The Yankees new strategy since George Steinbrenner gave majority control of the team to his son, Hank, has been to attempt to develop their young talent. There have been some bright spots like Robinson Cano and the potential of Joba Chamberlain seems limited only by a pitch count. Yet, the decision by Cashman and the Yankees not to trade for former Minnesota, now New York Mets Ace, Johan Santana could haunt them for years to come. That regret could be alleviated in one move by trading for Toronto Ace Roy Halladay. Halladay is one of the few pitchers these days who has the ability to throw a complete game seemingly at will. This quality alone makes him extremely attractive to teams looking to save their bullpens innings.
Minnesota was asking for Phil Hughes and Melky Cabrera in the Santana deal. If Toronto is serious about dealing their stud pitcher a year and a half before his contract runs out, they will most likely be looking for at least three quality prospects in return. Hughes has shown the ability to be lights out in the bullpen, and Cabrera has been one of the Yankees' best hitters in the clutch this year. Toronto could be looking for someone to spell the aging Vernon Wells in Center Field from time to time and Melky could be the perfect fit there. If the Yankees can come up with one more big prospect, the Jays may be willing to bite the bullet and trade Halladay to their division rivals.
The Boston Red Sox definitely have what it takes to get a deal done with Toronto. The struggles of John Smoltz and the injury to Dice-K are of some concern. Daniel Bard, a fireballer and former first round pick, would most likely be on Toronto’s wish list. Clay Buchholz would be the center piece for the trade. He won his season debut against the Jays on 7/17 and only allowed one run in 5 2/3 innings. If the Red Sox can toss a bat into the deal, the Jays would be hard pressed to find better pitching talent in return for the Doc.
Toronto most likely will not be looking to deal Halladay within the division. The Philadelphia Phillies and the emergence of J.A. Happ seem to be the front runners at this point. However, Philadelphia may be second guessing their need for Halladay, mainly thanks to the utter collapse of the rest of the division. They currently hold a 7 game lead and just signed Pedro Martinez to a one year deal.
The bottom line for the Yankees is, if there is any chance they can land Halladay, they have to make the move, especially if Boston is still showing interest.
During the Yankee Dynasty years in the late '90s, they always seemed to make a deal at the deadline that put them over the top. David Justice was the key addition to the playoff run that lead to the World Series win in ’99. This year, Cashman hopes Eric Hinske will be that guy. Hinske has homered five times in fifteen AB’s so far with the team. The short porch in right has been friendly to him. If he keeps up that pace, a platoon situation could develop with Nick Swisher and the Yankees will have a power threat from both sides of the plate at the bottom of the order.
Hinske is definitely not a long term solution and the Yankee Outfield does not look as intimidating as it has in the past, but if they do end up with Roy Halladay in a starting rotation that already includes C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, the Yankees will be the favorites once again in October.