Well, Roy Oswalt is a Phillie, as in the end, he decided his desire to escape the Astros overrode pretty much everything else. The Phillies kicked in another $1 million into the 2012 buyout (for the $16 million team option), so that was something.
On the surface, this doesn't appear to be a very good deal for the Astros, who threw in an astounding $11 million of the $23.46 million still owed to Oswalt. My sense is that Oswalt simply wore down Astros owner Drayton McLane, after years of hounding him to get out, and that's why McLane executed this trade.
JA Happ clearly has some potential, but how can you not be worried about his health? And at 27, he isn't quite young in baseball years. Anthony Gose and Jonathan Villar are both in the low minor leagues; I spoke with one scout who described Gose as "OK."
Oswalt should give the Phillies a late-July kick similar to what Cliff Lee provided last year, although Oswalt isn't obviously quite as good as Lee. One component on which to keep an eye: If Oswalt has a bad first couple of starts, he'll be dealing wtih a level of fan and media scrutiny that he never encountered in Houston. I'd be curious to see how Oswalt reacted to that. But it'll be moot if he pitches consistently well.
What does this mean for the Mets? It's bad, of course. After today's Mets victory, Jerry Manuel sounded resigned to reality when he said, "We have to play extremely well with the guys that we have. Would you want another stopper in the rotation? Who wouldn't? Of course. That allows something else not to go right. Everything has to go right for us."
Honest, as always. Probably not the most politically savvy thing he could've said, however. In any case, I'd be surprised if the Mets made any moves at all by Saturday's deadline.
--The Orioles have hired Buck Showalter as their new manager. As discussed previously here, it was going to take a rather unique situation for Showalter to get another chance to manage. The Baltimore situation qualifies. Who cares that he can't complete his rebuilding mission all the way to a World Series title? The Orioles would kill just to sniff .500.
--The Yankees are out on Adam Dunn, as Joel Sherman reported, and my sense is they were never that much in on Dunn. They've never been big fans of his, despite his consistently excellent numbers; he does have that reputation that J.P. Ricciardi publicized a couple of years ago. And as Sherman noted, Dunn has told everyone within five feet of him that he wouldn't want to be a full-time DH.
--The Brewers were not opposed to trading Prince Fielder, but they haven't received an offer they like even remotely.
--UPDATE, 4:43 p.m.: The Astros have flipped Gose to Toronto for the closer-to-the-majors Brett Wallace, who has now been traded three times in a year. This makes the deal look a little better from the Astros' perspective.
--UPDATE, 5:58 p.m.: Two more deals: The Rangers picked up Jorge Cantu (and cash) from Florida in return for minor-leaguers Evan Reed and Omar Poveda, and the Padres acquired Miguel Tejada from Baltimore in return for minor leaguer Wynn Pelzer.
Neither Cantu nor Tejada has been very good this season; Tejada's reunion with the Orioles turned out to be pretty dreadful for both parties. But we're talking about pretty low-risk ventures for both contending clubs. I'm curious to see if Tejada's placement in a winning environment wakes him up at all. He does have a reputation as an excellent clubhouse presence.