Roy Halladay is officially on the trade market. Finally.
Now, it is a race to get by far the best pitcher in baseball today (sorry, but he's always been better than Johan Santana).
You already know that I want the St. Louis Cardinals to land Halladay. Here are a few reasons why:
Chris Carpenter and Halladay came up as part of the Toronto Big Three (with Kelvim Escobar), and are still good friends to this day.
Halladay would fall in love with Dave Duncan, and Duncan would fall head over heels in love with Halladay. Sinking fastball galore.
The only issue is that pesky second player—no, not on the Cardinals side, but on the Toronto Blue Jays side. The rumor is that the Blue Jays want to package Vernon Wells with Halladay.
This says to me that the Blue Jays are either not serious about moving Halladay and want to scare people off with the Wells talk, or that they really want to rebuild. I'd say both could be true, but the first more so than the latter.
Before we go on, let me mention that I have heard this rumor is not true. Some writer in Toronto or New England mentioned that if they could move Wells too, it would be great for the Blue Jays. Some writer read this and tried putting two and two together, but ended up with five.
Yeah, so let's consider that the Blue Jays want to package one of their remaining large contracts (Wells, Scott Rolen, Alex Rios) with Halladay, and not just Wells.
With me? Okay, let's keep moving.
If I were John Mozeliak, I would propose the following two trades.
After saying the deals, I would tell J.P. Ricciardi (General Manager of the Blue Jays) that he has to take one or the other, and I am not mixing the deals together.
Deal numero uno:
Deal number two:
Now, if I were Ricciardi, I would be completely torn between these two deals. Why? Well, read on, wayward son.
Wallace is one of the top prospects in baseball, and while he may not stick at third base (though I am in the group of people that believe he can be an average defender, especially with Albert Pujols across the diamond) long term, his bat will produce plenty of runs.
Kozma and Wallace were on the Blue Jays' radar in the 2007 (Kozma) and 2008 (Wallace) drafts. Kozma is a slick defender, but will not carry a big stick.
Mulligan is yet another converted catcher and will be a more than quality Major League setup man.
Cutler is a hard hitting catcher who might be better served at designated hitter or first base, but can stick at catcher. He carries a nice big bat.
He'll be 23 here shortly and is currently raking in the low minors, but he could easily be a September call-up in 2010, and start in 2011.
Walters and Boggs keep getting cups of coffee, but can't stick with the big league club. The pitching depth has them stuck at Memphis, but they will be quality Major League arms.
Reifer has future closer written all over him. He needs better command, but can sure bring the heat.
Mortenson will never be a No. 1 starter, but he could be a No. 2 or 3, easily. His sinker is nasty, and when it is going well, he could be a smaller version of Brandon Webb.
Craig can play the corner outfield and the corner infield, though neither spots extremely well. He is more of a 1B/DH, but he sure can rake. He's struggled at Triple A this year, but he's getting that stroke back.
A breakdown of the deals are the following:
For Halladay, we will trade the farm. We'll give you our top prospect, plus four above-average prospects for Halladay. Thompson is a throw-in to make room for Halladay and to keep Toronto stocked with pitching options.
Add in Rios, but we will not deal our top prospect. That is too much money to take on, and that would hurt us.
In his place, we'll give you four above-average prospects, plus three throw-ins to make room for Halladay and Rios. Ankiel is a free agent to be, and Duncan could platoon at the DH role.
Thompson—well, gotta keep the pitching stocked.
This is why I would be torn if I were Ricciardi. I could deal off the best pitcher in the majors to a team outside of my division (and league) and land myself one of the best prospects in baseball, including four prospects that would be nice adds to my system.
Or, I could deal off the best pitcher and one of my remaining large contracts for four prospects that would be better than the four I'd get with Wallace (with only Kozma as the constant in both deals). But I'd get three players that could rebound, or I could cut later on.
In all honesty, I do not know which deal I would take. While the Wallace deal looks far better in the return, the Halladay/Rios deal looks better on the books.
As a Cardinals fan, I would prefer deal two. Wallace would be a great compliment to Pujols in the lineup, and Rios would create a more athletic outfield (Ryan Ludwick would move to left field) and give off a 2004-like outfield presence.
Which deal would you take? Deal one, deal two, or deal none? Let’s hear some discussion!