on Twitter). Medlen will earn $2.6MM in 2013. They also avoided arb with Jason Heyward, agreeing to a one-year, $3.65MM deal, Bowman reports (onTwitter). The Braves agreed with another young player, avoiding arb with Jonny Venters, O'Brien reports (on Twitter). It's a $1.625MM deal. Earlier today the Braves agreed to a one-year deal with Eric O'Flaherty, avoiding arbitration, Bowman reported (on Twitter). He'll earn $4.32MM plus awards bonuses, Bowman adds.
- The Athletics announced they avoided arb with Jerry Blevins and Brandon Moss, agreeing to one-year deals for 2013.
- The Cardinals avoided arb with Mitchell Boggs and Edward Mujica, B.J. Rains of FOX Sports MidWest reports (on Twitter).
- The Indians announced that they avoided arb with Matt Albers and Justin Masterson. Albers will earn $1.75MM in 2013, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports (on Twitter). Masterson will earn $5.6875MM according to Bastian (on Twitter). The Indians and Joe Smith avoided arbitration with a one-year, $3.15MM deal, Bastian reported earlier today (on Twitter). The Indians also avoided arbitration with Lou Marson, Bastian reports (Twitter links). The catcher will earn $1MM on a one-year deal in 2013.
- The Astros avoided arb with Wesley Wright, agreeing to a one-year deal, MLB.com's Brian McTaggart reports (on Twitter). Wright will earn $1.025MM, according to Heyman (on Twitter). Earlier today the Astros and Bud Norris avoided arb with a one-year, $3MM deal, McTaggart reports (on Twitter). The Astros and Jed Lowrie avoided arbitration with a one-year, $2.4MM deal with awards bonuses, according to his representatives at CAA Baseball (on Twitter).
- The White Sox announced that they avoided arbitration with Alejandro De Aza, agreeing to a $2.075MM deal for 2013. The White Sox also avoided arb with Gordon Beckham, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $2.925MM for 2013, MLBTR has learned.
- The Orioles announced that they avoided arb with Chris Davis and Brian Matusz (Twitter link). Matusz gets a base salary of $1.6MM while Davis gets $3.3MM, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports (Twitter links). The Orioles also avoided arbitration with Troy Patton. The sides agreed to a one-year, $815K deal, his agency, CAA Sports, announced on Twitter.
- The Brewers avoided arb with right-hander Marco Estrada and reliever Burke Badenhop, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports (Twitter links). Estrada will earn $1.955MM while Badenhop will earn $1.55MM, Haudricourt reports.
- The Rays avoided arbitration with Matthew Joyce and Ryan Roberts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports (on Twitter). Joyce will earn $2.45MM and Roberts will earn $2.95MM plus incentives, the Rays announced. The Rays also avoided arbitration with Sam Fuld, agreeing to a one-year, $725K deal, Topkin reported (on Twitter). Earlier today the Rays avoided arbitration with Jeff Niemann. The sides agreed to a one-year, $3MM deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
- The Royals announced that they avoided arbitration with Luke Hochevar, agreeing to a one-year deal for 2013. Hochevar will earn $4.56MM plus performance bonuses, Pete Grathoff of the Kansas City Star reports (on Twitter).
- The Yankees avoided arb with Boone Logan, agreeing to a one-year, $3.15MM deal (via CAA Sports on Twitter).
- The Padres avoided arb with John Baker, agreeing to a $930K deal (via CAA Sports on Twitter).
- The Twins and Brian Duensing avoided arb with a $1.3MM deal for 2013 (via CAA Sports on Twitter).
- The Marlins avoided arbitration with Ryan Webb, agreeing to a $975K deal, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports (on Twitter).
- The Blue Jays announced that they avoided arbitration with Emilio Bonifacio by agreeing to a one-year, $2.6MM deal. The Blue Jays also announced that they avoided arbitration with J.A. Happ, agreeing to a one-year, $3.7MM deal for 2013.
- The Angels and Tommy Hanson avoided arbitration with a one-year, $3.725MM deal, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports.
- The Giants avoided arb with Gregor Blanco, agreeing to a one-year, $1.35MM deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
- The Phillies announced that they avoided arbitration with Antonio Bastardo with a $1.4MM contract for 2013.
- Gaby Sanchez and the Pirates have reached agreement on a one-year, $1.75MM deal plus bonuses to avoid arbitration, according to the Beverly Hills Sports Council (on Twitter).
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Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos introduced Jose Reyes in Toronto yesterday, explaining that players of Reyes’ caliber are difficult to find. “He’s electric,” Anthopoulos said. “High energy, smile on his face, just so many things. This is a rare guy to find. Leadoff, shortstop, energy, makeup — check off every single box.” Here are some more notes on the Blue Jays with Spring Training just a month away…
- Before the Blue Jays acquired Reyes, they had been “really close” to another trade that would have had a similar impact on their 2013 payroll, Anthopoulos said. They discussed the deal toward the end of October, when option decisions were due.
- The Blue Jays continue to seek a 25th man to round out their roster. Anthopoulos said last week that the Blue Jays would like to add a right-handed bench player capable of playing multiple infield positions. That said, the Blue Jays could add such a player in Spring Training.
- Don’t expect another deal in the near future. “We’re not having any dialogue at all with respect to trades,” Anthopoulos said.
- The Blue Jays could add a player or two on minor league deals and under the right circumstances they could add a player to the 40-man roster.
- Anthopoulos hopes the rotation provides enough innings that the team doesn’t need to seriously consider an eight-man bullpen. The Blue Jays have a pretty full bullpen, so it doesn’t appear as though free agent right-hander Brandon Lyon will return. “I don’t want to ever close the door on him, since he did a great job for us,” Anthopoulos said.
- The GM stressed the importance of starting pitching depth and explained that players such as Justin Germano, Brad Lincoln and J.A. Happ provide the club with options.
- The Blue Jays are a ‘file and trial’ team meaning if they exchange filing numbers with players they go to a hearing. Anthopoulos said he’s “hopeful” and “optimistic” that the Blue Jays could reach deals with their three remaining eligible players by today’s deadline. Emilio Bonifacio, Happ and Josh Thole are Toronto’s eligible players, as MLBTR’s Arbitration Tracker shows. Assistant GM Jay Sartori is leading the way for the Blue Jays as they negotiate with their players.
- Though the Blue Jays look like an improved team, Anthopoulos cautioned that many of their American League rivals have also added significant pieces. “You can’t take anything for granted,” he said. “We haven’t even played a game yet. We still have to win a game, and we have to win a lot more than one. The whole division is outstanding.”
The Astros and Blue Jays have completed a ten-player trade, the teams announced. The Astros obtain seven players from Toronto: right-hander Francisco Cordero, outfielder Ben Francisco, minor leaguers Joe Musgrove, Asher Wojciechowski, David Rollins and Carlos Perez, and a player to be named. The Astros send left-hander J.A. Happ (pictured) and right-handed relievers Brandon Lyon and David Carpenter to Toronto in the trade.
“Once again we are adding depth to our minor league system with quality young players," GM Jeff Luhnow said in a team press release. "We really feel this will help us moving forward and are extremely excited about the players we’ve added to our organization.”
Cordero and Francisco don't have assurances of staying with the Astros beyond 2012. Cordero, 37, has a 5.77 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 in 34 1/3 innings this year. He signed a one-year deal with a base salary of $4.5MM before the season. Francisco, 30, earns $1.54MM this year and will be arbitration eligible again this coming offseason. He posted a .240/.296/.380 batting line in Toronto and battled a hamstring injury, so he could be considered a non-tender candidate.
The Blue Jays selected Wojciechowski in the supplementary first round of the 2010 draft. The 23-year-old has a 4.05 ERA with 7.0 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 in parts of three minor league seasons. He ranked tenth on Baseball America's offseason list of Toronto's best prospects. Musgrove, 19, was a supplementary first round selection of Toronto's in the 2011 draft. The 6'5" right-hander has a 3.31 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 in 32 2/3 innings over the course of two pro seasons.
Rollins, 22, has a 2.46 ERA with 8.3 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in parts of two pro seasons. The Blue Jays selected the left-hander in the 24th round of the 2011 draft. Perez, 21, has a .275/.358/.447 batting line at Class A Lansing this year. The Venezuelan catcher has a career .777 OPS in parts of five minor league seasons.
Lyon, 32, is also on track to hit free agency this coming offseason. The former Blue Jays reliever has a 3.25 ERA with 8.8 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 36 innings with Houston this year. Lyon, who pitched in Toronto from 2001-02, earns $5.5MM this year in the final season of a three-year, $15MM contract.
This marks the second time in three years that Happ has been involved in a midseason trade. The Astros acquired the left-hander from Philadelphia along with current Blue Jays outfielder Anthony Gose for Roy Oswalt in 2010. Happ, 29, has a 4.83 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 104 1/3 innings so far in 2012. He's earning a salary of $2.35MM this year and will remain under team control through 2014.
Carpenter, 27, has a 6.07 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9 in 29 2/3 innings out of the bullpen this year. The right-hander has a strong minor league record: a 2.97 ERA with 9.6 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in five seasons.
The Blue Jays announced that they called up Travis Snider. The 24-year-old had a .335/.423/.598 batting line at Triple-A Las Vegas.
Photo courtesy of US Presswire.
Dozens of arbitration eligible players have agreed to deals with their respective teams today and we've been tracking all of the developments right here. Several teams, including the Rays, Nationals, Marlins, White Sox, Blue Jays, Braves, and perhaps Astros, are known for committing to going to hearings if they get to the point of filing. Keep track of all the madness with MLBTR's arbitration tracker, which shows settlement amounts, filing figures, and midpoints. Today's players to avoid arbitration on deals worth less than $4MM:
- The Cardinals avoided arbitration with pitcher Kyle McClellan, tweets B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest. Joe Strauss of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports (on Twitter) that the one-year deal is worth $2.5MM with incentives based on starts. MLBTR projected a $2.7MM for the Steve Comte client.
- MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith reports (on Twitter) that the Padres and Chase Headley agreed to a one-year deal worth $3.475MM, avoiding arbitration. Earlier this evening, the Padres announced that they avoided arbitration with Luke Gregerson, Edinson Volquez, Carlos Quentin and Will Venable. They also avoided arbitration with lefty reliever Joe Thatcher on a deal worth $700K, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. CAA announced catcher John Baker has signed for $750K. Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune first reported that the Padres reached agreements with Hundley, Chase Headley, and Tim Stauffer. Hundley will earn $2MM in 2012, MLB.com's Corey Brock tweets. Dan Hayes of the North County Times tweets the salaries for Volquez ($2.2375MM), Venable ($1.475MM), Gregerson ($1.55MM)
- The Rangers avoided arbitration with Matt Harrison, tweets Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News. The ACES client gets $2.95MM on a one-year deal. MLBTR had projected a $2.9MM salary.
- The Cubs announced that they have avoided arbitration with Jeff Baker ($1.375MM), Blake DeWitt ($1.1MM), Ian Stewart ($2.237MM) Chris Volstad ($2.655MM), and Randy Wells ($2.705MM). MLB.com's Carrie Muskat tweeted the salary figures.
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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.
1:53pm: The deal is done, tweets Rosenthal. Piecing this together, it appears the Astros send Oswalt and $11MM to the Phillies for Happ, Gose, and Villar, with the Phils potentially adding $1MM to Oswalt's buyout but not exercising his option.
1:44pm: Rosenthal tweets that Oswalt's option is actually a mutual one. With the trade, his buyout will increase from $1MM to $2MM if the Phillies pick up the option and he declines, and remain at $2MM "if he simply opts out on his own." Rosenthal adds that the third player in the deal will be shortstop prospect Jonathan Villar. Some sources spell it "Villan," including the Baseball America Handbook.
1:34pm: Oswalt has accepted the deal, tweets Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
12:51pm: Gose and Happ are definitely in the deal, tweets CSN Philly's Jim Salisbury.
12:12pm: Oswalt plans to OK the deal, but it's not official yet, reports Stark. He adds that the Astros will be sending $11MM. Rosenthal tweets that Oswalt's 2012 option will not be exercised; he'll be compensated some other way. ESPN's Amy K. Nelson tweets that Oswalt will get $1MM added by the Phillies to the buyout of his '12 option. She adds that the details are being worked out now regarding Oswalt retaining his no-trade clause.
10:43am: Rosenthal tweets that he hears Singleton is not in the deal.
9:04am: The Astros will receive three players for Oswalt, tweets Rosenthal, while also paying a "very significant" part of his salary. Happ will be one of the three. Astros owner Drayton McLane has been negotiating directly with Phillies president David Montgomery, reports CBS' Danny Knobler.
7:37am: SI's Jon Heyman hears the Astros and Phillies were discussing Happ, righty Vance Worley, and two younger pitchers (Twitter link). Worley, a 22-year-old righty, spent most of 2010 at Double A, posting a 3.20 ERA, 6.6 K/9, and 2.9 BB/9. Baseball America ranked him 18th among Phillies prospects heading into the season, predicting a future as a back-end starter or middle reliever.
1:08am: The Astros and Phillies have reached an agreement on a Roy Oswalt trade, reports Mark Berman of FOX 26 in Houston. Berman says the Astros are now waiting for Oswalt's approval, having hammered out the players and money with the Phils. Wednesday morning, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports had reported that the players were "pretty much agreed on." Lefty J.A. Happ has been a rumored part of the deal for a while now.
Oswalt's contract has $5.46MM left from his $15MM salary this year, $16MM in 2011, and a 2012 option for $16MM with a $2MM buyout. It remains to be seen how the Astros and Phillies settled the financials and whether the Phils will pick up Oswalt's option, though SI's Jon Heyman hears that the Astros are sending a lot of money to the Phillies (Twitter link).
Ted Lilly may have made his last start as a Cub last night, tossing five-plus shutout innings in Houston while lowering his ERA to 3.69. The latest on the lefty up top:
- The Dodgers are more focused on Lilly and Paul Maholm than Roy Oswalt, according to ESPN.com's Jayson Stark.
- The market for Lilly has picked up, according to Stark (on Twitter). The Tigers are involved, and so are the Dodgers, Twins and Phillies.
- The Phillies have inquired on Lilly, according to Rosenthal (on Twitter). Ed Price of AOL FanHouse hears rumblings about a possible Lilly-J.A. Happ deal (Twitter link). However, Stark hears that the Phils, who are on the lefty's no-trade list, won't deal Happ for Lilly. The Twins and Dodgers remain involved, but the Mets are waiting to hear "from above" before pursuing Lilly more aggressively, according to Rosenthal.
- The Cubs have indicated a recent willingness to assume some of the $4.43MM owed to Lilly, reports ESPN's Jayson Stark. That'd help the chances of a Dodgers deal. Unfortunately for the Cubs, potential Lilly suitors like the Mets and Tigers may be reassessing their chances.
- The Twins have asked about Lilly, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, but their presence on his no-trade list means he'd require additional compensation to accept a deal.
The lowdown on Roy Oswalt, with the newest buzz up top…
- The Phils and Astros have a deal in place that would send Oswalt to Philadelphia, according to Mark Berman of FOX 26 Sports in Houston. Oswalt, who is aware of the potential deal, can make it official by waiving his no-trade clause. Ken Rosenthal and Jon Heyman are working to confirm the story on Twitter.
- Talks between the Phillies and Astros have intensified in the last day, according to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark. The clubs have more or less agreed on players – J.A. Happ and prospects would go to Houston – but they can’t agree on how much salary the Astros will absorb. Jayson Werth is off the market, so taking on payroll won’t be easy for the Phils.
- The Dodgers are now more focused on trying to obtain Ted Lilly or Paul Maholm.
- The Phillies and Astros are now dealing one-on-one, with no other teams involved, according to Olney (via Twitter). Jon Heyman of SI.com says the Phillies are the favorites to acquire Oswalt and notes (on Twitter) that the Yanks inquired once.
- Three or four teams will likely be involved if the Phillies acquire Oswalt, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (via Twitter).
- Astros owner Drayton McLane told Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle that a trade seems likely. "I'd say it's about 60% that something could be done and 40% that Roy will be here next year," McLane said.
- Oswalt is telling friends that he can’t wait to leave Houston, according to Newsday’s Ken Davidoff. The righty says he won’t necessarily insist that teams pick up his 2012 option.
- Oswalt wants ample time to decide on any trade, reports MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. He doesn't want the Astros coming to him an hour or two before Saturday's deadline.
- The Reds made a cursory call on Oswalt, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, but no names were exchanged. John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer wrote today that Oswalt is too expensive for the Reds.
- The Cardinals are out and the Dodgers are making no progress, reports Rosenthal. The Phillies' front office is still divided about giving up prospects and taking on Oswalt's contract, though the players they'd send to the Astros are "pretty much agreed on." Earlier today, Joel Sherman of the New York Post wrote that the Cardinals remain in contact with the Astros for Oswalt.
- If Oswalt takes the mound Friday night against the Brewers, "the odds of him being traded are down to almost nothing" says Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle. ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the Astros are "working very, very hard" to find an acceptable Oswalt deal despite all the obstacles.
- The Phillies "remain top contenders" for Oswalt, writes MLB.com's Todd Zolecki. Zolecki's source thinks Oswalt's 2012 club option "is not the sticking point it has been made to be." On the other hand, ESPN's Jayson Stark feels that if the Phillies retain Jayson Werth as expected they won't have a way to clear 2010 payroll for Oswalt.