Phillies eye Oswalt with Haren off market

Phillies eye Oswalt with Haren off market

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies had hoped to land Roy Oswalt or Dan Haren before the 4 p.m. ET July 31 Trade Deadline.

Cross Haren off the list.

The D-backs traded him Sunday to the Anaheim Angels, leaving Oswalt as the only starting pitcher the Phillies desire. The Phillies remain a favorite to land Oswalt, according to sources, but it would not be a surprise to see Oswalt remain in Houston. A report said Oswalt does not want to play in Philadelphia, and a report said Oswalt will insist his $16 million option is picked up.

But those could be negotiating ploys that could change once Saturday's Deadline nears.

There have been reports the Phillies must trade right fielder Jayson Werth to clear salary and acquire prospects to make the Oswalt trade happen. But there are indications the Phillies could trade for Oswalt with their own prospects, absorb his remaining salary for 2010 and still keep Werth.

The Phillies don't seem to want to trade Werth unless they get an impressive return.

Werth is a notoriously streaky hitter, and he recently has shown signs of getting over his slump. He also is the only right-handed power bat in the lineup. If the Phillies traded Werth they would be relying on Triple-A Lehigh Valley outfielder Domonic Brown, who hits left-handed, and reserve outfielders Ben Francisco and Ross Gload to pick up the slack.

If the Phillies cannot make a trade for Oswalt, they will try to improve the bullpen or even acquire an infielder to add punch to a lineup that will be without Chase Utley for four more weeks.