Roy Oswalt, one of the greatest pitchers to wear an Astros uniform, is headed to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Oswalt told the Astros on Thursday afternoon he would waive his no-trade clause in order to approve a trade to the two-time defending National League champions, a person close to the negotiations told MLB.com. The two sides were working the final details of the deal, which is expected to be announced today.
The Astros and Phillies reached a deal on Wednesday night to send Oswalt to the Phillies if the pitcher agreed to waive his no-trade clause. Left-handed pitcher J.A. Happ and a pair of Minor Leaguers are expected to come to the Astros, who are also expected to pay a portion of Oswalt’s contract. When reached by MLB.com earlier Thursday afternoon, Oswalt said he hadn’t made a decision.
“No news yet,” he said.
Oswalt is owed about $5 million more this year and is due to make $16 million next season in the last year of his contract, but there’s a club option for 2012 that would pay him another $16 million.
The Astros have scouted Happ’s most recent starts.
Astros general manger Ed Wade also personally scouted Philadelphia’s Class A Lakewood affiliate earlier this month. First baseman Jonathan Singleton, an eighth-round pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, could be part of the deal. Singleton, 18, is hitting .319 with 12 home runs, 57 RBIs and a .962 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 248 at-bats.
The Astros have been fielding calls about Oswalt since he informed the team in May he wanted to be traded to a contender. Oswalt said Wednesday he would like to have some time to decide prior to Saturday’s 3 p.m. CT non-waiver Trade Deadline if he’d be willing to waive his no-trade clause to accommodate any deals the Astros put on the table.
Oswalt is 6-12 with a 3.42 ERA, but he has received some of the worst run support in the league. He has 143 wins and needed just one more victory to tie Joe Niekro for first place on the club’s all-time list..
The two-time defending National League champion Phillies are 54-46 and trail the Braves by 3 1/2 games in the NL East. By adding Oswalt, they bolstered a pitching staff, which boasts Roy Halladay, that’s ranked seventh in the NL with a 3.99 ERA.
– Brian McTaggart