JP Ricciardi's Swan Song: NOT Dealing Roy Halladay

Jon ReinContributor IJuly 30, 2009

ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 14: American League All-Star Roy Halladay of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during the 2009 MLB All-Star Game at Busch Stadium on July 14, 2009 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images)

We've all seen GM's make deals that have gotten them the pink slip from their respective teams.

For Omar Minaya, it was Bartolo Colon for Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips and Grady Sizemore.

For Jim Duquette, it was Victor Zambrano for Scott Kazmir.

This season, it may be a non-trade that shows another GM the door.

Anyone who has a remote clue about Major League Baseball knows that the American League East could be the most competitive division going.  The Yankees and Red Sox are always in playoff contention.  The past two years have been the Tampa Bay Rays' coming out party to make the division essentially a three-headed monster.  Even the Orioles have some up-and-coming talent with Adam Jones, Nolan Reimold, Matt Wieters and two of the most highly-touted pitching prospects in the game (Jake Arietta and Chris Tillman).

This leaves the Toronto Blue Jays.

With a bloated payroll of underachievers (namely Vernon Wells and Alex Rios) and a mediocre farm system, conventional wisdom would lead you to believe that they won't be competitive in 2010, let alone this season. 

If the Blue Jays are going to build a competitive team for the future, the time to deal Roy Halladay is now.

Teams are throwing together three or four of their top 10 prospects to get a hold of a guy that will help their team's chance of winning.  They will not get those offers after the July 31 deadline.

In the offseason and leading up to next year's trade deadline, he will be perceived as a rent-a-player who will test free agency.  Teams will not be willing to mortgage their future for a player like that, regardless of how talented they may be.

Now let's assume Ricciardi actually is delusional enough to think the team he has now can make the playoffs in 2010.

What's to stop Halladay from testing free agency when his contract is up? 

Worst-case, they offer him arbitration and recoup compensatory draft picks.  What are the odds of those draft picks panning out?  For all the Blue Jays know, they're replacing a Cy Young winner for bodies for one of their minor league clubs, as opposed to having players that have had time to prove themselves.

What J.P. Ricciardi has done is basically play a game of chicken with teams and tried making it appear as if teams need Halladay more than he needs to build for the future.  In the end, that can be what costs him a job. 

The Phillies have already moved on and acquired Cliff Lee.  The Red Sox are more concerned about getting another bat.  The Angels appear to be more concerned about getting a reliever.

Those three teams were considered the most compatible with the Jays' needs.  Enough said.

With the deadline less than 24 hours away, Ricciardi has two options; find a suitable deal for Halladay or start writing his resignation letter.

If he chooses Option B, let's all cower in fear of the idea of Roy Halladay being a Yankee in 2011.