(just a cheap excuse to run this phucking photo again)

While the Mets’ 4-3, 14 inning loss to the Diamondbacks — whose much maligned bullpen managed to toss 8 scoreless innings — has the Jerry Manuel Deathwatch happening again in earnest, the Phillies are one half game behind the Amazingly Punchless in the race for the NL Wild Card (NY trails Cincinnati by 3.5 games, Philly are 4 back) yet appear to be buyers at the trade deadline rather than sellers. Noting former Philadelphia  GM / current Houston chief Ed Wade’s habit of “plucking former Phillies like ripe fruit”, the Philadelphia Daily News’ Bill Conlin advocates an economical alternative to Roy Oswalt.

With all of the speculation concerning Oswalt, who earns $15 million this year, $16 million in 2011 with a $16 million club option for 2012, what if, what if . . .

What if Ruben Amaro has a chance to get back Brett Myers? He’s 7-6 with a 3.35 ERA. He has pitched 129 innings. He loved it here. And the contract, look at the contract. Brett wound up with a tattered hat in his hand and Wade signed him for $3.1 million. Which means Ruben can get him for about a prorated $1.35 million.

So, Eddie, how about Myers for Kendrick and you can take two from a list of second-line minor leaguers? We’ll give you Matthew Rizzotti, a 6-5, 265-pound late-bloomer the Phils drafted out of Manhattan College. He throws and bats left and has been tearing up the Eastern League. First base is all he does and Lance Berkman’s shelf life is about to expire.

That’s a deal that actually makes sense for the short term, which is what the SWAT-team urgency is all about. And Ruben can toss in a pitcher from the B.J. Rosenberg, Drew Naylor level. And maybe get back a minor leaguer or two from the Astros.

Sheets, Oswalt and Haren are any-port-in-storm guys. Oswalt and Haren each are owed more than $10 million next year, and Sheets is making that much this season on a 1-year deal.

Brett Myers, age 29, looks like a helluvan alternative.