I was on the bus when I got the text. It was the 103 bus and I was heading home from just taking a final. My friend Jack texted me and told me the news. It’s amazing how as soon as I’m away from a computer is when deals go down. I will never forget where I was when I got the news and neither will you.
I ran home and at first the trade seemed clear. The Phillies would receive just Roy Halladay while the Mariners would receive Cliff Lee and the Mariners would receive Philippe Aulmont and 2 other prospects possibly OF Michael Saunders. All reports were Halladay was in town and had checked into a Philadelphia hotel to talk contract extension with the Phillies (weather that hotel was the "Halladay inn" we might never know....yea I just went there).
I headed off to work with a vague notion of what was going on. But somehow between the time that I left and the time I got home it seemed like everyone and their mother had taken a "physical" for a possible deal. Joe Blanton, JA Happ, Roy Halladay, Turk Wendell and possibly Steve Carlton were all reported to take physicals yesterday which left everyone in the dark regarding who was actually being dealt.
Obviously now we know.
The Phillies will receive:
1. Roy Halladay
2. Philippe Aumont
3. Tyson Gillies
4. Juan Ramirez
The Blue Jays will receive:
1. Kyle Drabek
2. Travis D'Arnaud
3. Brett Wallace
The Mariners will receive:
1. Cliff Lee
And finally the Athletics will receive
1. Michael Taylor
Wow how 24 hours certainly changes things. From all reports everyone thinks the Phillies lost in this deal. Personally I don’t understand why. I’m sure by now you've heard both sides of the story on why it was a good or bad deal. I happen to love it.
For all of you people who are complaining about this deal and have the "why couldn’t we have both" mentality I will say this; You complaining about Roy Halladay is like Brad Pitt divorcing Jennifer Anniston and going to Angelina Jolie and being pissed because he didn’t have both. To have both wasn’t feasible unless you are the morons who like to empty out farm systems that’s fine. Don’t complain in a few years when we become the New York Mets. Most of the talent this team has was because of our farm system and not trading guys like Howard away or Utley and Madson for Barry Zito. A farm system is hard to develop and emptying it out takes years to recover from.
I think what happened originally was that the Phillies went to Cliff Lee and asked him if he would be open to sign an extension for long term. He said yes but not for below market value. He wants CC money and we just don’t have it. When that happened the Phillies decided to make a move for Halladay. With Halladay's money and an extension looming that would mean they wouldn’t be able to afford Lee and would need to move him.
So I think what happened was originally all the prospects the Phillies were going to get were going to go to Toronto and we kept our guys. Somewhere that fell through but all three sides agreed a deal was going to get done. The dust settled and this is what you have.
I applaud Rueben Amaro. He just locked up the best pitcher in baseball for possibly the next 5 years. Phillies fans this is the biggest thing to hit Philadelphia since the trade of Steve Carlton. You should be overjoyed. What Doc Halladay brings to the table is something most dreams about. This is a guy who’s a lock for 20 games and will probably strike out 250. He’s special.
For all you complaining that we "gave up too much" go look at exactly WHAT we gave up and not what CSN wants you to believe. I know everyone and their mother loves Drabek. I’m not one of them. I see a kid with a bad attitude who is no more than a 3rd starter in the league. He had a 3.64 ERA in AA. That’s average for a "cant miss prospect" and I hate to break this news to you but every team has a Drabek. And probably with better numbers to boot. Antonio Bastardo had better numbers at every level he’s pitched at then Drabek to put it in perspective. And considering the Phillies have the cupboard stacked in regards to pitching in the system it made him expendable
Most that know me know I have a man crush on Michael Taylor he’s a 5 tool player but the problem with Taylor was he’s 23 and major league ready. The Phillies have no room for him. MAYBE next year if Werth books it for free agency but not right now. He would be wasting bullets in AAA. While I still think he’s going to turn out to be a better player than top prospect Dominick Brown I understand that Brown is younger and a year or two away.
Travis D'Arnaud was my 4th ranked prospect. I was really high on the guy. He started off the season in low Single A and didn’t bat well at all. A former supplemental pick lost his "2nd best catcher in the system" title to Sebastian Valle and became expendable. This opens up room for Valle next season in Lakewood. Why the Jays would want him puzzles me. They have top catching prospect JP Arencibia at AAA so the need for a catcher isn’t really there. But whatever.
What the Phillies got on the other hand makes up for it. Doc aside look at the other guys we got.
Tyson Grillies is a beast. The guy is a 21 year old OF who raked at high A. He hit so well that he ranked 2nd in the entire Mariners system with a .341 average. He was #1 in the system in hits with 170. He was 2nd in the system in OBP with a .430 mark. And had 44 SB's which also lead the entire Mariners system. He also added 9 HR's and 42 RBI's. Baseball America ranked him as the fastest in the system going into last year and also the best OF arm in the system. Him and Brown will start the season in AA Redding and it will be exciting to watch that speed on the base paths.
Philippe Aumont is a former 1st round pick who Baseball America ranked as the M's 3rd best prospect going into last year. Kid throws hard and pitched at both high A and AA this season seeing more success in single A. With the single A Mavericks he posted a 3.24 ERA in only 33.1 IP last season. In AA he struggled having an ERA of 5.09 in 17.2 IP to finish out the season with a combined ERA of 3.88 in 51 IP. He did however have 55 K's. He’ll start out the season in AA Where he will be Redding's closer.
Juan Ramirez is the only prospect I don’t know too much about. BA had him ranked as the M's 5th best prospect. Kids going to be 22 and just finished his second season in high Single A where he posted a 5.12 ERA in 142.1 IP. I’ll be shocked if he ever amounts to anything and will probably start out the season in Clearwater
So while we lost Taylor you add a younger Gillies. Less power of course but more speed, better average, and younger. Would have loved to see Taylor hit in CBP but such is life.
You lose Drabek but gain Aumont. I think Aumont who projects as a future closer which is something the Phillies didnt really have if you dont count Sergio Escolona. The fact that I was never high on Drabek in the first place though means this is a slight loss but not nearly the type the media would like you to believe
And finally D'Arnaud for Ramirez. Two guys who will need a lot of work to reach the majors. The reason why I think it’s a win win is because the Jays turn around and manage to get Brett Wallace from the A's. Wallace was the key piece in the Matt Holliday deal and is still regarded as one of the better 3rd base prospects in the minors. Hell finally get a shot to play....but probably at 1st with a trade of Lyle Overbay looking immanent. The Jays also do what they set out to do. They got Drabek who they wanted since July. I don’t think he’s going to be a #1 but I’m not a scout.
The Mariners get Cliff Lee and look poised to make a run at a division title with the signing of Chone Figgins. That rotation still has some holes but a 1 2 punch of King Felix and Lee isn’t bad. If they sign Lee long term it’s even better.
For the A's it’s a win because Beane got a power hitting OF he’s been looking for. This is a Billy Beane guy. 5 tools that will do it all. Can’t wait to grab him in fantasy.
And finally it’s a win for the Phillies. If you’re going to sit here and tell me that after watching interviews with Cliff, that you thought he wanted to be here I would have called you crazy. Right from the first time I heard him speak about being a Phillie I just didn’t feel like he wanted to be here. Roy does.
Halladay is signing for below market value because he wants to be on a winner. The guy is going to be getting less the Johan Santana money while Lee wants CC money. Roy is motivated to finally be on a winner. So this holiday season don’t expect anything in your stocking. That gift won’t come for another 4 months when Halladay takes the hill against the Marlins for his home debut.