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Steve Phillips would trade Strasburg for Oswalt

Chatting at 11:30. Submit questions here.

By this point, just about everything sensible that could be said about Stephen Strasburg has already been said. So now it's time to turn to the nonsensical things. I'll go first: Stephen Strasburg ate 17 bowls of oatmeal while skiing through the sand dunes of upper Saskatchewan this week, declining to comment when asked about the health of his seventh finger but admitting that orange jello can quench the fiery soul of even the most miserable 19th century nihilist.

Ok, "MLB analyst" and former actual MLB decision-maker Steve Phillips, your turn!

"Here's the thing," Phillips told Mike Francesa on New York's WFAN Monday afternoon. "If I'm the Astros, I'm saying Washington Nationals, sure, [Roy] Oswalt, I think he'd fit great for you. I'll take Strasburg, and then I'll take...."

Phillips never got to say what else he wanted from the Nats in exchange for Strasburg. (Listen to the audio here.) But yes, it would appear that Strasburg alone wouldn't be enough. Anyhow, Francesa interrupted. Putting aside the legality of trading someone in Strasburg's position, Francesa immediately realized that this idea was, to use the technical term, dumb.

"Never," he said. "They won't do that. They won't do that."

"No, they won't do that," Phillips agreed, briefly reentering the earth's orbit. "But let me ask you this: Do you think that Strasburg is going to be Roy Oswalt in his career?"

I suppose that's an interesting question. Is an A exam today more valuable than an A+ exam tomorrow when it's possible the A+ exam was created not with a No. 2 pencil but with a No. 3, and when the A has already passed through the ScanTron?. But when the guy you're betting against is 21, and the guy you're betting with is 32, and....wait, I'm not going to even debate this.

"Yes," Francesa said, answering Phillips's question. "Yes."

"You think he will? I don't know that," Phillips countered. "And even if he is, if I think that I want Roy Oswalt to help me win this year, you know what? I'm one of the guys, I make that deal, because...."

I'd point out here that "one of the guys" is not correct usage, insofar as no other similar guy could be located on our planet. I'd also point out that no one in the world has said the Nats need to win this year. I mean, this is a team coming off back-to-back 100-loss seasons, with the lowest season-ticket base of its history, now poised to draft the most exciting teenage hitting prospect in years, whose best player hasn't yet entered his prime and whose fan base has been waiting for sustained competitiveness built around the man nicknamed Jeezus. So you'd trade him to help you compete for a wild card this year?

"You can't give up Strasburg, though," Francesa said, in much the manner you might tell a three-year old they can't go to school wearing nothing more than underwear.

"Absolutely," Phillips insisted. "I mean, listen, he was a good college pitcher, he's a good minor league pitcher so far. But if I can get one of the top, what, top 5 starting pitchers in the game today for Strasburg? Because I really, truly, I hope that he could be that guy. I have to tell you, I don't know that he could be that guy. And with his delivery, I could see the potential of a Mark Prior sort of breakdown."

"Well, you could be 100 percent right on that," Francesa allowed. "But right now, the buildup has been so incredible and his minor-league performances have been so incredible, he's gonna pack your building. You almost, you have to look at him now, you have to at least sample him, because if you're ever wrong, oh my God."

"Yeah," Phillips said. "Yeah. But here's the thing, I think the likelihood is that they don't really have that package. If I'm the Astros, I'm asking for Strasburg. And I understand, you're right, they won't do it. But that's the caliber of player I want for Roy Oswalt."

I guess when you think about it, Steve Phillips has never showed past evidence of questionable decision-making. So maybe this is worth another thought. Somebody forward it to Mike Rizzo's attention.

(More reaction from Hardball Talk, Rob Neyer and SB Nation, which gets all statsy.

By Dan Steinberg  |  May 24, 2010; 11:46 PM ET
Categories:  MLB , Media , Nats  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Andray Blatche's reaction to the lottery win
Next: Dmitri Young is back in the game


This is a pointless argument. Won't ever happen. Never ever ever.

So there.

Posted by: fargincorksucker | May 25, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Btw, folks that post first then say "First!" like that means something are extremely ghey. Like frighteningly, incredibly, horribly, uber ghey.

Posted by: fargincorksucker | May 25, 2010 12:31 AM | Report abuse

And this ladies and gentlemen is example A why Steve Phillips is no longer a GM in Major League Baseball.

What a dope.

Hey Steve, why don't you go back to having affairs with Omenga Moo's.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | May 25, 2010 1:13 AM | Report abuse

Steve Phillips would do a few less savory things....

Posted by: mjsciann1 | May 25, 2010 2:05 AM | Report abuse

I've read a lot of dumb statements in my life, but Steve Phillips' statement is without a doubt the dumbest one I've ever read.

Posted by: urbanbunnies | May 25, 2010 2:21 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: gmuhokie2009 | May 25, 2010 6:03 AM | Report abuse

"Putting aside the legality of trading someone in Strasburg's position..."

Stras can be traded in a couple weeks when he hits the one year mark after having been drafted; the trade could be made today with Strasburg being a PTBNL.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | May 25, 2010 6:19 AM | Report abuse

to say you'd give up SS for Oswalt when SS is 2 weeks from packing your house every 5th day, versus Oswalt, who'd add, maybe a couple thousands seats? Um, hello?! McFly?!

What a dolt that guy is, no wonder no one will pick him up for a new job. The whole point of what the Nats are doing is to build around Zimm, SS, Storen, and Harper, and I guess Desmond now.

We're looking for a 10-15 yr player, not a 3 yr player. sheesh

Posted by: Rogueone | May 25, 2010 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Philips is just pathetic now. The only reason he said this is to get attention. Now every sports talk show in the country will be talking about him today and want to interview him. He was an idiot when he was a GM, an idiot when he was an announcer on ESPN and he's an idiot now. But now he's a failure and an idiot. Finally. That took way too long.

Posted by: Avar | May 25, 2010 7:30 AM | Report abuse

That is an interesting question, though. Would the Nats trade Strasburg in the right deal? It'll never happen, but if the Twins offered Mauer for SS, the Nats probably pull the trigger.

Posted by: randysbailin | May 25, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse

By comparison now, Jim Bowden looks like a genius.

Posted by: vancouver1999 | May 25, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Nothing in life is guaranteed, but Strasburg becoming as good as - or BETTER than - Oswalt is a gamble 99.99% of the baseball world will take. Particularly when RO is 11 years older. It's not as if Oswalt is Sandy Koufax. But Strasburg just might be.

Posted by: shanks1 | May 25, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

umm, this is a real dumb blog - Steve Phillips is saying this purely for media attention. wonder he isnt a gm any longer.

Posted by: Nats1924 | May 25, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

That girl must have drained all his grey matter. He's an idoit.

Posted by: ridgely1 | May 25, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Steve Phillips is a fool, but I don't doubt he would do the deal. One of his last deals with the Mets was trading away Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano, enough said.

Their is a reason this guy never got a second GM job.

Posted by: tcostant | May 25, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Hi my name is Steve and I'll be your server this evening.

Posted by: TGT11 | May 25, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

It's not just that Strasburg will probably be as good or better than Oswalt, and that he will generate more revenue for the Nats than Oswalt ever could; it's also that Jesusburg is way cheaper, for the next six years, than Oswalt is for the next three. Philips is just talking to fill air time. Or maybe he really believes it. But it's a tremendously stupid idea.

Posted by: Lindemann777 | May 25, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Lindemann777 is dead on. And Strasburg only needs to be as good as Oswald from this point on, if we traded for him we don't get all those Astos wins. Also, You need to pay Oswald $16 million for 2011, more than Strasburg will make though 2012.

Crazy talk!

Posted by: tcostant | May 25, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse


Strasburg's value is way beyong a guy like Oswalt. Oswalt a top 5 starting pitcher in MLB? That's laughable.

Posted by: Hondo5 | May 25, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

So 6 1/2 years of control of Strasburg vs. an aging Oswalt for 1 1/2 years w/ an option year and buckets of cash.

I think Steve Phillips wanted to be provactive enough to get some national press although most of us with a brain are shaking our heads and going---what an idiot.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | May 25, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Skins__Stons | May 25, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't trust Phillips' taste to hook me up with a woman, let alone put him in a decision making position where he could trade Jeezus

Posted by: DocHolliday1906 | May 25, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

I'd love to get Roy Oswalt, but I don't think it's exactly going to shock anyone that Strasburg is WAAAAY off the table. Phillips is obviously trying to provoke some kind of laughter or outrage (depending on how seriously you take his ridiculous statement). Oswalt is in the twilight of his career, and I'm thinking that he might be worth, oh (I cringe even to think something like this, and would not make such a deal myself) Willingham. But certainly nothing more than that, and I'd prefer to give up a couple of prospects, like that A-Ball catcher who just got beaned.

We really do NOT need to tear up our team chemistry right now.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | May 25, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Steve Phillips and Jim Bowden are very scary people...

Posted by: boricuabopper | May 25, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

LMFAO - what an idiot. He even says that, because Oswalt is on the middle of a multi-year contract, a mid year trade would make RO eligible for free agency AT THE END OF THE YEAR! So, to *maybe* make the playoffs this year, he'd trade his future ace?

Did Steve work for Enron, and then Lehman Brothers? Seems like all he leaves behind scorched earth with every decision he makes.

Someone stamp "IDIOT, Keep Your Distance" on his forehead. I hope he ends up as a Walmart greeter, and soon.

Posted by: ehay2k | May 25, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Why I agree he's a dolt, I'll be honest, I had no idea that Steve Phillips was back in the Complete.

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | May 25, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | May 25, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Steve Phillips just lost whatever chance _he_ had to work in baseball management again. There are so many things simultaneously wrong with that, that one might be tempted to think he dropped some LSD before that appearance.

Oswalt is not one of the top 5 pitchers in the majors, first of all.

Secondly, Oswalt is much more expensive for the next 6 years (if Oswalt can last that long)

Thirdly, while it's certainly a crapshoot, Strasburg may indeed turn out better than Oswalt.

Fourthly, who said we're trying to win _now_? We're trying to build for the future. You don't go from two 100+ seasons to the world series in one year.

And, finally, Strasburg is 11 years younger that Oswalt!

I gotta go check my calendar . . . I know it's early in the season, but we're past April 1, right?

Posted by: ADCWonk | May 25, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

@boricuabopper "Steve Phillips and Jim Bowden are very scary people..."

That's pretty harsh on Bowden, don't you think? ;-)

Posted by: ADCWonk | May 25, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

And this ladies and gentlemen is example A why Steve Phillips is no longer a GM in Major League Baseball.

What a dope.

Hey Steve, why don't you go back to having affairs with Omega Moo's.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | May 25, 2010 1:13 AM | Report abuse

Beep, mf'n Beep.

You can add drugs to the list of Steve Phillips' "addictions", because he is obviously freebasing.

Posted by: walkdwalk | May 25, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

those decisions are why steve phillips was fired by the mets

Posted by: cjdwolfpack | May 25, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

all this says is maybe phillips isnt as high on Strasburg as everyone else is . But ill take a young strasburg now then an aging Oswalt plus Nats can give up other pitching prosepct like detwiler or zimmerman before parting with strasburg

Posted by: cjdwolfpack | May 25, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Hm, I thought Phillips liked 'em younger...

Roy Oswalt is a really good pitcher. He's had a couple of down years, so it easy to forget how good he is. This year -- which I predicted -- is the real Oswalt.

But you CANNOT trade SS for Oswalt. Oswalt will give you four quality years at best, SS ten? Doesn't matter if he is EVER as good as Oswalt, you can't trade ten good for four pretty good.

Well, Phillips IS a moron. He embarasses ESPN. He makes Bowden look like branch Rickey, and that's REAL hard to do. If your choices were Phillips and Bowden, you'd take Bowden ten out of ten.

Posted by: gbooksdc | May 25, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

"Someone stamp "IDIOT, Keep Your Distance" on his forehead. I hope he ends up as a Walmart greeter, and soon."
Wallmart actually hires decent educated people. Do not slander them

Posted by: Ivantuski | May 25, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

"Someone stamp "IDIOT, Keep Your Distance" on his forehead. I hope he ends up as a Walmart greeter, and soon."
Wallmart actually hires decent educated people. Do not slander the employees @ Wallmart

Posted by: Ivantuski | May 25, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Was Phillips in support of the O's trading Schilling, Harnish, and Finley for Glen Bell?

Posted by: rjregan | May 25, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

He's talking about if he were in the Astros shoes. I bet every single GM in baseball that is about to trade a major player, would ask for strasburg. Doesn't mean they expect to actually get him, but you aren't doing your job if you don't ask for him.

Posted by: kingtutts | May 25, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Everything Kasten and Rizzo are doing, they are doing for the future, not this year. They'll never trade SS now. Who would ever go to a Nats game again?

Posted by: McLobo | May 25, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Thank goodness that Phillips isn't the Nats' GM.

Posted by: rbpalmer | May 25, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Oswalt is not the pitcher he was 3-4 years ago. At 32, he will be in a rocking chair in several years when the Nationals are ready to truly contend.

That trade makes no sense at all for the Nationals. Sure, for the Astros you might as well swing for the fences in terms of trade bait, they have nothing to lose.

Posted by: leopard09 | May 25, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

he and jim bowden should really get together and collaborate on something, with that brainpower the world is their oyster

Posted by: bford1kb | May 25, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

"What a dope."

Yeah really.

I'm not even a Nationals fan and I think that would be a horrendous trade.

That's like trading Chris Webber for Mitch Richmond. :P

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | May 25, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

The door back into a major league front office was already shut in the face of Steve Phillips. Now that door will be padlocked with a metal bar placed across the front.

Posted by: drischord | May 25, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Ah the things sportmedia personalities will say to get more ink.

Posted by: ged0386 | May 25, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

What's really funny is that this conversation about the Nationals trading for Roy Oswalt happened in New York, not DC. it makes me realize how pathetic our sports-talk radio is around here. One of these days our sports stations will realize that there are other professional sports teams who play in the District besides that football team in Maryland.

Posted by: rodeorob | May 25, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I confess that I didn't read the whole article, because trading Stephen Strasburg is the silliest thing I've read in a while. Per MLB rules, you can't trade a first year draft pick.

Posted by: wkrdove | May 25, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I guess Bobby Valentine must laugh his a** off evertime Steve Phillips opens his mouth! BTW at least Francesa called him out on his mindless babble. "Hey Santino, you've been spending time w/your family? I think that girl is turning your mind into mush"!

rodeorob; great synopsis of the current condition of the radio sports media in this town, oh but wait I'm sure there will be loads of mindless OTA chirping eminating from Ashburn come 4 Jun. Hier Snyder hates competition!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | May 25, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Here is a picture of Steve Phillips with Bozo the clown. Steve is the one on the left.

Posted by: chopin224 | May 25, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Steve Phillips is an idiot...

Posted by: papaskynz | May 25, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Phillips needs to stick to ADULTERY.....his opinions on baseball don't mean JACK xxxx

Posted by: FletcherChristian1 | May 25, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Phillips wants to trade Strasburg for Rodger Cedeno.

Posted by: alanwk | May 25, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

The only thing anyone want's to know from Phillip's are the spicey detail's of his ex-tramarital escapades and how he can keep a straight face talking about rehab like he's cured of being a sleeeeeeeaaaaazzze ball?

Posted by: sbf845 | May 25, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Phillips wants to trade Strasburg for Rodger Cedeno.

Posted by: alanwk

Heck, Phillips would probably trade SS for Roger Dorn.

Posted by: js_edit | May 25, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

First of all, who the @#$%^& is Steve Phillips and who the $%^&!@# cares who he would trade for whom?
He's obviously just trying to ruffle some feathers and get his name in the paper (probably because it hasn't been there in a while).

So, he comes up with this pathetic idea to trade the most talked-about pitcher in over a decade for a good pitcher that's past his prime.

What's really sad is to see an obscure sports analyst saying outrageous things just to get headlines.

Posted by: tomlampos | May 25, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

This is your Brain
This is your Brain on Drugs
Get the Message?

This is what happens when they let morons out of the asylum on their own recognizance.

Believe me, he is no longer a GM for a reason. He should not be anywhere near the game of baseball, reporting or otherwise.

Posted by: ajb1094 | May 25, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Further proof that his decision making and impulse control issues are getting worse as he gets older. Sad

Posted by: kahlua87 | May 25, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

If you saw the girl he was having an affair with now you know why he makes dumb statements, man talk about a goofball!!

Posted by: dargregmag | May 25, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

It appears that most Washington Post sportswriters do very little actual work every day. I mean - how long does it take to wrap some banter around copy and paste?

Posted by: nativedc | May 25, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Steve Phillips' father was at Pearl Harbor in 1941. On December 6th he thought that it'd be a good day to paint the ships and had the crew out w/ brushes all day.

Posted by: randysbailin | May 25, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Really? I'll feel stupid for simply having responded to this. I don't know how some of you have jobs for the Post. It's obvious as to why Phillip's doesn't have one. The question isn't worth paying any attention what-so-ever. So maybe the joke is on me having taken the bait.

Posted by: NatsFD11 | May 25, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

That's the most ridiculous thing I've heard in a long time. There's always someone out there saying something predictably outlandish when it comes to young talent - "well, he hasn't proven anything yet, so get some established talent if you can get it..." The Nats are building a strong, homegrown foundation - Zimmerman, Strasburg, and probably Buster Posey in the next few weeks. Oswalt himself said he's only going to pitch two more years. So, Mr. Phillips, you give up potential and probable upside for the next decade for 2 years of an old pitcher? That's why you're out of work in the Bigs.

Posted by: jasphil | May 26, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I meant to say Bryce Harper. not Buster Posey. Great baseball name, isn't it?

Posted by: jasphil | May 26, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Steve Phillips wasn't wrong when he stated he was "one of the guys" who would make the trade. Just look at his two successors as Met GM's--Jim Duquette and Omar Miniya. All three are dullards with win now at any future cost types. Why is it that the dumbest GM's eventually become "talking head" analysts. Look no further than Jim Bowden on XM. Thank God for Rizzo. Go Nats!

Posted by: pshimm | May 26, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Bad GM, bad chooser of lady friends, bad analyst of trades, bad man.

Posted by: TheDubb | May 26, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

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