Phillies acquire Roy Oswalt for Happ, Gose and Villar

According to Ken Rosenthal’s twitter feed, the deal is complete. The Phillies give up LHP JA Happ, OF Anthony Gose, and SS Jonathan Villar in exchange for Roy Oswalt and cash, believed to be in upwards of $11M.

There are plenty of places to read about Happ. If you want to read about Anthony Gose, check here, and you can also check out my Top 30 prospects from this past winter to read about Jonathan Villar.

In my midseason Top 15, I ranked Gose #5 and Villar #13 in the system.

I will provide full analysis of the deal later this evening, so if you want to hear my take, check back later. In the meantime, use this post to discuss the deal.

168 thoughts on “Phillies acquire Roy Oswalt for Happ, Gose and Villar

  1. Villar is a tough loss, but I’m happy to keep Worley. He could be part of rebuilding the bullpen next year, which will have to be done cheaply given the salary commitments already made.

  2. Been fun following Villar’s growth this year, but to get Oswalt without really depleting the depth/quality that’s developed in the sytem this year PLUS getting $11MM really seems unbelievable.

  3. It’s pretty hot outside, but I’m wearing my FLEECE anyway. Kudos to Rube.

  4. Anyone else think that the addition of Villar to this deal makes it not such a good trade. Maybe I overrate Villar but he is/was our best SS prospect by far and was a 6-10 top prospect in our system. We officially have no 3B/SS prospects in our system now that Villar is gone.

    Do you guys really like Worley over Villar? If so I could not disagree more.

  5. Villar’s last minute inclusion is strikingly similar to D’Arnaud’s in the Halladay deal, wherein we’re more or less selling our top prospect at an organizationally thin position of extreme defensive value.

    Hooray for throwing money at the Blantons and Baezs of the world, rather than filling those holes with waiting-in-the-wings minor league talent, and thus affording us a modicum of financial flexibility.

  6. Seems like Wade wants to build an OF/SS group of .270 hitting guys who can steal 60 bases each. If he build a staff of 4 CY Young candidates, he might win with that. I guess he does not like Bourn for the long run and he is rolling the dice with Bourn II. I like Happ, but he could break down, given some arm troubles in recent years. Gose is no guarantee, although I like him to be a solid CF. Villar shows promise, but not even Hi-A tested yet. We are getting big bucks back. Giving up no clear impact players. Get Oswalt for 1.5 years. Feels good to be on the other side of a Wade fleece.

  7. Villar hurts but he is a maybe and years away and they got a sure controlled thing back at a nice $. And we still have Galvis in the system. He is still young, let him repeat AA before he is written off

  8. Hate to lose Gose but this is a good deal for the Phillies. We’re more right-handed now in the rotation but that’s OK. Worley is our best pitching prospect that’s close to the bigs so it’s very good to keep him. Obviously CF depth in the system mitigates Gose’s loss. Villar is the wild card but he’s so young and Rollins will be here for another 5 years probably. Overall,especially when you add in the money received, this has to be viewed as a winning trade for us.

  9. You gotta give to get. I’d rather have Villar, but he is years away, and it may be shortsighted, but Worley gives the Philllies a little more pitching depth for this/next season.*

    *could also be dealt still.

  10. bp,

    Hehe, nice parody of the more extreme Amaro bashers. Though after a deal like this, you’re kind of piling on I think.

    Oh, you were serious?

  11. I’ve been very, very critical of Ruben in the past. But I think this is a great deal and that the Phillies front office did a great job on this. They played this masterfully.

  12. C’mon–I think Villar is a good prospect, but we kept Singleton! After all the agita about losing Singleton (I was in that camp), there has to be a huge sigh of relief that the Phils held on to him while still getting Oswalt…

  13. can someone put up a link to the top 15 update? I remember reading it but I can’t find it now??

  14. Other than being the best SS prospect in our system (by default), Villar wasn’t overly exciting anyway. Yes, he’s only 19, but he had 40+ errors, was showing no power, and no eye. This is an unbelievable trade, really. We have at least 3 more Anthony Goses on the way, Villar was just nothing to get excited about (we still have Galvis if you’re in need of an all-glove-not-much-hit SS), and Oswalt is a huge upgrade over Happ.

    Ed Wade: Proving once again that he is the worst GM in the MLB.

  15. best part is we kept the rizz!
    At least he is the most fun to discuss on this board. realize he has no position with the phils. but the board would be quiet without him and without brown in the minors.. and with cosart hurt.

  16. We had to give up something that hurt (at least a little bit.) In this case that hurt came in the form of losing a couple guys we kinda liked when it very reasonably could have come in the form of losing Singleton. Really there is no room to complain about this deal.

    In another few weeks we will field a really good team and then field that team again next year, smiles all around.

  17. I feel like someone is playing a big joke with me that we just got Roy Oswalt for JA Happ, who has still yet to make a quality start this season. I know he pitched well last year, but his ceiling is 3-4 starter. Anthony Gose, who has a ton of speed and defense, but who knows if he will have the bat in the big leagues. Plus we have atleast 3 more guys like him in our system (James, Gillies, Hudson, etc). Then Villar, who is having a very nice year, but nothing to write home about really. Sure we don’t have many decent SS in our system, but I just don’t understand? Don’t get me wrong I am ecstatic!!!

  18. Both Gose and Villar are head cases. They were both benched by their managers recently in games where they did not hustle. Gose I recall did not run out a bunt. Villar’s defense has been awful recently especially dropping throws to him on force outs at second. I guess he played well when Ed Wade scouted him in Lakewood a few weeks ago. They have great tools but need to mature. Because they are so young they may do it and be something special but that may be far into the future. This is a big win for Amaro Jr. if Oswalt stays healthy but we can say that about any pitcher these days .

  19. Villar was a good prospect but theres always another international infielder we could get. Gose is a dime a dozen IMO especially in the phillies system. With the presence of Jiwan James in the system Gose was expendable. Great great trade for the phils.

  20. Perhaps the reason Rizz always DHs instead of playing 1b is to prepare him to be a pinch hitter in September?

  21. It’s way too soon to give up on Galvis who I think has been pushed up the minor league system too fast. I still remember when he was even younger and the opposing team stopped what they were doing to watch him take infield practice. He just has to hit about .250 to be a ML ss and he is not far from that now.

  22. The thing that kills me is the shortsightedness of ostensibly selling your prospects. Both in the Halladay, and now in the Oswalt, trades we’ve had to increase the talent level of the prospect packages we were surrendering because the major league roster was up against its budget. Don’t get me wrong, I still think the trade makes sense from our perspective, but I think it would make a lot more sense if we hadn’t put ourselves into the position of needing the $11 million to be included in the deal, thus probably being able to hang onto both Gose and Villar.

  23. I am a sad Happ fan but I guess it could of been worse. Gose is a loss. Just that much longer we have to figure out what the hell Vic is thinking about.
    A better deal would of been to have them keep the money and take Blanton off our hands.

  24. I am an astros fan just tryna figure out exactly what kind of prospects we are getting…feels like a bad trade from out standpoint but I guess only time will tell…really enjoy reading all y’alls posts.

  25. Guys, we kept Jon Singleton, Brody Colvin, Jared Cosart, Trevor May AND got back $11M. Who isn’t happy with this deal?

    I like all 3 guys that got traded, but JA Happ was replaced (Oswalt), Anthony Gose can be replaced (Gillies, J. James, Hudson, Altherr, etc), and Villar should be able to be replaced. Villar might be the most difficult to replace, but hopefully the Phillies can start dropping some coin in LA and Venezuela to find a replacement. And we still have Galvis and Garcia to help bridge the MIF gap.

  26. So the hit to the organization is the players we gave up for Lee, the players we have up for Oswalt and two sandwich picks. Assuming Lee didn’t sign. And no one puts Oswalt in Lee’s class.
    The upside is Oswalt for next year and half of this year as opposed to Lee all year.

    It total it stinks but what the hell. Good luck Roy prove me wrong.

  27. Ryan:

    Start a campaign in Houston to fire your General Manager. Seriously, he got fleeced.

    But don’t worry, we know the feeling . . . he got fleeced several times when he was our general manager. He will improve mightly as soon as he masters that “walking and chewing gum at the same time” thing.

    Seriously, he’s a disaster. Here’s hoping for you that his rear end is fired quickly because, until that happens, your team has little chance of improving.

  28. Roffle. Nobody has called Gose a head case in the whole time he has been a Phil, but now some clown decides that he is a head case. Guess what, not running out a bunt doesn’t make one a head case.

  29. Ryan, people more knowledgeable than I am can probably tell you more but..
    Happ-3/4 Starter. From what I hear, his fastball is so straight it’s actually remarkable. Cost controlled, not a bad piece at all
    Villar-SS in A-Ball, good speed, I heard good defense but also a ton of errors. Should cut down errors with time. High K%, I’d be really concerned about his future BA if he reaches the ML
    Gose-Speeeeeeed. Just pretend like you reacquired Michael Bourn. Improving BB%, still concerning K%, and speeeeed. Which lends itself to fantastic D.

  30. Don’t scream at me yet, but looking back, we now have Oswalt locked up for 2 1/2 years, or the certainty Lee would not provide. I am sure Gillies allowed them to ship Gose to some degree. So, maybe not soo bad. I just want Amaro to say, “We made this deal to make up for the other deal we messed up”. I will forgive him!!

    Moreover, what are we giving up for Bautista? That would make it a really nice day.

  31. Sorry, Ryan.

    As for Rizzotti–I’m just theorizing here, but I wonder if he might be headed off in a deal for bullpen help? He really has no position to play for the Phils, and (don’t crucify me here, Rizzotti posse!) I suspect he is at the absolute peak of his trade value.

  32. Well stated Nobody… we didn’t give up any of our top 5 prospects, and we got back a #1 pitcher in return (and $11M so we can afford that pitcher)! Seems like a very big win for the Phils FO!!!

  33. bp,

    Every team has contracts which look bad in retrospect. I wouldn’t say that the Phillies are particularly bad in this respect; if anything, the contrary has been true, especially when one takes into account the fact that the team is several years into a very successful run (for a number of obvious reasons, several successful seasons in a row tends to drive up the payroll). The Blanton deal isn’t even one of the deals which looked bad at the time it was made; if he hadn’t been injured and was performing at his normal level, that would be a fine deal. Starting pitchers are expensive. Aside from the Howard deal, which isn’t a factor in terms of the current payroll, the only deal which looked really bad at the time it was made was the Ibanez deal.

    I mean, I DO have concerns going forward about Amaro’s contract negotiating judgment, but in terms of the current payroll that’s a pretty small factor.

    But I guess the main point of my snark is that your timing is so poor – Amaro pulls off a GREAT deal by any reasonable standard, and you still feel the need to take a dig at him.

  34. They should really trade Rizz right now while his value is probally the highest it will be.

  35. Roy Oswalt isn’t Cliff Lee, but he is a fabulous pitcher and a legitimate ace. He will probably be our # 3 pitcher, which makes our team extremely dangerous if we hit well.

    Believe me . . . nobody will want to face us in the playoffs and, if we are lucky enough to make the WS, we will match up well with any staff in the AL. Not only that, but the ascencion of Dom Brown means that Ibanez can be the DH in the WS – unlike last year, when Ben Francisco had to play, every hitter in our line-up will be dangerous if we get that far.

    This team is primed for some baseball folks!

  36. Just because I think this was a great trade for the Phillies doesn’t mean I think it was a horrible trade for Houston.

    In Houston’s defense, they did get a decent package for a soon to be 33-year old Pitcher who said himself that he would probably hang it up after his current contract expires. I don’t think Happ, Gose, and Villar for Oswalt was a bad deal for Houston, considering they didn’t have alot of options. The extra $11M coming back to the Phillies makes it seem a little more one-sided.

    But my feeling is more being satisified that the Phillies didn’t get fleeced. After the Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay deals, I was afraid that Rube would throw in one of top minor leaguers a little too eagerly. He didn’t.

    I think it was a good trade for both teams.

  37. It just goes to show you that nobody knows nothing. I heard that Wade wanted a pitching heavy package at the very least. He got 1 pitcher. there were going to be Happ and 3 prospects; ends up to be two. It was Happ, Worley, Rizz, Singleton, Gose, Mathieson, a pack of cigarettes and case of diet coke. Villar’s name wasn’t even mentioned. Could this be the bait and switch? We want Singleton.. No!.. Singleton… No!… How about Villar? Okay!!

    I like this deal a lot but I don’t think the wheelin’ and dealin’ is done yet. I really want to keep Worley because I think he’ll replace Kendrick at any sign of breakdown. Rizz is not necessarily needed but next year he could be used as insurance in case anything happens to Howard. He’s trade bait right now. A couple of the relief pitchers in LHV are probably being dangled too. I wouldn’t be surprised if Werth also was gone. I just say that because everyone is saying he’s off the market. Without Vic it seems unlikely he’ll get traded but nothing can be ruled out.

  38. Losing Villar does hurt, but you have to give up something (even though honestly it wasn’t THAT much). I like keeping Worley because he is more likely to help the team in the next three years while the window is still open.

    Also, I heard you liek mudkips?

  39. Villar is the only prospect in that package that stings. Would have preferred to give up Rizzotti and Worley in place of Villar. Can’t complain though. RAJ fleeced the Astros. Maybe this will shut-up Mattmikemikenowheels crybabies.

  40. PP — might have already been mentioned, but I didn’t see Villar ranked #13 in your mid season update.

  41. If we don’t win the WS this year or next is this trade a failure? that has to be asked.

  42. nowheels,

    You’re leaving out of the equation:

    (1) A half year of Lee (and maybe a WS appearance),
    (2) Francisco,
    (3) The prospects we got for Lee; you may not think much of them, but they sure as heck are worth something.

    So you have the above, AND 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 years of Oswalt, AND 11 million dollars, for the prospects in the original Lee deal and this deal. (You can’t ALSO include the sandwich picks – that’s a kind of double counting – if we hadn’t done the original Lee deal, we wouldn’t be getting those picks) That’s … pretty darn good.

    Now, I am not sure lumping the three deals together is the best way to evaluate it … but actually, if I was Amaro that’s the way I’d want to look at it … because putting the three deals together, I think the balance is very much in the Phillies’ favor. Two very good deals more than balance out the Lee deal.

    I think it’s amusing, if a little predictable, to see certain people’s comments on this trade.

  43. Danny,

    I totally agree with you about Rizz, but at the same time other teams are thinking the same thing. That his value is so high and he’s not proven to be this good.

  44. Let’s go get Downs and Bautista! Unless Roy, Roy and Cole can go 9, we still have an issue.

  45. Technically, it would be a failure if it doesn’t help us achieve the goal of a WS. But there’s no way to guarantee a WS, you can only improve your chances. I don’t think anybody is unhappy with this deal at this point. If we don’t win, you can look back and say you took a chance and it didn’t work out, or the deal failed. But it still wouldn’t be fair to say it was a bad trade.

  46. Looks like an Epic Win to me. We kept the most exciting young talent in A-ball, got a very good pitcher for 1.5 years, and sold high on Happ who outperformed his peripherals last year by a long shot. Also we still have the bullpen prospects at AAA who will be very important in the next several years.

  47. It looks worse for Houston when you throw in th money. Happ is a nice pitcher but Oswalt is a big upgrade. Gose is replaceable. Villar is a good potential ss but is at least 3 years from Philly.

    The Phillies need to keep some pieces back to replace Werth (which means Singleton I think) this winter. Singleton, Victorino, Worley to LA for Kemp and Jansen.

  48. AmyKNelson: Oswalt said he spoke to Brad Lidge over the phone last night, that “I trust his opinion,” that clubhouse is great, good chance 2 win

    the first and last good pitch lidge makes this season

  49. mike77 you really are a ass. dont comment on my post and I will do the same, stick you ops where the sun wont shine. how good is swindle he has the best pitching number and he stinks, it all y talk about stats. look at a player and you can see if he can play its not all number in the minors. what a dork. sorry pp but had enough of that dork

  50. I’m of two minds about Bautista. On the one hand, he won’t repeat his performance this year – we’d be buying at the top of the market. OTOH, he is such a good fit – 3B till Utley returns, and a low cost replacement for Ibanez next year. I really hate the thought of Ibanez as a regular for 1 1/3 more years, but absent a deal for a good player with a cheap contract like Bautista, we’re stuck with him (Werth is gone after this year).

    But I imagine the price will be quite steep.

  51. The Astros will flip newly-acquired prospect Anthony Gose to the Blue Jays, reports ESPN’s Jayson Stark. The speedy, defensively-talented center fielder went to Houston as part of the Roy Oswalt deal.

  52. Toronto is treating Bautista like hes Matt Holliday and Downs likes he Billy Wagner. Ill pass.

    They should look at getting a closer. Dotel could come cheap.

  53. Kinda amusing how Wade traded Oswalt for a 6’6″ soft throwing lefty and our two fastest prospects.

  54. We can not get rid of ibanez unless there is a team willing to take his contract (unlikely). A more possible outcome is trading him for another bad contract (depends on the player). I also hope we do not trade for Bautista cause he is playing way over his head and is not worth the price. I do not want to see a bad trade after a good one for Oswalt.

  55. Bautista is like a major league version of the Rizz. I wonder what their asking price is like for him. I really don’t think that would be a good move for the Phils because I’m guessing it would be somewhat steep.

  56. Bellman: Completely agree about not losing Worley.

    Right now he appears to be eligible to be our #5…instead of Kendrick, and to compete for #5 out of spring training next season. Seems that he gets outs w/o being a strikeout pitcher though he did OK in Ks in his recent start for LV.

    And, like you say, he could help in September call-ups in the pen OR starting for Kendrick, etc.

  57. I think people here are underestimating Gose. He’s very young for his level and has shown improvement through the year. We also had some favorable reports here about his ability to drive the ball, which I had never heard before. Yes, we have other high tools CF guys, but that doesn’t make Gose any less valuable in the abstract. He has two documented plus tools (speed and arm), and it sounded like he was developing the others. Villar also hurts because of the recent good reports about his defensive tools.

    I would say that the ‘Stros got a lot of talent and tools, but the range of outcomes from this trade is very wide for them. I could see Villar fizzling and Gose never really being much of a hitter. But I also think both have ceilings of above-average MLB regulars. Also Gose could always reinvent himself as a flamethrowing lefty reliever. Good deal for the Phils for this year and next, lots of risk for the ‘Stros but solid upside too.

  58. Seems like a decent trade for both teams, but if there were a winner if would definitely be the Phillies. Thanks for the insight on Villar and Gose.

  59. You decide:

    Colum A
    1 yr of Cliff Lee
    2 draft picks
    Gose
    Happ
    Villar

    Colum B
    Up to 2.5 yrs of Roy Oswalt and 11 million
    Giles
    Aument
    Rameriz

    Yes I’m still bitter and can’t spell

  60. Boston Phan,

    Agreed. Considering the Astros record, and considering the lack of suitors for Oswalt, I think they did okay for themselves. Not great by any means, but Gose and Villar aren’t bad prospects to get in return. And Happ is somewhere between a high quality #3 and a #5. Time will tell.

  61. There is nothing not to like about this deal. Villar is a nice prospect, but did we see him as Rollins’ eventual replacement? I really didn’t. I think that people don’t like losing him, because we are very light in the prospect department as SS. I actually don’t really like losing Gose. Believe me, I love the deal. But I really like Gose, and imagined him patrolling the Phillies’ outfield along with Brown for years.

  62. ‘Stros loved Gose so much they just traded him!

    Listen, no one thinks Gose, Happ and Villar are garbage, it is just that many of us think they are below a fair price for Oswalt and $11MM.

  63. @ Tom

    How does Halliday play into it? It is now obvious we didn’t need to “restock” our system and could have easily kept both.

    Don’t get me wrong I am still a big fan of this deal and can’t believe people are complaining about giving up villar, but I live in Dallas and have to watch Cliff pitch up close and personal

  64. seems like we can and should easily play .600 baseball the rest of the way.. (I figure we win 2/3 of the big 3 starts, and .500 ball in the kk/blanton starts)

    that gets us to 91 wins.. should give us a great chance for the post-season
    2009- wild card had 92 wins (COL)
    2008- 90 wins (MIL)
    2007- 90 wins (AZ)

  65. Klaw said this in his chat:

    “If they do this without dealing Cosart, Colvin, Singleton, or May, it’s outstanding.”

    That pretty much sums the whole deal up to me.

  66. LarryM, I don’t think it’s reasonable to assume that this is a GREAT deal simply because we didn’t give up certain players. If we had non-tendered Blanton this offseason, like I (and many others) argued at the time, we would have been able to afford to keep Lee and had no need to trade for Oswalt. Factoring in the money, we ostensibly traded

    1 yr of Lee (@9m/per), Happ, Gose, Villar, a 1 & 1A draft pick for
    1.375 yrs of Oswalt (@9.45m/per), Aumont, Ramirez & Gillies

    The question I have is whether signing Joe Blanton for $24m over 3 yrs was worth exchanging the top package for the bottom? Either way, welcome to Philadelphia Roy, we’ll all be cheering for you.

  67. So does this mean Jiwan James gets promoted to Clearwater tonight? James’s development undoubtedly influenced the availability of Gose.
    Mikemike, you should try learning English as a 2nd language.

  68. I viewed Villar as the replacement for Rollins…but at his age, he can be replaced with a 7 figure signing bonus.

  69. bp,

    See, this is why I really shouldn’t even debate with people like you. You have such an extreme, irrational hatred of Amaro that you can’t even think rationally:

    The decision to tender Blanton and the contract offer to him were made at separate times and represent two separate decisions. As to the tender decision, obviously in retrospect you could question it along the lines that you state. But the subsequent contract, ONCE HE WAS TENDERED AND LEE WAS TRADED, looked fine at the time. And really has NOTHING to do with evaluating either the current deal or the Lee deal.

    As for your evaluation of the current deal, I won’t repeat the many, many arguments made above by many people here and elsewhere. This was a massively uneven deal in the Phillies’ favor, and your unwillingness to acknowledge that fact is just more evidence of an irrational dislike of Amaro.

  70. J.A. Happ is either Cliff Lee lite or Jamie Moyer with a fastball. Which places him clearly in the 3/4 starter position. An Anthony Gose with power to go with his natural tools (speed and arm strength) is difficult to lose but it is all projection at this point. Same with Villar. I’m glad we kept our best pitching prospects and Valle.
    And Singleton.

  71. Here’s what I love about the Phillies right now, they are fearless in the front-office.

    Yes, they’ve made mistakes, but from a business standpoint they haven’t let them get in the way of continuing to move forward.

    The Lee trade was a mistake. The Blanton decision the same.

    But, life isn’t perfect. You win and lose a lot when you take chances, but I can live with that kind of attitude. They care about the short-term and the long-term. It has not always been like that here.

    IMO, this is a win…a big win.

  72. No offense to some of you that are grilling RAJ for his entire body of work, but your perspective often makes me feel like you aren’t or never have been in a position to make really tough business decisions.

    Requesting perfection on your terms at all times is unrealistic.

  73. Wow! Brett Wallace for Gose? Huge steal. I wish we could’ve gotten Brett Wallace for Gose.

  74. Man do I have this right on Wallace.
    St Louis -> Oakland -> Toronto -> Houston in a little over 12 months?

  75. The phils were offered Wallace repeatedly last year and had no interest. I do not remember the source but someone said they do not see him as a 3B at all, strictly 1B so not a good fit here.

  76. It’s funny how Brett Wallace gets traded for 2 outfield prospects we traded away and we need a 3B propect

  77. Not a good fit but a whole lot more value than Gose.
    Wallace is an unquestionable top 50 prospect if not top 25. Gose is fringe 150 to me, if that.

  78. Brett Wallace cannot play 3B that is why he’s getting shipped around. So his position is 1B or DH, and not sure if his bat is good enough for that.

  79. I think the Wallace thing makes Ed Wade look considerably less stupid. Maybe we are all undervaluing Anthony Gose. Also, I guess it’s pretty clear now what team was involved in those rumors of a three-way trade. Wonder what we might have ended up kicking in to get Downs or Bautista back?

  80. Wallace is already listed as a first baseman on the MiLB website. If he can’t handle 3B in AAA he surely can’t handle it in the majors.

  81. Toronto was probably in on the 3way as a way for the Phils to shed salary but when Houston agreed to pay so much salary they were no longer needed.

  82. LarryM, I think you’re making some unfair assumptions. I don’t really dislike Amaro, as -on the whole- I think he’s done a pretty good job. However, I do think he has a tendency to be a bit single-minded, and I don’t think he has displayed very good foresight in managing the budget. The only reason why the Blanton contract would matter in evaluating the trading of Lee is if you believe that the impetus behind that move was primarily budgetary (as I do). The tendering of Blanton and his subsequent 3yr signing, as well as the trading of Lee all occurred during the same offseason. While in pursuit of Halladay at the winter meetings, the Phillies were actively marketing Blanton. However, unable to get ‘fair price’ for him, Ruben decided to tender him**, and then ultimately traded Lee instead of Blanton, before re-signing Blanton to a multi-year deal. To pretend that this sequence of events were unrelated is simply ridiculous.

    **As an aside, I know in other sports, management is allowed to walk away from a player’s rights even after an arbitrator’s ruling if they are unhappy with said ruling. Does anyone know whether or not this is also the case in baseball?

  83. Can we please stop talking about the Cliff Lee deal? It’s done. There is nothing more to say about it, that has not been said a thousand times before. Yes, I wish that they would have kept Lee. But it’s over. Move on.

  84. Amaro has literally traded ten top 10 prospects for three Cy Young caliber pitchers in the past year…

    …and somehow, our farm system has improved.

    That deserves an entire chapter in the next great book about baseball.

  85. Steve, You need to add Halladay to column B. Lee wouldn’t have been traded if Amaro hadn’t acquired Halladay.

  86. The Gose for Wallace does make Wade look a bit smarter. I guess he got his 1B to replace Berkmann, a #3 starter that he could control financially, and a SS with a lot of potential. I think both sides did well.

  87. Gose for Brett Wallace sounds like a good move for the Astros, he’s almost major league ready. Makes me wonder if the Blue Jays would have prefered getting Gose to Taylor in the Halladay deal? Maybe both teams valued Gose over Taylor?

  88. Wallace is a tremendous hitting prospect who projects as a 1B/DH. Everything I hear suggests 3B is not happening for this guy.

  89. Would anyone do Mathieson/Mayberry or Worley or something like that for Michael Taylor back? I think he rights himself and becomes a good hitter. Would love to have his RH bat back.

  90. I don’t know why people are saying that the Blanton deal was bad. He was entering his final year of arbitration, he was going to get at least $7M. So the Phillies gave him 3 years $25M, and bought out 2 FA years. That is market rate for a #3 pitcher who eats innings.

    A bad deal is when a team gives either too much money per year or too many years.

    Giving Ibanez 3 years instead of 2 years is a bad deal. And at this point, giving Ryan Howard 5 years may not look too good later.

    The fact is, not everybody is going to have good years in every single year of his contract. You can’t say it’s a bad deal just because he’s having a bad year.

  91. I would imagine the Astros will shop Berkman now because the team has 16 million option on him after this year and there is no way it will be picked up. And Astros have Chris Johnson at 3B for the future. Getting Wallace makes this trade much more sense from Astros perspective. Thanks for all the insight.

  92. WOW…just got back from work to see this trade all over the interwebs.

    Losing Villar and Gose stings a little (and I liked Happ more than others), but getting a Roy Oswalt’s cheap services for all of 2011 as well is certainly enticing. This team is obviously built to win now, so RAJ is taking advantage of a window that will likely close in 2-3 years as our best players begin to decline.

    I guess the organization still has high hopes for Galvis to figure out how to hit, because it looked like Villar was the best in the system. I agree that Gose is replaceable in our system, but I think he has a bright future for the Jays.

  93. this is a no brainer for Ruben. great trade. both villar and gose have huge risks of ever being productive mlb players. we all love prospects, which is why we read/write on this blog. but if you take a step back, the odds of either of those guys being a productive mlb player during the same window as the current core is 0%. and the odds of them being a productive mlb player after the core is past their window is low too.

    the fact that we didn’t have to give up a top arm is unbelievable to me as well. i thought colvin was in the trade for sure. This is much worse than the package that Cleveland got from us for Lee. and i would say much worse than what we got for Lee.

    Gilles > Gose
    JC > Villar
    Happ > Aumont (but there is a lot of time for Aumont to develop)

    for the big club, this trade gives us the best 1-2-3 in baseball. and in the playoffs, that is critical. think of it this way, to beat us in the playoffs a team would have to beat Halladay, Oswalt and Cole 3 out of 6 games.

  94. Brett Wallace is probably the most overrated prospect in baseball..everyone other than Ed Wade can see his star fading quickly. He doesn’t project as anything more than a below average 1B at this point.

    29th in OPS in the PCL so far this season.

  95. I thought for sure Cosart would be involved since he’s a Texas kid…hell, a Houston kid.

  96. This trade just saved me 25 bucks. Roger Dean is 7 minutes from my house and was heading there tonight to check Gose out. Im going to all the weekend games if anyone has any questions on any players let me know.

  97. I’m with bp on the Blanton contract. Just because you made a mistake and tendered a guy doesn’t mean you have to make it worse by locking him up for three years. I agree that there are comps for Blanton’s deal…but I think that most of those deals have turned out in an unfavorable way for the team.

    The going rate for a pitcher of Blanton’s caliber is what Brett Myers got. We’ve all watched Myers and Blanton for years. Myers is clearly the better pitcher. When we had them both, which one was the opening day starter? Which one got two starts per playoff series vs. one? Now look at their performances this year. There is a valid argument about Blanton’s durability and the value that it adds to a pitching staff. But I would have much rather had Myers back at $3.1MM vs. three years of Blanton at $8MM per.

    I’m not sure what to make of the Gose for Wallace angle of this. I think it just goes to show that the value of prospects is both volatile and subjective.

  98. Cannot complain about the trade. Oswalt is a proven ace. Probably a Top50 starter. But his supposed non-spotlight/retiring attitude (he did pitch in a World Series and seemed fine there…) and possible injury concerns are bothersome. His contract is huge but at least if he is great there is an option year there.

    Really makes me wish Phillies traded Gose to Blue Jays directly since they seem to like him so much. Jays have plenty of valuable pieces in Bautista and Downs. Then Phils could have included Rizzotti instead of Gose to get the Astros a 1B of the future.

  99. You can never stop talking about the Lee deal because it was one of the worst trades in Phillies history. So with almost every trade it will come up.

  100. By the way I think the phillies made a real good deal without giving away to much. I like the players the astros got but not enough to say no to Oswalt and if they got Keppinger its just icing on the cake. If we were to win the world series this year that would make 2 trades Ed Wade came through on. Are we still paying him??? I might have to put my Ed wade on the sweet spot signature on the mantle next to Schmidts

  101. Hmmm… since they’ve traded away Wallace, I wonder if Amaro can interest the Blue Jays in a Downs for Rizzotti deal? It would further their goal of assembling a 2012 team made up entirely of former Philly prospects.

  102. if the phils buy out oswalts option i think they can offer him arb and then get two picks for him if he goes FA after 2011.

  103. Myers was coming off an arm injury and a headcase attitude. He had significant risk and got a contract to compensate for that risk.
    Blanton had never been injured and was extremely consistent from year to year. I still think Phils overpaid only because they are a team that players should want to play for (best team in the NL) and I think they should negotiate for ~10% discount for that privilege. But $8M/yr is free agent innings eater salary, especially under 30yrs old.

  104. i can’t fault the blanton deal. compare his deal to the the silva’s, suppan’s randy wolf, gil meche, ollie perez deals. he’s at a good price, just he’s having a bad year. Adam eatonesque type year!

  105. Oswalt vouched story from SI article:

    “Which brings us to the Spark Plug Story, one of several yarns that Oswalt spins for his delighted teammates (“Did he tell you about fishing with dynamite?” Biggio asks. “For God’s sakes!”) This one, Oswalt swears, actually happened. Seems that over the winter he was working on his hunting truck, a Ford F150 he’d bought for $1,500, when he grabbed a bare spark plug wire and got jolted across the garage. He reported it thus to his wife: “My truck done shocked the fire out of me, and my arm don’t hurt no more.”

    He is super backwoods.

  106. Myers certainly came with more risk. And his $3.1MM reflected his market rate. My point is that I don’t think Joe Blanton is worth $8MM per year. All of the comparable deals that I’ve seen mentioned to justify his contract have worked out poorly for the team involved. Therefore, I recommend that when you see something that doesn’t work (i.e. giving mediocre guys who you aren’t comfortable starting in the playoffs three year deals for big money), you avoid doing it yourself.

    I would have much rather had Myers back and kept Lee. I see the rationale for Blanton’s contract, I just disagree with it. We’ll see how it pans out over the life of the deal, but it doesn’t look great right now.

    It will be interesting to see what they now do in terms of bullpen. I could see a post 7/31 trade for a veteran reliever who clears waivers.

  107. Nepp in your opinion who is the better player, Wallace or Riz?? I have no clue. never seen either of them/

  108. The Phillies escalating contracts will make arbitration unlikely for almost every veteran on the team in the future. Who will deserve raises over their already high salaries? So I doubt we will be seeing may draft picks coming back to the Phillies in the near future.

  109. my point is that those mediocre pitchers market rate is 11-13 mill a year. 8 mill is a reasonable contract. If blanton pitched as well as he did in the past it was a good deal. anyone with crystal balls that can tell the future please sell them to the phillies I’m sure they will compansate you very well, and it would help all of us phillie fans out.

  110. Okay, getting a little OT as I think MOST of us can agree that the Blanton contract, like it or not, doesn’t have anything to do with the Oswalt deal. But if I can weigh in with one post and then shut up about it …

    Contracts for starting pitchers are out of control generally. That’s one reason to pursue (generally) a strategy of spending most of your money on offense & patching together the best staff you can, with pre-FA pitchers and some post FA bargains. But that’s a risky strategy in it’s own right. Bottom line, even though I too cringe at the market for starting pitchers, it’s hard to blame the team TOO much for simply giving Blanton a market price contract.

    As for Myers, it’s not JUST that he was a health risk; he wasn’t THAT good even when healthy the last couple of years. I mean, the typical 3 million dollar FA starting pitcher is going to have an ERA much closer to 5.00 than to 3.00. Paying that price for your #3 starter (And Blanton was a legitimate #3 and probably will be again) and hoping he pitches to a 3.10 ERA … is not a strategy likely to succeed (to that extent, anyway) more than one time in a hundred.

  111. Congratulations Phillies! Heck of a deal. We finally have a true Big Three! And not just for one season. This closes the door on the Cliff Lee trade and kicks open the door for another run at a ring. Great job by the front office!

    JA Happ should be a solid starter at low cost for Houston for a few years. Personally, I liked Happ a lot. He’s a fighter. I liked his approach, particularly with the high fastball. He’ll be a good #4 starter with real potential to pitch like a #3 for long stretches. But he’s no Roy Oswalt, not even close.

    Gose could become a star or he could be a 4th outfielder, while Villar is intriguing but just a project at this point — exactly the kind of guys you part with in a deal like this.

    I know a lot of hard work and extra hours went into this. It was very courageous of the Phillies Brass to make this deal because it is almost an admission that the Lee deal was a mistake. At any rate, they knew it would open up the debate but this front office didn’t let that get in the way of doing the right thing. I’m extremely proud of them.

    Kudos!!!

  112. The point I was trying to make (and the general philosophical difference I have with Amaro) is that when you’re operating on a budget, it doesn’t make much sense to pay middle of the road starters like Blanton (or hitters like Ibanez) good money over multiple years. You do your best to surround a few superstars like Howard, Utley, Halladay with cost-controlled young players in their pre-arbitration years. When you pay too much money to the Brad Lidges, Joe Blantons, Raul Ibanezs and Placido Polancos of the world (all valuable players) you preclude yourself from re-signing guys like Jayson Werth or Cliff Lee. 9 times out of 10, where teams get into financial trouble is not paying superstar players superstar dollars but paying sub-superstar free agents their ‘fair market value’, as the market value for such players does not accurately reflect their predictable inconsistency.

  113. Since no one knows where Rizotti’s ceiling is. How can one say trade him while his value is high.

    Repeat Blanton should be an Astro now and let them keep the money. THAT would of been brilliant.

  114. Blanton got money for giving up a couple of years of FA. He is a solid #3, great #4. His salary is entirely in line with what he would have received on the open market.
    To compare him to Myers is ridiculous. Myers is all hat and no cattle. Blanton is a consistant battler. If he was not injured to start the year – and it isn’t an arm injury so it should be a one off ailment – the Phillies would be ahead of the Braves.
    The argument that the Phillies should not have traded Lee is valid. But the Phillies felt that Lee would not sign a deal without going to free agency. For those thinking that the Phils should have kept him then taken the draft choices, remember that Werth is in the same boat. They could not offer arbitration to both for rear of having $35,000,000 in awards. They would have spent a nightmare amount to sign the draft picks they would have been awarded if it went that route too.
    My only problem with the Lee deal is that I would have thought they could have gotten more, however when you see what we traded to get Oswalt, you kinda wonder about that too.

  115. bp,

    That’s an arguable position … and frankly better argued than your previous posts. However,

    (1) It doesn’t really redeem your first post in this thread, and
    (2) It’s arguable – I mean, your acting like Amaro is irrationally pursuing an obviously wrong strategy, when in fact he’s doing more or less what every high payroll team (and some low/moderate payroll teams, where it is less defensible) does.

    On the merits, I even partially agree with you, while at the same time recognizing that your strategy carries its own risks. With starting pitchers especially, the kind of contracts that top of the line starters get these days are VERY risky. Blanton gets hurt and a team like the Phillies can still compete but if … hmm, don’t want to jinx the Phillies, so let’s just say Lee blows out his arm early next year, whatever team signs him (unless it’s the Yankees) is going to have a real hard time contending for the next 4-5 years. And of course even the best starter can only pitch every 5th day – spend all your money on your stars, and the middle and bottom of your rotation is likely to be shaky.

    The fact is that there are PLENTY of “superstar” contracts that don’t work out. Even if you’re right and those contracts work out more often than contracts for “sub-superstar free agents,” when they DON’T work out, they are FAR more costly for their teams.

  116. Listen all day one fact is sure the phillies don’t want to lock up pitchers in long term deals. And looking how fragile pitchers are I am starting to think they are right, cubs right now are stuck with a big contract on a bad pitchers. I really guestion there spending but this move makes me feel how wrong I was on the financial commitment of this team.

  117. BB, read the quote and knew it was wheels that said it. Didn’t even have to look.

    Anyways, great trade by Rube. Can’t really figure him out. Lee and Halladay trades were great. Lee trade away and RyHo extension bad. Oswalt deal great. He’s ballsy to say the least.

  118. This was a very good deal for us. We have Gillies who I feel is slightly better than Gose and Jiwan James potentially could be Gose’s caliber. Happ is a solid pitcher but was expendable. He was a good guy to have on the club. Villar had a standout year but he was expendable since he was in Lakewood. Next year we will probably have two 1s and a 1a in the draft. We can draft a stud middle infield prospect. This was a great deal because we got 11 million and didn’t give up any of our untouchables. I think Ruben is a good trade deadline gm and we should take the pressure off of him for the Lee deal because we all know he was rushed into it by ownership and it wasn’t entirely his fault. I am confused why Houston would settle for Villar when one of their top prospects in a barren farm system is a short stop Jiovanni Mier. For what we got, this deal was great and Ruben proves that he is a great deadline gm. Singleton is special and even though we gave up good talent you never want to give up great or special talent unless you have to.

  119. Wallace is insanely overrated, what good is a DH/1B who doesn’t hit for power, isn’t strong defensively, and doesn’t walk a lot?

    I think that could be a deal the Stros end up ruing in the end. Who knows though.

  120. Not much doubt that the Phillies are big winners in this deal. They got a top of the rotation starter for about $6M per year for the next 2 years while only giving up a 4th starter and a couple of 2nd tier prospects..

    Ed Wade continues to be the gift that keeps on giving.

  121. Why would Wallace be ‘bad’ defensively at 1B if he was at least ‘playable’ at 3B? Can he just not field a ground ball? I am no fan of Wallace but he appears to have the most important skill for most position players — he can hit and he is still young.

  122. One more point: how would we all be feeling today if the Cardinals had traded for Oswalt instead? Personally, I’d be feeling fairly rotten.

    So in addition to the additive effect this deal has for us, there’s the subtractive effect for the Cardinals and other Oswalt suitors. You have to wonder how St. Louis dropped the ball. Surely they could have made a better offer than ours? Fortunately, they didn’t.

    What a great day to be a Phillies fan! Thank you!

  123. I quess it is too hard to understand Blanton stinks and Ruben might of had a chance to get rid of him. He was dealing with Ed Wade.

    “Blanton got money for giving up a couple of years of FA. He is a solid #3, great #4. His salary is entirely in line with what he would have received on the open market.”

    An ERA of 5.85 is good enough for you. What do you like in a 5th starter.

    The trade if fine. But you tell me where Blanton fits now.

  124. Blanton’s ERA is 4.6 in his last 7 games so it appears he’s moving back towards pitching at his career average of around 4. Not sure what you’d do with him but I’ll take that from my 4th starter anytime…

  125. Hey NoWheels let’s look at what he ends up with…

    Blanton fits in between Oswalt and Kendrick, fourth starter. Name a better 4th starter in baseball – maybe 2 or 3 better?

    When you got a horse for Christmas when you were 5 did you complain about the horse crap?

  126. The thing is without insurance there would be no big money contracts. If you sign a superstar to a superstar-level contract and he blows out his arm, the requisite insurance policy will generally cover the better part of that player’s salary. Especially in baseball (where there is no salary cap) this fact makes all the difference. Teams don’t get handicapped by injured superstars, they get handicapped by giving superstar money to non-superstars (Mike Hampton or Darren Dreifort), or $8-12m contracts to solid players like Blanton and Ibanez. I don’t disagree that Joe Blanton is a very good #4 starter. He pitched great last year, and all things being equal I would have liked to keep him. However, the reality is that from the last few arbitration years onward, it simply does not make financial sense to keep players like him. I’d much rather have one Cliff Lee and one JA Happ or Vance Worley in my starting rotation than two Joe Blantons.

    I’ve always liked Oswalt, and think he will be pretty good for us, but I would have much rather had Lee and Happ in the rotation this year, kept Gose and Villar, and simply non-tendered Blanton (who probably wouldn’t be in a postseason rotation at this point anyway) in the offseason. Oswalt is 32, has some recent injury issues, and the simple truth is that most smaller power-pitching right-handers like him don’t hold up too well later in their careers. There are certainly a few who do, and I hope Oswalt’s one of them.

    While I do like the fact that Amaro always seems to be trying to make the team better, I just wish it didn’t come at the expense of having a cohesive, well-thought-out long term strategy to go with it. If he came out tomorrow and said “I’ve somewhat mismanaged the budget, such that I’ve needed to receive cash as a significant piece in multiple trades which has unfortunately cost us some of our top prospects” I would roundly applaud his courageousness. If he went on to add “I messed up on Cliff Lee. I failed to communicate with him directly last offseason, and made a potentially ill-founded assumption about what he was looking for long-term, and because of that lack of foresight (and the ill-advised contracts to Blanton, Baez, etc.) I may have traded him away unnecessarily… ” I would praise him for his candor. And if he genuinely promised to be more honest and open with the fans of Philadelphia going forward, I just might support his contract being extended.

  127. Sorry BP but Lee clearly indicated that he was looking forward to exploring the FA market looking for a long-term contract.

    It would rather appear that Amaro has a longer term strategy than many who post here. Which rotation is better in 2011 and 2012 Halladay, Hamels, Oswalt, Blanton, Kendrick/Worley or Halladay, Hamels, Happ, Kendrick, Worley???

    Yea, exactly!!!

  128. He could have kept Cliff Lee for 2010 but no longer than that.

    Turn your statement around.

    2011 he could have had 2 18 year 1st year pro players + J A Happ plus 2 20 year old prospects. Instead he has Roy Oswalt, Blanton and 3 22 year old prospects.

    Not so bad now.

    The Cliff Lee ship has sailed can we stop trying to redeem tickets?

  129. Blanton hatred baffles me. Guys take one bad year and blow it out of proportion. He’s been a solid pitcher for 6 years before this!

  130. I just had a thought and was hoping someone could answer. I know we already made a killing in this trade, but now i’m thinking it may be even better. Don’t the Phillies receive compensation now if Oswalt retires after next year or he decides to not agree to his option? If we receive a 1st round pick or two in addition to Oswalt + the 11 Mil that makes this trade that much better.

    Happ + Villar + Gose for Oswalt + 11 Mil + 1 or 2 Draft Picks … am i correct?

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