So, last week, the rumors resurfaced that the Phillies are still trying to acquire Roy Halladay from the Toronto Blue Jays, and the memories of the hours leading up to the trade deadline in July relinquished.
All throughout the middle month of the season, all the talk surrounding Major League Baseball was whether or not Toronto would stick to their word and trade Halladay.
Then general manager J.P. Ricciardi said that he would listen to offers for the right-hander at the start of the month, and Philadelphia had the need and the financial flexibility to make a blockbuster.
For a couple of weeks, Ricciardi played a game of chicken with the Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr . as everyone in Ricciardi's position would. Toronto was asking for the farm while the Phils weren't willing to meet the demand.
In the end, the Phillies ended up acquiring another former Cy Young winner in Cliff Lee for far less than they would have had to give up to get Halladay, who isn't much better than Lee.
With Halladay still under contract for another season, Toronto felt that they could wait until the offseason to trade him and still get the same value they would've if they shipped him at the deadline.
I believe that the way that Ricciardi handled the whole ordeal ultimately cost him his job. It got to a point where they kind of needed to trade Doc because he wanted out, and mentally, he was gone.
The Blue Jays hired Alex Anthopoulos as the general manager after firing Ricciardi in October, and Anthopoulos has the responsibility to dealing a bona-fide ace before things get worse for Canada's only baseball team.
On Friday, we learned that the Jays called the Chicago Cubs to seek their interest in adding the 32-year-old starter. And then Yahoo Sports Tim Brown tweeted that Toronto is talking to the Dodgers about Halladay.
It's obvious that the Blue Jays want to trade Halladay this winter, and not wait until next season's trade deadline where they would have to settle for a sub-par package instead of getting a top prospect or two.
Toronto is looking pretty desperate to get rid of Doc while getting the best possible package they can at this point in time; remember Minnesota lost value when waiting until the offseason to trade Johan Santana .
This is why I think the Phillies should re-enter the Roy Halladay sweepstakes: They have the assets to complete a trade, they have the need to acquire another top-of-the rotation guy, and it makes (some) sense.
The Jays already know who they like in the Phils farm system from the scouting they were doing when the two sides were negotiating in July, and Philadelphia can afford trading away one top prospect.
In order to land Halladay during the summer, the Phillies were going to have to part ways with top pitching prospect Kyle Drabek , a Rookie of the Year candidate J.A. Happ , and outfielder Domonic Brown .
That was entirely way too much then, and it's way too much now. The circumstances have changed in the four months since the two teams have talked trade, and the Phils don't need an ace anymore.
Negotiating is all about leverage, and at this point in time, the Blue Jays have none on any team because everyone knows they need to get rid of Halladay.
When someone knows that a product will eventually come down in price, they will, more often than not, wait the wave out until the price drops to within their range. It's the same thing when trading in baseball.
Since Toronto has pretty much came out and said that they'll trade Halladay, the rest of the league aren't going to pay full price. The longer it goes on, the further the asking price drops.
This soap opera has been going on for a few months now so you have to think that the Jays will not be able to pony a team to give up top value for the six-time MLB All-Star.
Let's go back in time when the Phillies were aggressively trying to acquire Halladay. Several reports indicated that the Phillies offered the same package for Lee, however included Happ in the offer.
It's well known that Amaro didn't want to part ways with Drabek because of his potential. Despite already having Tommy John surgery, Drabek is a blue-chip pitching prospect who has been dominating the minors.
Drabek is an untouchable to the Phillies as is Brown, who the Jays want(ed). Brown is a five-tool prospect who has the potential to become a superstar for years to come.
The package the Blue Jays asked for was the roof, and would have been the best return in any trade for Halladay; however the Phillies weren't going to do that trade, and come to think of it, neither would anyone else.
While the Phils don't have the prospects like they did in July since they traded Lou Marson , Jason Donald , Carlos Carrasco , and Jason Knapp for Lee, they still have the crop to get Halladay, and afford it.
Even with trading four pretty respectable prospects to get Lee, Philadelphia still has a lot of depth in the organization for once in a very long time. When was the last time the farm system was this good?
Toronto asked for the Phils top outfielder prospect in Brown, but the Phillies also have another top-tier prospect in Reggie Taylor , who seems to have been the forgotten one.
At one point last season, many people Taylor to be the better prospect than Brown. Both guys are five-tool prospects, and one day could potentially turn out to be a superstar.
Some people think that it would be wise trading Happ this offseason because of the economical concept, which applies in this scenario, of buy low, sell high.
Happ was tied for the team lead with 12 wins in 2009 with a 2.93 earned run average. He was never considered to be anything more than a back-end-of-the-rotation pitcher, but he was performing as a No. 2.
I would have traded him at the deadline, and I would trade him now for Doc. Let's face the truth that Happ will never accomplish as much as Halladay has thus far into his career from a statistical standpoint.
The asking price for Roy will not be as lucrative as it was before, but it will still cost a team some high prospects. Offering Happ, Taylor and a mid-level prospect for Halladay would give the Jays what they want.
Of course, Anthopoulos will want a pitching prospect who has a lot of potential like Drabek, but adding Happ, who is 27-years-old, would give them an immediate impact on their rotation.
Taylor would be ready to be called up in as soon as 2011, and would give them a player to replace Vernon Wells in the outfield, and would let them dump his salary at the deadline next July.
While the need for an ace is no longer as pressing as it was before the deadline, the Phillies certainly need another reliable starting pitcher since Cole Hamels is an uncertainty after a miserable 2009 season.
Lee was able to carry the rotation into the World Series, but he will not be able to do so again throughout an entire campaign. Hamels needs to return to form that got him the W.S. MVP in 2008.
The Phillies want to win as many championships as they can with their current core because they know how special this team is. Halladay presents a great chance of getting to their third straight Fall Classic.
With that being said, I'm not saying that Halladay is the only way the Phillies make it back to October baseball, and better yet, contending for a title. They have a great chance as it stands, but Halladay would make it better.
For both sides, the move makes sense. Toronto will still get a great crop of players while the Phils get another ace that would give them as strong as a rotation than the Yankees with Halladay-Lee-Hamels.
It would be a bold statement by the Phillies to the rest of the MLB, and to their fans. We know they are trying to win the World Series, and do whatever it takes, but acquiring Halladay would just reaffirm it further.
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