After months of speculation, Roy Oswalt has finally been traded.
The winners of the disgruntled player sweepstakes were the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies, not the Cardinals, as had been rumored. As an aside, I’m not sure whether to be happy or sad about that for reasons Amanda stated here. It kind of would’ve been nice seeing the Cardinals raid an already weak farm system for this year. It sure would have set up the Reds nicely for the next few years.
But back to the trade. The Houston Astros sent Roy Oswalt, who waived his no-trade clause, to the Phillies for lefthander J.A. Happ, shortstop Jonathan Villar, and Anthony Gose, who was flipped to the Toronto Blue Jays for minor league first baseman Brett Wallace.
J. A. Happ was a runner-up in the rookie of the year voting last year, and looks to be a solid 3 or 4 starter in the Houston rotation. He’s no Oswalt, but he’ll be serviceable. According to the Crawfish Boxes, Jonathan Villar “has plus-plus speed coupled with a great arm. He has all of the tools to stick at shortstop and be a plus defender there, but needs to work on the skills aspect of his defense.” And Brett Wallace is one of the top first base prospects in the league. Which will be good for the NL Central, which is known for its shortage of awesome first basemen.
For the Reds, this trade means they will not face Roy Oswalt during the regular season again this year. The only way they would face him is if they made the playoffs. And with a first place lead 2 days shy of August, I’m feeling optimistic about the Reds’ chances.