Good Morning
Good Morning

Mets trade deadline stuff: Roy Oswalt, Ted Lilly, Scott Downs

 Regarding the Mets and Roy Oswalt: The Astros told the Mets (and presumably all teams) that they needed a "major-league piece" as part of the package for Oswalt. For public-relations purposes, they needed a name that at least some Houston fans would recognize.

J.A. Happ fit that qualification quite nicely, from the Phillies' perspective. Happ had name value because of his strong performance in 2009, his rookie season, and yet, because of an injury this season and the general belief that his upside is "back of the rotation starter," he wasn't crucial to the chances of the 2010 Phils.

Throw in the fact that Houston general manager Ed Wade knows the Phillies' farm system so well - Wade drafted Happ in 2004, when Wade was still the Phillies' general manager - and you have a perfect storm that made Oswalt a Phillie.

So who would've been the Mets' "major-league piece"? Put yourself in the Astros' shoes, and think about it from not only a baseball perspective, but also public relations. I think only two guys fit: Ike Davis and Jon Niese. I can't blame the Mets for not giving up either of those guys, even for Oswalt.

The Mets were slightly taken aback by how much money the Astros wound up including in the deal.

What now? The Mets will certainly stay engaged with other teams up until the deadline, but I'm betting, for the moment, on zero transactions. They want to let the season play out some more, and they, like every other team, believe we'll have an active trading month in August, with many players clearing waivers.

Brett Myers probably won't, and the Astros seem inclined to keep him after trading Oswalt and bring him back next season. That would be consistent with Astros owner Drayton McLane's belief to never rebuild.

Ted Lilly will probably be traded by Saturday, and the Mets are still talking to the Cubs, but I'd be surprised if that occurred.

The Mets like Scott Downs, as does everyone else, but I confirmed Peter Gammons' reporting that Toronto asked for "someone like Wilmer Flores" in return for Downs, who can be a free agent after this season. That's insanity.

That's all for now. Gonna leave Citi Field and head home, and I'll check in later if more stuff is going on.

UPDATE, 10:11 p.m.: Well, this is interesting. The Twins traded catching prospect Wilson Ramos to Washington for closer Matt Capps. Either Ramos was overrated - remember when we thought he'd be the centerpiece in a trade for Cliff Lee? - of the Twins overvalue relievers.

Anyway, the guess out of spring training was that Minnesota would need to add to its bullpen, in the wake of Joe Nathan's season-ending injury. So now the Twins did. It would seem that they paid a high price for a mediocre addition.

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