Few have been as critical of Ruben Amaro than I over the past eight months. I, like many Phillies fans, have simply been unable to forgive him for shipping Cliff Lee to Seattle for three underwhelming prospects. We could have had Halladay and Lee...you all know the story.
While I am not ready to concede this argument - I doubt I ever will - Ruben had a great day today and it should be acknowledged.
Amaro landed Roy Oswalt, giving the Phils one of the best rotations in baseball and quite possibly, the best 1-2 punch in the league. In doing so, he gave up J.A. Happ and two low-level (but promising) prospects, OF Anthony Gose and SS Jonathan Villar.
Happ is a fine pitcher and should have a place in Houston's rotation for the next several years at a very low price (he's team controlled through 2014). Gose and Villar are considered raw prospects; they are fast, athletic, and good in the field. It remains to be seen, however, whether either can be solid major league hitters. If anything, both seem to project to be Michael Bourns or perhaps, Shane Victorinos (if all goes well).
All in all, I am very content with this package. Happ does not have dominating velocity or stuff, and therefore will always need to get by on location. He could have an amazing career, but more than likely he's a career #3 or #4. Gose and Villar are a long, long way away from the bigs. The Phils were not forced to concede any AAA or AA guys, and notably, no top pitching prospects.
In addition, the Astros are forking over $11m. to the Phils towards Oswalt's salary in 2010/2011 ($23m.). I never expected that. Oswalt for just $12m. for the next 1.3 seasons is a great deal. Plus, the Phils were able to retain the option of keeping him in 2012 (at $16m). Their only concession was increasing his buyout from $2m to $3m. This, essentially, is meaningless for a team with a $140m. payroll.
Today was an exciting day. If I'd been told 1 year ago that the Phils would have both Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt on their roster today, I'd be ecstatic and speechless. On this day, here's to the one who made it happen. Thanks, Ruben, you had a good day.