Roy Halladay is a great pitcher, top five in the Majors. This is a well-known fact, even among casual fans.
But is he worth the reported offer of J.A. Happ, Kyle Drabek, Dominic Brown and/or Michael Taylor?
You could make an arguement that he is.
Halladay has been the most consistent, dominating pitcher over the past decade. All you are giving up is three prospects and a pitcher. While the prospects are the top prospects the Phillies have, they could wind up not panning out.
Drabek has had Tommy John surgery in the past. While he appears to have bounced back easily in Double-A ball, there's no telling whether or not he can have a successful, healthy career.
Dominic Brown and Michael Taylor are both outfielders. The Phils have three all-stars in the outfield. Shane Victorino is 28 and Jayson Werth is 30. While Raul Ibanez is 37, he is under contract for three seasons. He did have a stint on the DL earlier this season, but other than that he has no glaring injury concerns.
Even if the Phillies did need an additional outfielder, 25-year-old John Mayberry, Jr. has hit four home runs in 53 at bats this season. If he were to keep that rate of production over the course of 300 at bats, he would hit about 23 home runs and over 40 if he played a full season with at least 550 at bats.
Of course, that's assuming he could hit them out at the same rate.
Then there is J.A. Happ. While he has been the Phils' most consistent pitcher this season, who's to say he isn't just enjoying early success?
Who's to say he'll be able to keep it up?
Is he like Dontrelle Willis and will only get worse?
You never know.
Not to mention the Phillies have some of the worst starting pitching in the NL this season. A consistent, dominating pitcher like Roy Halladay could help.
Especially if the Phils want to make a run at repeating in October.
In spite of all the reasons why this trade would make sense for the Phils, there are reasons why it wouldn't as well.
The main reason is the future.
Roy Halladay is 32 years old, while J.A. Happ is only 26.
I'm not saying that Happ is comparable to the Cy Young winning Halladay, but he has pitched brilliantly this season.
He is 7-1 with a 2.97 ERA, and his only loss came in his last start when he surrendered five runs to the Cardinals in six innings of work.
He has been the Phils most reliable pitcher, the only one in an otherwise sub-par rotation.
And theres no indication that he is just a flash in a pan player, that he caught lightning in a bottle.
As for the prospects, the Phils look like they could really use them.
Drabek could be a September call up this season, and if he is as good as he is supposed to be, he could help the Phillies in the near future, especially next season if the injured Brett Myers doesn't re-sign or Jamie Moyer decides to retire.
Raul Ibanez is 37. He has three years on his deal. You could make the argument that this is plenty of time to find a suitable replacement if he doesn't re-sign. You could argue that it will be hard to find another outfield prospect, let alone two of them, possibly three if you want to include Mayberry.
Not to mention that Jayson Werth's contract expires next season. There's no guarantee he will return. Yes, he was an all-star, but he is a streaky player. Too streaky for a team that's looking to contend for at least the next four years.
You could look at it that the team stands to lose up to two all-star outfielders in the next three years.
It would be nice to keep an heir to a corner spot in your system.
Both sides have reasons. Make the trade, win now, and maybe next year too. Don't make the trade and secure your line up for the next eight years.
That's all it really comes down to.
Either way, whichever decision Ruben Amaro makes, it will be tough to tell if he makes the right one right away. It's too unpredictable. And that unpredictability is why we love sports.
It's a choice between the present and the future. I personally lean towards the present, but it is still a tough decision that could hold unforeseen outcomes.
Hopefully Amaro makes the right one.