Let me clarify before I start this piece that there is no reason for me to write it except for the fact that I really want to.
Call it a little boy’s dream. Call it fantasy. Call it random, unfounded speculation that doesn’t make any logical sense. That’s exactly what it is.
The Rockies can’t afford to pay Roy Halladay, not this season, not next season, and they certainly wouldn’t be able to offer him a contract extension.
Halladay won’t accept a trade to Colorado either. His stats might improve because he would be pitching in the NL. It would give him a chance to seriously make a run at a pennant also, but the sheer terror of pitching in Coors Field will undoubtedly scare him off.
Sure, Halladay is a Denver native, which is definitely a selling point, but it’s not a big enough point to push him over the top. Halladay won’t be coming to Denver in a trade, not now, not ever.
With that said, if a trade were to go down, here are some of the players the Toronto Blue Jays would look to acquire in a trade with the Rockies:
Ubaldo Jimenez, SP
Toronto has made it clear that the team wants young high-end pitching in return for Halladay. They want someone who can replace Halladay in the team’s rotation for at least the next three seasons, and they want someone at a good price.
Ubaldo Jimenez would be a great fit for the Blue Jays as he is only 25 and under club control for the next six years. He has also proven he can handle big league hitting, logging a 4.00 ERA over three seasons, even while pitching at Coors Field.
Giving up Jimenez would be a tough price to pay for the Rockies. The right-hander has one of the best fastballs in the majors and figures into the team’s long-term plan for building a winner. My guess is he will remain untouchable.
Dexter Fowler, CF
Coming into the season, this five-tool center fielder was one of the top prospects in baseball. His .255 batting average is nothing special, but considering Fowler skipped triple-A and jumped directly to Colorado, Fowler can be forgiven some growing pains.
Fowler is an ideal leadoff man, leading the team with 18 stolen bases and carrying a respectable OBP of .350. Fowler turned 23 in March and is considered a superb defensive outfielder with a plus arm.
The Rockies would definitely not want to give up Fowler in a deal, but they would be in a fairly good position to move him for the right package. One of the team’s major strengths is its outfield depth with Brad Hawpe, Carlos Gonzalez, Ryan Spilborghs and Seth Smith all looking for playing time next to Fowler.
The Blue Jays likely wouldn’t have room for Fowler, however, since the team already has Alex Rios, Vernon Wells, Travis Snider and Adam Lind figuring into their outfield plans.
Jhoulys Chacin, SP
Colorado’s top prospect currently pitching in Tulsa would almost certainly head to Toronto in any deal involving Halladay. Chacin is in the upper echelon of pitching prospects in the minors, ranking 28th in Baseball America’s annual mid-season prospect rankings.
Toronto is asking for two “sure thing” prospects, and Chacin fits that bill as well as anyone in the Rockies system. If Chacin is not traded this season, it is certainly conceivable that he opens with the Rockies in 2010.
The Rockies also have Christian Friedrich and Esmil Rogers, either player Toronto may like more than Chacin.
Eric Young Jr., 2B
Famous for his name and his exceptional speed, Young already has 48 stolen bases in 81 games at Triple-A Colorado Springs. He has overachieved at every level in the minors after being picked in the 30th round of the 2003 draft.
His average will likely hover around .300 wherever he plays simply because he can use his speed to run out close plays. He has also flashed occasional power, though his small frame likely won’t be able to produce any more than a handful of homers over a full season.
Unfortunately for the Rockies, the emergence of Aaron Hill in Toronto would make Young a difficult fit with the Blue Jays.
Brandon Hynick, SP
Though Hynick is not considered a top talent in the minors, he has continued to produce this season at Colorado Springs. He likely will never be better than a fourth starter in the majors, but his consistency has been a plus in the Rockies organization.
Wilin Rosario, C
Coming into the season, Rosario was ranked among the Rockies’ top prospects. He hasn’t played well in Modesto, but he is still young and maintains his status as the Rockies’ top catching prospect.
He would not be the centerpiece of a deal involving Halladay, but he would likely be included as potential insurance for up-and-comer J.P. Arencibia.
Most fans severely underestimate just how much talent Toronto expects to land in return for a year and a half of Roy Halladay.
The team is looking for a land-breaking type of return, something comparable to the type of haul that the Rangers picked up for Mark Texiera.
My best guess at a potential trade offer (which the Rockies would never make) is as follows:
Roy Halladay, SP
Blue Jays receive:
Dexter Fowler, OF
Jhoulys Chacin, SP
Wilin Rosario, C
Brandon Hynick, SP
The trade would make the Rockies immediate contenders in the National League, possibly even favorites if the Dodgers failed to improve their team before the trade deadline.
Even this might not be enough, but the Rockies would give up three of their top four prospects and a starter on the verge of being a major league contributor. Realistically, it is a price the Rockies could make without sacrificing the future.
That said, the two teams really don’t match up all that well taking into consideration Halladay’s contract and the fact that the Rockies will likely refuse to talk about Jimenez or Fowler, even for an ace like Halladay.
This exercise was, after all, nothing more than a fantasy anyway.