UPDATE: Phillies exploring deal for Oswalt, moving Werth?

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UPDATE: According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro said he is not close to a trade. In addition, Rosenthal reports that the Diamondbacks Astros, A’s are not close to a trade, either. In other words, it’s probably safe to go to bed now.

10:55 PM:
Stark hears that the Phillies have spent “a lot of time” exploring a deal for Oswalt.

10:41 PM: Things are about to get very interesting.

According to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com, the Phillies are currently working on a “major deal” for a starting pitcher. But as always with the Fightins, that’s not all. According to Stark, they would then move Jayson Werth in “a companion trade.”

ESPN’s Buster Olney hears the same thing and floats Roy Oswalt as a possible fit.

Oswalt fits in a lot of ways. They could make the
dollars work by moving Jayson Werth’s contract — and they’d have Oswalt
for 2011.

Oswalt, who turns 33 in August, is set to earn $16 million next season and either $16 million in 2012 or a $2 million buyout in 2012.

I’m guessing that this could be a way to get top prospect Domonic Brown up to the big leagues. The 22-year-old outfielder opened play Tuesday batting .360/.383/.560 with four home runs and 16 RBI over his first 75 at-bats with Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Stay tuned.

Anthony Alford to miss 4-6 weeks following wrist surgery

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Blue Jays’ outfielder Anthony Alford will miss at least 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left wrist, the team announced on Saturday. Alford was placed on the 10-day disabled list earlier in the week after sustaining a left hamate fracture on a foul pitch, and could miss significant time in what looks to be a lengthy rehab process. MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the procedure has been scheduled for next week and will be performed by Dr. Donald Sheridan in Arizona.

Alford, 22, was called up to the majors from Double-A New Hampshire last Friday. He went hitless in his first three outings, finally catching a break against the Brewers on Tuesday when he pinch-hit a leadoff double in the seventh. The injury occurred two innings later when Alford fouled off a pitch in the ninth inning, fracturing his wrist in the process.

Alford will join eight other players on the Blue Jays’ disabled list, including outfielders Steve Pearce (calf strain), Dalton Pompey (concussion) and Darrell Cecillani (partial shoulder dislocation). He’s expected to be replaced by 24-year-old outfield prospect Dwight Smith Jr.

Stephen Strasburg hit a new career high today

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Good luck getting a hit against the Nationals this weekend. Stephen Strasburg followed Max Scherzer‘s 13-strikeout performance on Friday with a dazzling outing of his own on Saturday afternoon. The right-hander whiffed a career-best 15 batters in seven innings, allowing just three hits and a walk in the Nats’ 3-0 win.

It took Strasburg several innings to get into a groove after pitching into (and out of) a jam in the first inning. The Padres loaded the bases with Allen Cordoba‘s leadoff single, a throwing error by Ryan Zimmerman and a four-pitch walk to Cory Spangenberg. By the third, Strasburg was cruising, striking out the side on 18 pitches and keeping the Padres off the basepaths until the sixth. He recorded his 15th and final strikeout in the seventh inning, catching Padres’ prospect Franchy Cordero swinging on a 1-2 pitch to effectively end his outing.

While 15 strikeouts set a new career record for the Nationals’ ace, he came close to reaching the mark twice before. The first time, he struck out 14 of 24 batters during his major league debut against the 2010 Pirates, though the 5-2 win did little more than keep the Nationals neck-and-neck with the Marlins at the bottom of the NL East. Five years later, he tied his 14-strikeout record against the 2015 Phillies, tossing a one-hitter in eight innings to cement his ninth victory of the season.

The only one who doesn’t seem overly enthused by the new record? Strasburg himself, who told MLB.com’s Jamal Collier and AJ Cassavell: “It’s pretty cool, but there’s another game five, six days from now. I’ll enjoy it tonight, but back to work tomorrow.”