Tradespin: Two Roys are Better than One

(By Dave)

The Phillies have reportedly come to an agreement with the Astros to acquire Roy Oswalt in exchange for starter J.A. Happ and a few rumored prospects. The deal apparently all hinges on whether Oswalt waives his no-trade clause and is OK being the second-best Roy on the team.

Despite the immense real-life baseball ramifications of the deal, a move to the Land of a Thousand Cheesesteaks will likely have little affect on Oswalt’s fantasy value.
Here’s why:
  • The soon-to-be 33-year-old was already in the midst of a quality season, as his 3.42 ERA is his lowest clip since his ’07 campaign and his 1.11 WHIP is his best mark since his rookie year in ’01.
  • Despite the friendly hitting confines of Minute Maid Park, Oswalt has been dominant on his home turf throughout his career, posting a 2.89 ERA over 998 1/3 career innings. Combine that with the fact that his new stomping grounds — Citizens Bank Park — favors batters, as well, and a change of home ballparks would likely only have a nominal affect on Oswalt’s performance.
  • The one main promising prospect for Oswalt is the hope that jettisoning the second-to-last-place Astros in favor of the contending Phillies will reinvigorate the Houston ace and he can repeat what Cliff Lee did last season for the Phils. Though this remains a possibility, I just don’t see it happening. Oswalt is a fine pitcher but Lee is Lee, and judging by his current 114/7 K/BB ratio, last season’s success with the Phils was really only the tip of the iceberg for the all-world southpaw.
  • With that said, outside of a few more wins, expect more of the same from Oswalt should he pitch in Philly. And, frankly, that’s not a bad thing. A mid-to-low ERA in the threes combined with a K/9 rate in the eights still makes him a Top 30 fantasy starter going forward.

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