Roy Halladay could be on the move.
Ken Rosenthal first reported yesterday that the Toronto Blue Jays will listen to offers about their stud ace Halladay. Speculation started to fly around the sports world as if Brett Favre was considering a comeback.
ESPN picked it up and ran with it, and Comcast SportsNet ran with it as well. Just about every source for baseball did as well, like they did last season with CC Sabathia.
This time last season, Sabathia was already traded to the Milwaukee Brewers. However, for weeks prior to the blockbuster between the Cleveland Indians and the Brew Crew, there were rumors that he would land in one of eight different cities.
The Philadelphia Phillies were one of those teams and were believed to be the front runners for his services for a long period of time. But they lacked major league-ready prospects to offer to Cleveland.
Sabathia was eventually dealt to Milwaukee for Matt LaPorta, Rob Bryson, Taylor Green, and Zach Jackson.
This year, for the longest time, it looked like there weren’t going to be any big-name, bona fide aces on the market like a Sabathia.
The names thrown out there were guys like Erik Bedard and Roy Oswalt. While both are terrific pitchers in their own way, one is a free agent after the season, and the other has a no-trade clause.
But they weren’t good enough to really give up one of your top prospects to get.
In Bedard’s case, he’s often injured and has a bad attitude. While he’s a great talent and is having a tremendous season for the Seattle Mariners, he’s not worth a top prospect.
Oswalt’s case is a much different story. First, there’s no way he gets traded if owner Drayton McLane has a say in it. Second, Oswalt determines where he would want to go. Who knows if he’d accept a deal to Philly anyway?
Now, the best pitcher in all of baseball in many people’s minds is on the market, and the Phillies are believed to be the front runners as of right now.
Ed Price of MLB Fanhouse says a source told him that “[the] Phillies are the leaders at this point.” Buster Olney also thinks the Phils are the early favorites to land Halladay. Joel Sherman of the New York Post also believes they are in the lead for the right-handed pitcher.
The thing with rumors is that if it keeps getting thrown out there, there has to be some truth to it. Last year, there were rumors that the Phils were talking trade with Toronto about Halladay. In fact, Rosenthal wrote they have repeatedly asked about Halladay over the past two years.
Jim Salisbury, who is a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, reported in his latest column that one Phillies person told him that they are “serious” about acquiring Halladay.
Phillies beat writer Todd Zolecki for MLB.com posted in his blog what general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said today when he spoke to reporters.
Amaro said that he does have some untouchables in the organization. Although not giving names, those are pretty much common knowledge by now. Those players are Kyle Drabek, Jason Knapp, and Dominic Brown.
But Doc is a different animal.
Roy Halladay is the type of pitcher that you give up a couple of your top prospects for. He’s been the best pitcher in the majors for a while, and yet he doesn’t get much praise because he’s not a Yankee or a Red Sox.
He’s 10-2 with a 2.79 earned run average and 98 strikeouts this season for the Blue Jays. Already, he has three complete games.
If they call Joe Blanton an “inning eater,” then what do you call Doc?
The guy has thrown over 200 innings in each of the last three seasons and racked up 20 complete games in that time span. That’s an old-time baseball pitcher.
Since 2005, Halladay has gone the distance 28 times. In his career he has completed what he started 43 times.
His ground ball-to-fly ball ratio is exactly what the Phils would love to get for their hitter-friendly ballpark. This year, he has a 1.28 ground ball-to-fly ball ratio. He has a deadly sinker, something that Bedard and Oswalt don't have.
While he’s a strikeout pitcher as well, Halladay is the total package.
Plus, he’s under team control for the 2010 season as well. He makes a lot of money, but that shouldn’t be a factor because Brett Myers, Adam Eaton, and Geoff Jenkins will come of the payroll after this season.
Halladay does have a no-trade clause. However, according to Jon Heyman, one of his friends said, “He’s shy, but thinks he would approve a trade to New York, Boston, and Philadelphia.”
That takes me to my next point: Why would Toronto trade him to their divisional rivals, the Yankees or the Sox? One of the reasons they are open to trading him is because of the division they play in.
The AL East is one tough division to crack with the Yanks and Sox in there. The Rays and the Jays are unlikely to win the division with the team they have now.
Sherman has ruled out the Yankees on his Twitter account, stating a Yankee official told him there is “zero chance” they trade for Halladay for the same reasons they didn’t get Johan Santana.
The Phils have what it takes to get Halladay; it’s just a matter of them putting together the right package to get him in Philly and not giving up way too much.
One of the aforementioned Drabek, Brown, or Knapp would likely have to be in the package, although that’s not a given. Toronto is looking for a top shortstop prospect, and the Phillies have that in Jason Donald.
Something along the lines of Brown, Donald, and Carlos Carrasco with another prospect is likely what the package would have to look like.
I’m in the boat that I don’t care what it takes, as long as it doesn’t hurt the big league club this year or next (i.e. trading J.A. Happ or Jayson Werth).
With the addition of Halladay, Philadelphia would win the NL East by default and be the favorites to repeat.
He’s that kind of pitcher.
Tom Dougherty is a Sports Jabber Contributing Author. Read more of his work at 2 Minutes to Midnight Green.
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