Roy Halladay, Phillies Agree to Extension to Complete Blockbuster Deal
To complete the blockbuster trade that will net the Phillies their second Cy Young winner in five months, Roy Halladay has agreed to a $60 million three year contract extension with a chance at a fourth year either guaranteed or a vesting option.
Halladay took his physical early Tuesday morning, and an official announcement is expected on Wednesday in a press conference at Citizens Bank Park.
Halladay, 32, went 17-10 with the Blue Jays last season while posting a 2.79 ERA with a Major League leading nine complete games in 239 innings pitched.
To get Doc from Toronto, the Phillies sent top pitching prospect Kyle Drabek , outfielder Michael Taylor , and catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud . ESPN.com reported that the Jays will then turn Taylor to Oakland for third baseman Brett Wallace .
In a separate trade, the Phils shipped an ace in his own right, Cliff Lee , to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for prospects Phillippe Aumont , J.C. Ramirez , and Tyson Gillies .
Acquired a couple days before the trade deadline for four prospects who will turn out to be nothing better than average MLB players, Lee posted a 3.39 ERA in 12 starts in the regular season with the Phillies.
Ruben Amaro Jr. knew that he needed to acquire an ace at the deadline last year, and everyone knew that Halladay was his first choice; however, he wasn't willing to pay Toronto's price so he went with the next best option in Lee.
This move has been reported as a three team trade, but it's not that at all. These were two separate trades made by the Phillies: one to acquire Halladay, and one to restock the farm system.
In an ideal world, the Phils would have kept both Halladay and Lee, but given Amaro's strict $140 million budget, it wasn't possible unless they moved other parts like Joe Blanton and a fielder like Raul Ibanez or Shane Victorino .
If they did have both for the upcoming season, the payroll would be upward of $160 million. The ownership will not OK Amaro to go that much over the budget while there are still holes on the roster.
Remember, the Phillies still have to revamp the bullpen somehow. Keeping Lee and his $9 million salary for the 2010 season along with Halladay's $16 million wouldn't allow them to bring in a bullpen arm like Fernando Rodney or John Smoltz .
While having Halladay and Lee to go along with Cole Hamels would have given the Phillies the best rotation in all of baseball, people need to remember that Hamels can be just as effective if not better than Lee was last year.
Despite having a miserable 2009 season, Hamels is still young enough to rebound and mature into the pitcher he showed he can be in 2008 when he won the Phillies their first championship since 1980. Without Cole, they wouldn't have won the World Series.
In more ways than one, Amaro is banking a lot on Hamels in this coming year. But he's putting his head on the line for Halladay, the guy he wanted all along.
For more Philadelphia sports coverage, please go to my blog: The Broad Street Scoop.
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