Rumor Wednesday Astros Roundup

It's been a busy day for rumors about Roy and Co. I thought it prudent to end the day with another post, running down all the various rumors, quotes and snippets running around the internets.

UPDATE: Saw this on Twitter. TCB contributor allphilla may just be messing with me and the rest of his followers, but he found a source that said the three-team trade between Houston, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay will look like this:

Houston sends Roy Oswalt, Jeff Keppinger and 7.5 million to Philly

Houston sends J.R. Towles to Tampa Bay

Philadelphia sends Jason Werth and an unnamed prospect to Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay sends Wade Davis, Reid Brignac and Matt Moore to Houston

Philly sends Jonathan Singleton and Jarrod Cosart to Houston

THIS TRADE MAKES ME GIDDY. So, it almost certainly has to be false. I'm dubious. Dubious, indeed.

UPDATE II: NOOOOOOOOOOOO. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. NOOOOOOOOOOO. Craig Calcaterra just kicked me in the Carl Crawfords with this story. The only worse scenario is if the Astros traded him to the Cubs straight up for Alfonso Soriano. Thanks, Craig. And before you start saying, "Shelby Miller. Shelby Miller," I'll ask this question. Who else do they have? Who else is getting in this trade? Crap. The Cards have the worst farm system in the league. I repeat...NOOOOOOOOO.

  • The day began with the fallout of all those Roy-to-the-Phillies rumors that broke Tuesday night. Sources such as Jayson Stark reported that a deal was progressing and that the Phillies would then flip right fielder Jason Werth to another team (likely the Tampa Bay Rays) to make room for Roy's salary.
  • Speculation at first centered on the prospects the Astros would receive from Philadelphia. Triple-A outfielder Domonic Brown was never seriously mentioned as a possible add-in, since the Phillies were going to install him in right once they moved Werth.
  • After the rumors broke, owner Drayton McLane was quoted by Brian McTaggart and Bernardo Fallas as saying, "nothing is imminent." He went on to suggest that Oswalt may not be traded until right before the deadline, to maximize his return. This would obviously be bad for the Philadelphia deal, because the Phillies are looking for immediate help in their rotation after Jamie Moyer's injury.
  • Oswalt was asked by reporters before the game whether he had heard anything about a possible trade to Philadelphia. He was quoted at one point as saying he'd be open to the Phillies, but then back-tracked later in his quotes. The first time, he said the team hadn't contacted him, but that he was willing to go to Philly. The second time, he said it would "have to work for us" for him to approve it. I'm not sure if he meant the Astros with that "us" or his family.
  • More reports surfaced, claiming that Roy was holding up a possible deal because he wanted the Phillies to guarantee his 2012 option. When reached after the game, Roy said "I don't handle that stuff." To me, that reads like he's letting his agent handle all his contract affairs (smart) and that his denials that the Astros had approached him about waiving his no-trade clause as smoke. If his agent is able to talk with the Astros about a possible deal, Oswalt may not have been approached by the team, but may have been told by his agent that something is going on. It's in his best interest to stay quiet on deals like this with a lot of moving parts until things are certain. I believe the military calls it "plausible deniability."
  • Late in the day, Jon Heyman joined the list of national reporters chiming in on this deal, saying that the Phillies were trying to acquire prospects from Tampa Bay for Werth that they could then deal to Houston. Another tweet from Tommy Rancel, a writer for DRaysBay, claimed that the Phillies had asked about B.J. Upton and Wade Davis. To me, that suggests a couple of scenarios. First, the Astros could be asking about Upton and/or Davis in a deal. I think that's unlikely, since Upton has his arbitration clock started and Davis is talented but struggling this season. He'd be an unlikely centerpiece to the trade. Another option is that the Phillies want Upton to replace Werth and are considering dealing Dom Brown to Houston. That's also unlikely.
  • If the Rays do indeed send prospects to Houston via Philly, the guy who makes a lot of sense is Reid Brignac. I've been beating the drum on a Brignac trade since my first Roy Oswalt trade piece, but he makes a lot of sense. He plays a premium position (shortstop) and he's got a pretty good bat. He's under club control for the next five seasons and doesn't really have a home in Tampa Bay. If the Rays acquire Werth and put him in right, that pushes Ben Zobrist back to second base and Brignac to the bench (Jason Bartlett is a better defender at short). I like some of their other prospects, like Matt Moore, who's got a live arm and great strikeout numbers, but the two guys I'd be really interested in are Jake McGee and Nick Barnese. Both have great numbers, though Barnese is a little light in the strikeouts.
  • Meanwhile, the Astros claimed right-handed reliever Nelson Figueroa from the Phillies and infielder Anderson Hernandez from the Indians off waivers. To make room for them, Houston designated Polin Trinidad and Gary Majewski for assignment, clearing out the 40-man roster while demoting Oswaldo Navarro to Round Rock to clear two spots on the 25-man. Some have speculated that the move for Hernandez may mean a Keppinger trade is imminent (as in the next week), but it's also possible that the team could designate Pedro Feliz for assignment.
  • If that weren't enough trade talk, David Nuno tweeted that a source told him the Dodgers have inquired about Wandy Rodriguez. While it's not unusual for teams to call around about a bunch of players this time of year, it makes the acquisition of Figueroa stand out a bit. He give the Astros seven pitchers with starting experience on the active roster (Oswalt, Myers, Norris, Moehler, Rodriguez, Figueroa, Wright), which gives them some flexibiilty in making trades. They won't necessarily need to get a big league starting pitcher back to finish out 2010.

I think that about covers it. Let me know if I missed anything or update here as more rumors develop.

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