Friday, July 30, 2010

The Newest Houston Astros (and a Toronto Blue Jay)

2010 Topps #89 J.A. Happ
2010 Bowman Prospects #BP104 Anthony Gose
2010 Multi-Ad Lakewood BlueClaws #27 Jonathan Villar

There has been a deal. Well, actually that's kind of old news. Phillies trades have always excited me, starting back around the time Bob Walk was getting traded for Sarge Matthews.

So on Thursday afternoon, when word came through the Twitterverse that the Phils had acquired Roy Oswalt (plus cash) for J.A. Happ, Anthony Gose and Jonathan Villar, I was positively in a quiver. It’s an exciting time to be a Phillies fan, but we unfortunately have to bid a bittersweet farewell to one budding prospect and two guys we never really knew.

Happ was professional to the end and I was struck by just how many Phillies players were quoted as saying how much they'd miss the guy. He thanked the Phillies’ organization in a subdued press conference and he spoke to how difficult it would be to leave the only organization he's ever known. He joins a floundering Astros organization where he'll be surrounded by old friends Brett Myers, Pedro Feliz, Michael Bourn, Jason Michaels and Nelson Figueroa. (He and Myers might not be together for long, as it's recently been rumored that Myers is the next pitcher to be shipped out of Houston.) Happ starts tonight against the Brewers and The Phillies Room wishes him continued success against all teams in the National League, except the Phillies.

I don't know much about Gose other than he was a highly-touted outfield prospect, ranked as the organization's 5th best prospect on the highly regarded Phuture Phillies website. Upon acquiring him, the Astros immediately spun him off to the Blue Jays for another highly-touted prospect – first baseman Brett Wallace. Gose appeared in a few insert sets in this year's Bowman issue, and I'm sure we'll see him featured on baseball cards in a Blue Jays' uniform in a few years' time. For now, he’ll join former teammate Travis d'Arnaud on the Dunedin Blue Jays. I know even less about shortstop Jonathan Villar, other than he's very young, and various news outlets initially reported his name as Villan yesterday.

A Few Other Thoughts: The best analysis of the entire transaction can be found on the previously mentioned Phuture Phillies blog. If Figueroa was still with the Phillies, would he have been forced to give up his #44 to Oswalt? Most likely.


Section 36 said...

I guess I'm still not sure why the Phillies didn't just keep Cliff Lee. Wouldn't that have been easier than making another trade to get Oswalt?

Jim said...

I'm still coming to terms with the organization's rationale for trading away Lee. My short take - they made a mistake and they know it and Oswalt was available, so they went out and got him.

The other thing of course that factors into this is dollars and years. Lee was going to ask for (and he will receive) a 5 or 6 year deal, which is something the Phils would have never done. Oswalt is under control for all of 2011 and possibly 2012, if the team picks up his option.

The Phuture Phillies post that I linked echoes this theory in a much more eloquent way.