Roy Oswalt going to Phillies, and Braves need to respond (UPDATED)

Roy Oswalt joined a Phillies' pitching rotation that includes Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels.

Roy Oswalt joined a Phillies' starting pitching rotation that includes Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels. (AP photo)

(UPDATED: 4:45 p.m.)

When rumors began to heat up the other day that the Philadelphia Phillies were pursuing Houston pitcher Roy Oswalt — the gem of baseball’s trade deadline — I mentioned that such a deal could put pressure on the Braves to make a move.

Well, it just happened

After reports surfaced late Wednesday that the Phillies and Astros had specifics of a trade in place, ESPN and Fox Sports now are both reporting that Oswalt has waived his no-trade clause and signed off on the deal. The Astros will get pitcher J.A. Happ and two prospects in return.

Oswalt will start for the Phillies in Washington Friday night.

What does this mean for the Braves? Simple. They need to do something.

The acquisition of Oswalt doesn’t guarantee Philly will overtake the Braves in the National League East. But it’s a significant and aggressive move by a three-time defending division champion, one that should madate a response by Braves’ management.

General manager Frank Wren said the other day he was uncertain if the team needed to make a move before Saturday’s non-waiver traded deadline, but can there be any doubt now?

Everything Wren has done of late has been about setting the Braves up for a pennant run in Bobby Cox’s final season as manager. Most notable: The recent trade of shortstop Yunel Escobar to Toronto for Alex Gonzalez — a deal more about this year than the future — and the demotion of center fielder Nate McLouth to the minors.

With Oswalt joining the Phillies, it would be risky, at best, for the Braves to settle for what they have. The team needs offensive help, preferably somebody who plays center field. They also may need a reliever, with Eric O’Flaherty on the disabled list, Jesse Chavez just plain awful and Kenshin Kawakami having apparently been lost in a black hole.

Is it panic time? Not at all. But worry time, maybe.

The Braves lost to Washington today. They’re 6-7 since the All-Star break and their lead over Philadelphia in the East is down to three games (pending the Phillies’ game tonight at Arizona). The Phillies are only 8-6 since the All-Star break, but they have won seven straight and scored 41 runs in the last six games. They’ve hung around despite being wrecked by injuries most of the season (second baseman Chase Utley and center fielder Shane Victorino currently are on the disabled list).

Now, Philadelphia has Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Oswalt at the top of its starting rotation.

If Wren doesn’t respond with a deal, he will be playing a dangerous game.

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501 comments Add your comment

Ramblin Wrecker

July 29th, 2010
3:28 pm

Enter your comments hereWOULD YOU TRADE KRIS MEDLEN TO WASHINGTON IF YOU COULD GET ADAM DUNN IN RETURN?

I’m starting to think the Braves need a serious offensive prescence in the lineup if they are to hold off Philly, now that they have acquired Roy Oswalt. Dunn could play some LF and 1B to relieve Glaus who is struggling and seems to have some bad legs under him. Heyward could move to CF and the Braves could use a platoon of Diaz/Hinkse in RF with Melky being a late inning defensive replacement for Dunn.

As for giving up Medlen, I love the kid. I don’t want to get rid of him, but if it meant the Braves could put a 40 HR bopper hitting cleanup behind Heyward & Chipper and in front of McCann I believe I could learn to live without Medlen. The Braves have some options to replace Medlen. They could promote Mike Minor, who by all accounts is major league ready, to take the #5 spot in the rotation. Or despite how crazy this sounds, at worst you could turn back to Kawakami. He’s not great, but if the Braves offense is clicking at a higher rate, couldn’t we live with KK pitching 6 innings and giving up 3-4 runs a game? He’s burning up lots of payroll, so you might as well try to get some performance from him. Maybe some time off to reflect could help him in the future.

Point is, the Braves have some options to backfill Medlen, but they have nobody who can provide what Adam Dunn can offensively.

Bravo Taco

July 29th, 2010
3:29 pm

Bravo Taco

July 29th, 2010
3:29 pm

Any chance Jose Bautista could be had without a fortune? Maybe Matt Kemp? Am I dreaming?

Tim Tebow's Tears

July 29th, 2010
3:29 pm

Bob in SF

July 29th, 2010
3:30 pm

They can’t pull a panic trade though like they did back in the day with the Len Barker deal. I would rather them stand pat than make another Texeira type deal on a rental.

jon

July 29th, 2010
3:33 pm

Jeff, don’t panic… Whats oswalts ERA? We will be fine… Remember we need to hit.. pitching has not been the issue!

Jethro

July 29th, 2010
3:33 pm

Oh no. The sky is falling! Sure. it’d be nice to get someone, but I have no worries with the team as is.

Mr. Pappagiorgio

July 29th, 2010
3:35 pm

Don’t give up Medlen, he has some of the best stuff in the game….and will be a big time starter in years to come. You don’t see many pitchers with the back door change up like Medlen’s….just nasty!

Mr. Pappagiorgio

July 29th, 2010
3:36 pm

One more thing…Oswalt is overated…

Gene

July 29th, 2010
3:36 pm

The Braves have apparently lost whatever spark they had at mid season. They are not known for being innovative or making bold moves. (The trade of five players for Tex was not bold. It was stupid.) If this team continues to muddle along, they will be on the golf course in October. At least bring up Freeman. Glaus is in a coma.

Brent

July 29th, 2010
3:36 pm

Sometimes the best deal is no deal at all

elvisaintdead

July 29th, 2010
3:38 pm

I just wanted to say, “Good luck, we’re all counting on you.”

Phillistein

July 29th, 2010
3:38 pm

Equally important was the debut last night of Domonic Brown, Philly’s answer to Jason Heyward. Of course, one game does not a breakout rookie year make but..so far so good. And remember Sportsfans, this is with a severly nicked up Phillies team. If Utley isn’t too rusty when he returns in August, and with Oswalt – there could be heck to pay for the rest of the division.

Lastly, Phillies decision NOT to trade Werth is already paying dividends – he has been unconsciuos hitting wise since the Phillies let it be know they were keeping him. It’s good for him, good for the clubhouse and………..bad for you guys. But, look on the bright side….you could be the NY Mutz. The Braves deserve a lot of credit for hanging tuff with the type of offense they’ve got. can never say enough about good pitching

GTax

July 29th, 2010
3:39 pm

Just listening to ESPN radio and of course they are all over this.

They just said “If you’re a Braves fan right now, you’re floundering…you’re wondering what to do. The Phillies have cut the lead in half in a week and now have Roy Oswalt, plus Jason Werth hitting again and Chase Uttley coming back in August.”

Can’t say I don’t agree. Now the Braves are down 4-3 to the Nationals and the game may be called which will be another loss for the Braves. I am growing worried.

T-Bone

July 29th, 2010
3:40 pm

I don’t think Wren could have stood pat even if the Phillies had not gotten Oswalt. They would certainly have a formidible 1-2-3, but IMO neither Hamels nor Oswalt have been world-beaters. But the Braves offense has been waning since mid-June. We need speed and a bat-for-average in CF and a power bat for LF. We are a good team, but nobody in our lineup scares you.

Robert

July 29th, 2010
3:40 pm

Wow Phillies are strong now.

IlliniBrave

July 29th, 2010
3:42 pm

We are toast! The Phillies are starting to play like their resumes say they should, and with the addition of another top-of-the-rotation starter, they will run away with the division. For that reason alone, I say don’t make a trade for the short-run, but instead build toward the future. The next four or five seasons could be special, built around a core of McCann, Prado, Heyward, Freeman, Jurrjens, Hudson, Hansen, Medlen, Venters, and Vizcaino. Let’s not trade away the future for what will likely be a futile attempt to catch the Phillies.

Steve

July 29th, 2010
3:42 pm

Jeff, if you were Wren, what would you do?

Yassir

July 29th, 2010
3:42 pm

I bet Wren is really scared now that he sees your warning!

ArkyTech

July 29th, 2010
3:42 pm

You don’t make a move just because the Phils did – unless is makes your team clearly better. I just wish the Braves had gotten Oswalt in a block move. He would have chosen the Braves over Philly. We could have given them Medlen and a couple prospects, then taken $11M or so Houston is couging up, and use Chipper’s salary from next year to pay Oswalt. That would not only make the Braves rotation even stronger, but would keep the Phils from acquiring their 3rd ace. Now the rotation of Halladay, Oswalt, and Hammels is going to be very difficult to overcome next season.

Halberstram

July 29th, 2010
3:42 pm

Cliff Lee was the gem of the trading deadline, laughable to call Oswalt that.

The Braves do need to make a move, but it depends at what cost. If they can get away with a package similar to what the Phillies gave the Astros then yes, but it wouldn’t be worth it to mortgage the farm for who’s available (Willingham, Ross etc.).

Steve

July 29th, 2010
3:45 pm

IlliniBrave are you kidding? “We are toast?” You act like the Braves suddenly have a bad team. EVERY team has ups and downs. The Braves are currently down while the Phillies are up. After this weekend the Braves play 14 of 17 at home where they are VERY good. The road trip in between is at Houston who is TERRIBLE. Relax, plenty of time left. There is always the wild card too.

Kerryb

July 29th, 2010
3:46 pm

So, the Phillies add an aging 6-12 pitcher ,who at this stage of his career is a 3rd or 4th starter, and we are suppose to worry.

Alan

July 29th, 2010
3:49 pm

doing something would make us look weak. We have a very solid team. If we do something great, but it is not necessary. The phillies will be terrible in 3 years. I hope we’ve learned from the teixiera trade.

Kerryb

July 29th, 2010
3:49 pm

Curious George, give it a rest, it’s getting old. This is a Braves blog, who cares.

JoeFan

July 29th, 2010
3:50 pm

The Phillies are basically saying the future is now. Their minor league system is empty for trading purposes and many of their veterans are nearing the end of the productive side of their careers. Maybe the Braves hold on, maybe not but the future looks bright for the organization. I don’t believe Wren mortgages the future for the sake of possibly winning the division and lets not forget the wildcard option, which gets the Braves into the playoffs without having to go through Philadelphia.

Kerryb

July 29th, 2010
3:51 pm

Go to some nerd blog and talk about Damon Evans all you want with morons who will laugh at it.

Tokyo Tom

July 29th, 2010
3:51 pm

Bob in SF is right- I remember the media screaming back in 1983 that the Barves HAVE TO MAKE THE LEN BARKER TRADE- and then piled on the Braves for years after for making one of the owrst trades ever (their words, not mine). Nw here is ol’ JS syaing the Braves HAVE TO MAKE A TRADE- and will for years after happily report how misguided the Braves were for trading Player X (like Adam Wainwright, Elvis Andrus, etc) for a pennant drive that may/may not pay off..

That being said- a consistent power hitting OF or 1B would be nice to have.

Robert

July 29th, 2010
3:51 pm

“So, the Phillies add an aging 6-12 pitcher ,who at this stage of his career is a 3rd or 4th starter, and we are suppose to worry.”

You do know wins/losses are the most meaningless stat when judging a pitcher. You guys can shrug off the trade all you want but Oswalt is big upgrade for Philly.

Chippers Daddy

July 29th, 2010
3:53 pm

The Braves don’t NEED to respond. Thats why I don’t like this blog. JS seems to play to peoples emotions. When the Braves lose 9 straight the season is over. When they get a big lead they already one it. When the Phillies make a move the Braves have too. It’s propaganda in its purist form. Using peoples emotions in extreme cases, in this instance to gain readers. The Braves have all they need internally: http://ijpb.blogspot.com/

coo coo bird fan

July 29th, 2010
3:53 pm

There is no need for a trade. A couple of call ups maybe, but we have a good nucleus rite now and it doesnt need disturbing. Lets play the games out and in the end our pitching all the way thru will get us into the playoffs. Whether or not its wild card or division winners is yet to be seen.

Kerryb

July 29th, 2010
3:53 pm

Not that big, half their lineup went on the DL yesterday along with Jamie Moyer and Utley. Not worried about them. The Braves are about to play that long stretch at home where they are tough to beat. My guess is that after that the Braves will be up by 6 again.

IlliniBrave

July 29th, 2010
3:54 pm

Those claiming that Oswalt is over-rated are not following him very closely. He has pitched superbly this year.

He’s in the top 15 in the NL in ERA and K’s, is sixth in WHIP, and tied for seventh in QS. He pitches deep into the game and keeps runners off base. The only thing missing is wins, and that is due largely to poor run support – he ranks 118th with 3.14 per 9 innings.

He will undoubtedly make the Phillies a better team and account for at least a half dozen more wins than Happ.

Danny Terrio

July 29th, 2010
3:54 pm

The dye has been cast, Bradley has spoken, the Braves are doomed.

Plate Appearance

July 29th, 2010
3:54 pm

THE BRAVES COULD HAVE WEATHERED THE STORM

I believe the Braves could have weathered the storm of Oswalt coming to the Phils before the Escobar trade.

Now I don’t know.

The 2nd half stats show far more production from Escobar than Gonzalez. And Yunel has produced some real game changing stats — much like he did last year when he was the Braves MVP.

I believe that the Gonzalez trade is going to turn into ANOTHER MCLOUTH-LIKE TRADE for Wren, which the Braves certainly didn’t need.

But I also believe this Phils trade will force Wren’s hand. I don’t see this fast moving, quick acting GM being patient any longer.

He’ll make a trade in the next couple of days! I only hope he doesn’t give up any of the Braves key young pitching prospects to do it.

Art Vandelay

July 29th, 2010
3:55 pm

Halberstram, Cliff Lee has been with the Rangers for three weeks already. That was hardly a trade deadline deal.

Steve

July 29th, 2010
3:56 pm

Alright, come back time in the game!

Kerryb

July 29th, 2010
3:56 pm

I love how morons highjack your name and post comments. Use your own name d*** a**.

DP

July 29th, 2010
3:57 pm

I didn’t understand it before the season when Philly traded Cliff Lee and I understand it even less now. Lee is better than Oswalt at this point, he was a lefthander to complement the right handed Halladay, he has less mileage than Oswalt and if memory serves he was cheaper. And Lee was a stud in the postseason last year.

I don’t think Wren’s position should change. If you can make a trade that helps you this season without costing you too much longer term, you do it. Otherwise you don’t.

Phillistein

July 29th, 2010
3:58 pm

Kerryb

July 29th, 2010
3:46 pm
So, the Phillies add an aging 6-12 pitcher ,who at this stage of his career is a 3rd or 4th starter, and we are suppose to worry.

Hmmmm

He’s 32, playing for a god-awful team and his ERA would be 2nd best on the Braves after Hudson (starters)

But hey, rationalize away…it’s the beauty of being a Sportsfan

BuckheadBrave

July 29th, 2010
3:59 pm

They won’t respond, and there is one very big reason why that everyone seems to ignore THEY NEVER INTENDED TO BE HERE TO BEGIN WITH. Do you HONESTLY believe that as he was constructing this team Frank Wren thought they would be in 1st place going in to the trade deadline?? There is no freaking way! He is getting a lot of credit from players playing above their ability and unless he has ESP there is no way he could have foreseen this. They didn’t spend the money to contend from the start so why on god green earth would the spend it to contend now? Is it not troubling to you to see Braves execs thinly veiling the fact they are as much if not more surprised than the fans that this club is in 1st place? This front office whether by liberty media’s budget restrictions or their own had and still has no real intention to be a true contender. This was a team designed to compete but never really contend so they could say oh look, we tried, we were in it. They won’t answer the Phillies because there is no real intention within the Braves front office to be better than the Phillies.

Kerryb

July 29th, 2010
3:59 pm

When half of your position players are on the DL a guy like that is not that much of an impact.

buick59

July 29th, 2010
4:00 pm

bottom line….. Phillies are a better, proven championship team. Braves, for the most part, bunch of salvage jobs. exceptions of course are Prado, Heyward,McCann

Ted Striker

July 29th, 2010
4:00 pm

I hear Barry Bonds is still available.

brandon

July 29th, 2010
4:01 pm

i agree. i don’t think wren could have not made a move before this. now i think he has to. why didn’t we go after scott podsednik more? dodgers didn’t really give up alot for him. he is hitting .310 on the season. not alot of power, but that would have been a good pickup.

PMC

July 29th, 2010
4:02 pm

What did Houston get back for this? Absolute moron that Ed Wade is.

Hey Philly… here’s our best pitcher AND 11 million dollars… give us back meh.. JA Happ and some average prospects… thanks.

Has Ed Wade tendered his resignation for incompetance yet? Wow it must be miserable to be a fan of the Astros. They are Awful and they have no hope.

papadawg

July 29th, 2010
4:02 pm

I’m so dang envious of the Phils cause they are where the Braves were ten years ago until they were bought by some no care cheap a__ owners. The Braves had a team and needed a piece to complete it now the team is full of ragamuffins and we trade a head case for a average at best SS. Yeah they want to win

Ralph

July 29th, 2010
4:03 pm

Braves should try to package Infante and Minor for someone like Hart or Crawford, I would hate to give those guys up but I beleive that kind of deal would be a winner for everyone involved, Cox isn’t going to use Infante for anything other than a bench player so they might as well trade him for something we need, we need someone Like Niger Morgan to get on base and make things happen since we are not a power team. Bring up Freeman and bench Glaus before he reaches the McLouse level, Freeman is tearing it up in AAA.

F-105 Thunderchief

July 29th, 2010
4:03 pm

No, they don’t have to respond just to be doing something. If you can’t upgrade without also shooting your willie off, best to stay put. It took a long time to grow back after Len Barker. Also, I still can’t believe we gave up Wainwright for one mediocre year from J.D. “Flippin’” Drew.

BuckheadBrave

July 29th, 2010
4:06 pm

Now don’t get me wrong, I like Melky, I think he has contributed more than a lot of other to this team BUT i think now we tend to look at that trade one sided because Javy has struggled this year. A GM who knows what he is doing does not trade a pitcher who has the highest trade value of his entire career for Melky Cabrera. That is not a move that says we want to win, thats a move that says we have a budget to adhere to. This club had ZERO intention to contend for a championship they were designed to play decent baseball and perhaps stumble into a wild card and extra revenue from a play off series which they would promptly be swept in.