After weeks of wavering, we found out last night that Roy Oswalt will finally be taking his talents to Philadelphia in a trade for J.A. "Shit" Happ"ens" and two scrub prospects. I'm extremely disappointed that I forced that Billy Joe Tolliver/Billy Joe Hobert line a few posts ago, because now the Phillies have cornered the Roy market in a similar fashion. Regardless, the Phillies have gone from left for dead in the NL East to serious contender once again. Let's take a look at what this deal and others mean in the grand history of deadline deals.
They say that the best thing you can do as a manager is hire well. For the Phillies, the best thing that they can do is make sure other teams hire well. Astros GM Ed Wade was formerly the GM of the Phillies, and it appears that he gave his former team the hometown discount. The Phils totally fleeced the Astros, getting a top level pitcher for two lower-tier minor leaguers and J.A. Happ. We saw a similar occurrence when T'Wolves GM Kevin McHale gave his former team the advantage when he traded Kevin Garnett to the Celtics. It's good to have friends in high places I suppose.
Speaking of getting fleeced, let's talk about the Twins deal for Matt Capps for a second. A month or so ago, the Twins were all ready to trade top prospect Wilson Ramos for Cliff Lee. Last night, they settled for trading him for Fat Matt Capps. Ouch. In the future, we might look back at this deal as a Jeff Bagwell for Larry Anderson, or Curt Schilling and Brady Anderson for Mike Boddicker type deal. Just terrible.
Now that the Phils have Oswalt, they have a very formidable 1-2-3 in their rotation. Should they make the playoffs, those three will be very tough to compete with for any team. I have never seen a Phillies rotation this good, and now I am baffled at how they managed to win the World Series in 2008 with a rotation headed by Cole Hamels and nobody else. Crazy. It's gonna be a showdown coming down the stretch in the NL East.
As I have said before, deadline deals rarely ever end up in a World Series Championship, However, this move was a great one for the Phillies. They didn't give up much to add a solid pitcher to their rotation for at least the next year and a half. The time to win is now for the Phils, and Roy Oswalt gives them a leg up in the NL East. I am looking forward to seeing him dominate the Capps-less Nationals tonight.