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A.S. and A.H.: What Can The Phils Do?

It’s merely July 9, yet we’re already in the A.S. (After Sabathia) and A.H. (After Harden) eras in baseball. Both have been dealt, and both are in the National League Central. The Brewers and Cubs front offices took the big gambles and decided to win now, grabbing the top-two cards on the trade-deadline deck.

And the Phillies?

“I think we can win with what we have. But obviously the ideal is to upgrade. That said, we will continue to be aggressive to make an upgrade. That said, it doesn’t make sense to make a move just to make a move.”

That’s Phillies Asst. GM Mike Arbuckle, courtesy Sam Donnellon. Once you get by all the “that said”s, you’ll notice this front office doesn’t have many choices now. Could they package the top of their farm for Erik Bedard? Could they do almost the same for AJ Burnett? Are they worth it? More likely, they’ll throw a mid-range prospect and a low-range prospect to San Diego for Randy Wolf. Or to Cleveland for Paul Byrd.

That said … that’s not enough.

Now, of course the Phils were heavy in the running for CC Sabathia. Supposedly they were No. 2 for the Indians. But they didn’t have enough. More Arbuckle, courtesy Todd Zolecki:

“The Phillies seemed willing to part with some top prospects for Sabathia, but it was unclear how far they would go to get a player like Bedard or Burnett. Arbuckle said it was unlikely they would trade a top prospect — double-A righthander Carlos Carrasco falls into that category — for a ‘run-of-the-mill fifth starter.'”

I’d plop Wolf and Byrd in that “run-of-the-mill fifth starter” category. That means there’s really one name left: Roy Oswalt. I’ll precede my discussion of Oswalt by acknowledging his strained hip and the possibility he’s been pitching injured all year (7-8, 4.60 ERA). There, that’s my precede. The Phils have scouted him (though they may have seen his injury risk and backed off). He would have to waive his no-trade clause, and he’s worth $14M next year, $15M in 2010 and $16M in 2011. So he’s worth plenty, obviously.

So here’s what I’ll put to table: Could the Phillies trade Brett Myers, Carlos Carrasco and Jason Donald to Houston for Oswalt?

Jose Valverde hasn’t exactly been sparkling as closer for Houston, and he’s only there until the end of the season. Myers could slide into the closer role and be reunited with the GM who drafted him. Carrasco would be a back-end starter for Houston next season. Donald could fill the shortstop gap once Miguel Tejada leaves/ages (he can opt out of his contract at the end of the season, by the way).

The Phils would have to eat some of Oswalt’s money despite losing Myers, and obviously he’s a huge risk this season, but they could do it. So would you do it? Would you throw caution into the wind and go at him?

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