Roy Oswalt, Dan Haren or Bust for Phillies?

Written By Bob Cunningham On Thursday, July 22, 2010

Roy Oswalt seems to be Ruben Amaro Jr.'s target.

All the clamor as of late has been for the Phillies to go out and add another starting pitcher, possibly even one with "ace" qualities. While I'm not exactly a proponent of the move, it looks like that's inevitably what's going to happen.

But, as Jim Salisbury of reported recently, the Phillies aren't looking for just any starting pitcher and will only trade for a top-flight starter. In fact, again according to Salisbury, the Phils won't be trading for any pitcher not named Roy Oswalt or Dan Haren.

"Baseball officials with knowledge of the Phillies’ thinking say that if the Phils can’t land a top pitcher, such as Oswalt or Haren," Salisbury writes, "they may not add a pitcher at all."

It's a bit surprising initially to think that Ruben Amaro Jr. would simply give up looking for a pitcher just because he can't land the exact guy he wants, but it makes sense.

Amaro knows as well as anyone that he can't press and make a trade just for the sake of making a move. If he's going to ship players out, he's got to make sure he's getting the same value in return or he's going to hurt the team for a few years.

He does, however, seem to be losing options.

According to reports, Oswalt is likely going to refuse to waive his no-trade clause unless the team trading for him agrees to pick up his $16 million option for 2010.

But with a huge deal just getting done with Ryan Howard and a couple other guys having to be paid before then, the Phils might see that as a bit pricey for a guy who would be their third starter.

As I've said before, I would think the wiser option would be to simply ride out the season with J.A Happ and Kyle Kendrick as your final two starters, then perhaps look to see who is available either via free agency or trade next season.

Happ was very good last year, and Kendrick really hasn't been that bad. His most recent outing against the Cardinals was certainly one to forget, but overall he's been an average pitcher on a very average team.

Amaro says he already knows what he's going to do, so it's really just a matter of waiting and seeing for Phillies fans. Even though the trade deadline isn't until the 31st, the Phils have an opening for a starter this Sunday, so whatever move they're going to make will likely be made before then.

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