5:03 p.m. All of the Ts are crossed and the Is are dotted. Roy Oswalt is a Phillies in exchange for J.A. Happ, Anthony Gose and Jonathan Villar. Oswalt will also bring a brief case filled with $11 million of Houston's money to help pay for his contract. The Phillies up his buyout in 2012 from $2 million to $3 million.
2:03 p.m. Another report now says that Jonathan Singleton is NOT in the trade.
1:51 p.m. Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly is reporting that Happ and Gose are definites in the deal.
1:45 p.m. Reports were flying fast and furious there for a while, but have been few and far between over the last 20 minutes.
1:23 p.m. Word is that it's Happ, Worley and Gose for Oswalt. For what it's worth, Worley is still in the IronPigs dugout.
1:19 p.m. Report is that three players, including J.A. Happ, will go to Houston and that the Astros will pay a "significant" part of Oswalt's money. Word is that Singleton is NOT in the deal, but that Anthony Gose may be.
1:15 p.m. FOX's Ken Rosenthal now saying "indications favorable" that Oswalt will come to Philly. Also says 2012 option will NOT be picked up, but Oswalt will be compensated in "other ways". There was actually a report that he was asking for new farm equipment as compensation.
12:58 p.m. Jayson Stark is reporting that Roy Oswalt will accept the deal to the Phillies.
12:48 p.m. Rays are saying that Hellickson was pulled because they are monitoring his workload.
12:41 p.m. There are now reports that Jonathan Singleton is not involved in the deal for Oswalt. That would put either Matt Rizzotti or Vance Worley into the deal.
12:35 p.m. Vance Worley was coaching first for the LV IronPigs, but was replaced by Paul Hoover. Just an interesting move to make note of. Also, Durham pulled starter Jeremy Hellickson after just three innings. Tampa Bay was rumored to be potentially involved as the third team in an Oswalt deal and they've also been working on other moves. These are the things that you watch for at this time of the season.
11:22 a.m. The latest package that has been rumored is J.A. Happ, Scott Mathieson, Jonathan Singleton and possibly Anthony Gose for Oswalt, utility infielder Jeff Keppinger and approximately $12 million toward Oswalt's salary. That's a lot to give up, especially if Gose is included in the deal.
Roy Oswalt got his wish. The Phillies and Astros completed the parameters of a deal in plenty of time for Oswalt to have time to consider whether or not pitching for the Phillies was worth uprooting his family. At this point, it appears that if Oswalt wants to pitch for a contender, he will have to accept a deal to the Phillies, since, for one reason or another, there aren't any other clubs that are really in the running to acquire Oswalt.
One surprising aspect of the deal is that the Astros have apparently agreed to accept what is being called a significant portion of the money that's due to Oswalt between now and the end of his contract, which will come either at the end of the 2011 or 2012 season. Oswalt has a $2 million buyout for 2012 that would be the alternative to the $16 million that he would receive in 2012 if his salary for that year were to become guaranteed. There is no word on whether the Phillies have agreed to guarantee Oswalt's salary for 2012 or if he would drop his demands that the option year become guaranteed.
With the Astros agreeing to pick up a chunk of the money on Oswalt's contract, the Phillies will have to give up more and/or better prospects. J.A. Happ figures to be the center piece of the deal; He's been the one constant in the whole negotiation process for a Roy Oswalt deal. The additional money coming from Houston would seem to mean that the Phillies will now agree to include right-hander Vance Worley as part of the deal and there would be at least one, and possibly two, more prospects going to Houston from the lower levels of the Phillies minor league system. It's likely that the Lakewood BlueClaws pitching staff would take a hit in the deal, with Brody Colvin, Colby Shreve and other lower level pitchers likely among the package that would head for Houston. It's also possible that in exchange for the extra money being thrown into the deal, Jonathan Singleton would be included in the trade package, although the Phillies have said that they wouldn't be in any hurry to deal Singleton.
The main problem in the negotiating process has always been money. The Phillies already have a lot of money committed to 2012 and if they were to add Oswalt's $16 million to the mix, they would have just over $100 million committed to just eight players for 2012. That type of commitment would require the Phillies to expand their payroll or find a way to move a couple of those players to get some payroll relief.