The Phillies are pursuing a major trade for a starting pitcher, perhaps the Astros’ Roy Oswalt, and are working to deal right fielder Jayson Werth in a separate move, ESPN’s Jayson Stark reported Tuesday night.
Stark did not identify whom Philadelphia would acquire, but he reported the Phillies have been working on a deal for Oswalt, who has a full no-trade clause and as many as two-plus years remaining on his contract. Oswalt has said he’d waive his no-trade privilege to pitch for a contender.
AOL FanHouse’s Ed Price reported via Twitter that a source told him the Astros "may be close to putting the ball in [Oswalt’s] court" regarding a trade.
Oswalt, Diamondbacks right-hander Dan Haren, Cubs left-hander Ted Lilly and A’s righty Ben Sheets are among the top trade targets ahead of the July 31 nonwaiver deadline. Haren told FoxSportsArizona.com on Tuesday he’d waive his limited no-trade rights in the right deal, though he indicated he’d prefer to stay on the West Coast.
Earlier Tuesday, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro hinted to reporters that he’s working on acquiring an arm. He demoted fifth starter Kyle Kendrick to the minors without naming a replacement. Kendrick’s turn is due to come up Saturday.
"I think we know exactly what we’re going to do," Amaro told reporters. "I just choose not to tell you."
Amaro’s hand may have been forced Tuesday night when left-hander Jamie Moyer left his start after one inning because of an elbow strain.
Werth was batting .280 with 13 home runs, 50 RBIs and an .873 OPS entering Tuesday’s game, but he has struggled the past three weeks. He also can become a free agent after the season and is expected to command a huge contract. Stark reported the Rays appear to be the team most interested in Werth.