This talk this winter was whether the pitching-strong Phillies should trade Joe Blanton to shore up other needs. But upon further review, would the Phils have been best served, in reality, trading Roy Oswalt for a bat? A quick look at the cases for each side:
Yes, they should have: Oswalt, even at 33 years old, would still be an ace for a handful of major league teams. He would have fetched more in a trade than Joe Blanton, who is signed for $8.5 million this year and next. ... Even without Oswalt, the Phillies’ rotation would still have set up nicely with Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Blanton and Kendrick/Worley. ... The Phillies were (and still are) desperate for some production from their corner outfielders. John Mayberry Jr. has played well in limited action, but Ben Francisco and Raul Ibanez have fluctuated between bad and awful. … The injuries to Chase Utley and Dom Brown served as further proof that a trade for a bat was critical to this team’s long-term success.
No, they should not have: Given the level of regret that many Phillies executives, players and fans had for the Cliff Lee trade in 2009, it would have been tough to, once again, acquire a top-flight pitcher (in this case, Lee) and immediately turn around and trade away another one (in this case, Oswalt). … Due to Oswalt’s age (33), salary ($16 million) and back issues, perhaps the three-time All-Star would not have fetched a middle-of-the-order bat in return. … In fairness, which right-handed bats were out there to acquire? Michael Young? Ryan Ludwick? Hunter Pence? Not exactly Hank Aaron and Willie Mays. ... And of course hindsight is 20/20, but Oswalt has been very reliable this season, while Blanton has struggled. Both pitchers have also spent time on the DL.
The debate: Do you think, in retrospect, that the Phillies should have entertained an Oswalt trade over the winter? Given their offensive struggles, is it something they should consider now?