According to Mark Berman of FOX 26 in Houston, the Phillies and Astros have a deal in place involving Roy Oswalt and are waiting for the 32-year-old right-hander to decide whether he wants to waive his no-trade clause.
Berman writes that the two sides “have agreed on the amount of money” that the Astros will eat from Oswalt’s contract and the players that the Phillies will be sending to Houston.
If the report is true and the deal is only pending Oswalt’s approval, our guess is that he goes. The Astros are a lost franchise and currently reside in fifth place in the National League Central. They need him to take his hefty contract elsewhere, and he’d be wise to jump at the opportunity to play for a contender.
Oswalt has a 3.42 ERA, a 1.11 WHIP and 120 strikeouts in 129 innings this season. He is owed about $5 million for the rest of this season, $16 million for 2011 and he also carries a $16 million option for 2012. He wants that option picked up by the team that acquires him and that may be causing the hold-up. Oswalt will be 34 at the start of the 2012 season and he turns 35 during it. His numbers haven’t declined this season — in fact, he’s seen a bit of a resurgence — but the Phillies probably don’t want to pay for former Houston general manager Tim Purpura’s mistakes. He made a whole lot of them during his short stay with the club.
With his team trailing 8-3 to begin the bottom of the ninth inning of Sunday’s game against the Astros, Indians third baseman José Ramirez eventually won a 17-pitch at-bat against closer Ken Giles, ripping a double off of the wall in right field. The Indians would go on to score five runs on seven hits to tie the game against Giles and Hector Rondon. Ramirez almost won the game in his second at-bat of the ninth inning, but first basebamn Yuli Gurriel made a terrific diving catch on a line drive otherwise headed for the right field corner.
Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record for the longest at-bat last month, seeing 21 pitches against the Angels’ Jaime Barria. The Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez sfaw 20 pitches from the Indians’ Bartolo Colon on June 26, 1998, which was the previous record. Kevin Bass saw 19 pitches from the Phillies’ Steve Bedrosian in 1988. There have also been five 18-pitch at-bats from Brian Downing, Bip Roberts, Alex Cora, Adam Kennedy, and Marcus Semien.
Sunday’s game wound up going 14 innings. The Astros pulled ahead 9-8 in the top of the 13th on a solo home run from Evan Gattis. However, the Indians’ Yonder Alonso responded with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the 13th to re-knot the game at 9-9. Greg Allen then lifted a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the 14th to give the Indians a 10-9 win.
After Sunday’s effort, Ramirez is batting .292/.389/.605 with 15 home runs, 37 RBI, 34 runs scored, and seven stolen bases. According to FanGraphs, his 3.5 Wins Above Replacement ranks third across baseball behind Mike Trout (4.4) and Mookie Betts (4.1). They’re the only players at three wins or above.