It is no secret that Toronto Blue Jays ace, and one of the top pitchers in baseball, Roy Halladay, is being shopped hard on the trading block.
The Phillies make the most sense and as it stands seem to be the favorite, they have a deep pool of quality minor league talent that includes Pitchers J.A. Happ, Carlos Carrasco, and Jason Knapp. In addition to position players OF John Mayberry, OF Michael Taylor, C Lou Marson, OF Dominic Brown, and SS Jason Donald
With their deep Major League offense they could afford to part with a good portion of their better prospects (not all), and could afford to throw a pitcher or two in considering the guy they would be receiving.
The Blue Jays will have to be overwhelmed in order for someone to pry arguably baseballs top pitcher from their grasp. Likely a package consisting of five top prospects will start to get their serious attention.
One team that has not, and will not likely even be mentioned in connection with the ace is the Seattle Mariners, who currently sport AL's best ERA, and third best in the league overall as it is.
CF Adam Jones was the top prospect they had and he is showing why with his first All Star appearance in his second season as a starter.
P Geroge Sherill has also made the All Star game once in his first two seasons.
P Chris Tillman is rated as one of the top prospects in all of baseball.
P Cam Mickolio projects to be a regular bullpen arm in a few years, and P Tony Butler projects to be a No. 4 as soon as 2011.
Thats a lot to give up, and I do not think new GM Jack Zdurencik would ever cough up that much in what is supposed to be a rebuilding year for just one player.
The Mariners already have needs at SS and 3B, something that must be taken care of if this team plans on contending.
Being linked to the Pirates pair of SS Jack Wilson, and All Star 2B Freddy Sanchez is a positive sign that the team is being active to strengthen those positions. Other possible candidates they have been linked to include Padres 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff, and Rockies 3B Garrett Atkins.
If the Mariners were to acquire two starting caliber left infielders, it would likely cost them a total of 3-5 players, depending on who they go after. With a bleeding atrocious offense, and the third best pitching staff in baseball, common sense seems to entail them adding some bats to make a postseason push.
With a smart GM like Jack Zdurencik he will likely make the no brainer decision to fix the lineup if he plans on gearing up for a postseason run.
Sacrificing a good portion of your top five prospects destroys depth and would be a confoundingly dumb Bill Bavasi type move.
A trade for Halladay would be nice no doubt, but unrealistic, what happens when his efforts help hold teams to two runs and the Mariners only score one?
Getting him would completely eliminate any hope of obtaining lineup help, and would effectively doom their playoff chances. The pitching staff can only do so much, and is sure to wear down at some point in the season.
With the depth concerns in the infield, especially after trading opening day starter Yuniesky Betancourt, the most plausible trade scenarios would involve that position.
I am confident in our GM that he will make the best decision regardless of whether it is pushing for contention, or gearing up for the future. He has yet to slip, and has this team contending amidst a reclamation project from the ashes of the Bavasi era.
In Zdurencik, we trust.