Oswalt to make Phillies debut tomorrow

The Phillies have acquired Roy Oswalt from the Astros for J.A. Happ and two minor league prospects. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

Roy Oswalt has passed his physical will make his Phillies debut tomorrow night against Washington at Nationals Park.

If the Nationals thought that too many Phillies fans made their way to D.C. for the season opener, imagine what this might be like.

"I'm at a point in my career where I just want a chance to get back to the World Series like I did in '05 with Houston," he told ESPN.com. "I'm excited to be going to Philly. I love watching Roy Halladay pitch and I think with him and [Cole] Hamels the three of us can feed off each other."

Oswalt is getting on a plane and flying into Washington tonight.


Was this the right deal for the Phillies?

"He really wanted to pitch tomorrow. He didn’t want to wait," agent Bob Garber told the Daily News. "He’s in great shape. He’s healthy. He feels good. A pitcher like Roy, you can pitch for a long time.”

Oswalt was scheduled to pitch tomorrow night for Houston prior to the deal so he will remain on his usual turn. J.A. Happ was set to pitch for the Phillies.

As for the reports that Oswalt did not want to come to the Phillies, Garber said that was not the case.

"Roy never said he didn’t want to go to Philadelphia," he said. "He never wavered about Philly. We never had anything in front of us until yesterday. He slept on it overnight and woke up and wanted to be with the Phillies.”

Garber indicated the Oswalt camp figured the four teams that were involved were the Rangers, Cardinals, Yankees and Phillies.

The Astros get J.A. Happ, minor leaguers Anthony Gose and Jonathan Villar.

They also are expected to pay $11 million to the Phillies. Oswalt is owed about $5 million for the rest of the season and $12 million next season.

“There’s a lot of money being sent between teams," Garber said. "That’s why it took a while [to finalize].”

The Phillies did not extend Oswalt's $16 million option for 2012, but increased the buyout should the option not get extended, reportedly by $1 million.

"There was a change in the buyout," general manager Ruben Amaro said Jr. "[The amount was] not deemed significant."

"I didn't want [the option] to be a deal breaker," Oswalt told ESPN.com. "It wasn't about the money, it was about getting a chance to go somewhere and win. I was confident that we could always find a way to overcome that."

The Phillies now have Oswalt, Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels at the top of their rotation.

"I like our chances with the three pitchers at the top of our rotation," Amaro said.

As for Oswalt waiving his no-trade clause, Amaro said, "He’s pretty excited about coming here. One of the things that he has as a result of his contract status is he had the right to refuse the trade. In some ways, we’re very fortunate he allowed himself to be traded to Philadelphia without really getting a whole lot for it."

Oswalt has had back issues in the past, but Amaro said the two team doctors and trainers and a back specialist were all consulted.

"We did our due diligence," Amaro said. "He has had injections. We knew about them. We know about them. We feel confident that at the very least he will be able to play at the level accustomed at least through the 2011 season."

Happ, 27, was 1-0 with a 1.76 ERA in three starts for the Phillies this season. He was originally selected by the club in the third round of the 2004 draft and finished second in National League Rookie of the Year voting last season. For his career, he is 14-5 with a 3.11 ERA in 47 games (31 starts).

Gose, 19, was hitting .263 with four home runs, 20 RBI and 36 stolen bases for single-A Clearwater. He was a second-round selection by the Phillies in the 2008 draft and led all minor league players in stolen bases (76) last season.

Villar, also 19, was hitting .272 with two home runs, 36 RBI and 38 stolen bases in 100 games for single-A Lakewood. A native of the Dominican Republic, Villar was originally signed as an amateur free agent by the Phillies in May of 2008.

And now this, according to Fox, Gose has already been flipped by the Astros to Toronto for Brett Wallace, who last year was flipped from Oakland for Michael Taylor after the Halladay deal.


The Phillies appear to have their man. One of the biggest remaining hurdles between the Phillies and a rotation that includes Roy Oswalt has been eclipsed, according to a source familiar with the righthander's thinking, as the veteran righthander is prepared to waive his no-trade clause and green-light a deal with the Phillies.

Several reports have the Astros acquiring lefthander J.A. Happ and minor league outfielder Anthony Gose, and the Phillies receiving $11 million from Houston, although the Daily News has not independently confirmed the terms of the package.

FoxSports.com reported that a third player headed to Houston is shortstop Jonathan Villar, who is still at the bottom of the Phillies' minor league system.

No word yet on the status of Oswalt's $16 million option for 2012.

Oswalt was scheduled to pitch tomorrow for the Astros, although it is unclear if he will be in Washington in time for the Phillies' game against the Nationals. 

Happ arrived as usual at Citizens Bank Park today and was spotted running wind sprints in the outfield. However, he was later greeted with hugs from his teammates.

It is unclear whether physicals have been scheduled.


In other news, shortstop Jimmy Rollins is out of the lineup for a third consecutive game after fouling a ball off his foot Monday against Colorado.

Also, Domonic Brown is not in the lineup. Ben Francisco will play rightfield. Manager Charlie Manuel had said Brown would play against some lefthanders, but apparently not this evening against new Diamondback Joe Saunders, who was acquired Sunday in the Dan Haren trade with the Angels.