The moment we have all been waiting for has finally come; Roy Halladay is no longer a Blue Jay.
But interestingly, Cliff Lee is no longer a part of the Phillies.
It was no surprise that the Phillies would have to give something up to get Halladay but no one really saw this one coming with the success that Lee showed in this past postseason.
Nine players were involved in the four-team deal between the Phillies, Mariners, Blue Jays and Athletics.
The Phillies acquired Halladay and $6 million dollars from the Jays and dished Lee to the Mariners in return for right-handers Phillippe Aumont and Juan Ramirez and outfielder Tyson Gillies.
For Halladay, the Jays got catcher Travis d'Arnaud, right-hander Kyle Drabek and outfielder Michael Taylor from the Phillies.
Taylor was later traded to the Mariners for infielder Brett Wallace.
As sad as Philly fans may be to see Lee go, the truth of the matter is that they got rid of one Cy Young winner for another who is guaranteed to go down as one of the best pitchers of all time.
Besides, Lee’s contract is set to expire next year, which would leave him demanding big time money that the Phillies would most likely not be able to offer him.
Same would have been the case with Halladay, who would have been a free agent at the end of the upcoming season, if the Phillies had not signed him now.
If this trade was not made, there would have been a good chance the Phillies would have been left with no aces on their pitching staff with the start of the 2011 season.
Instead they end up with one of the best, if not the best, pitchers in the game and a bunch of young players that can potentially be the long term answer for the team, who has traded away about seven prospects in the past few months.
But do not think for one second that the Mariners got the short end of the stick as Lee will join a Seattle team that is on the rise.
He will get to pitch besides one of the brightest young stars in Felix Hernandez, who finished last year with a 19-5 record and an ERA of 2.49.
Also, Lee and Hernandez, along with the rest of the Mariners pitching staff, will be backed up by a solid supporting cast that includes nine-time all-star Ichiro Suzuki, Jack Wilson, Ken Griffey Jr. and newly acquired Chone Figgins.
The Mariners already had potential before the trade but the addition of Lee could possibly be the deciding factor in the Mariners return to the playoffs for the first time since 2001.
So Philly fans—as sad as it is to see Lee go—the truth of the matter is that your team will still be a force to reckon with with Halladay, maybe even more dangerous than the past few years.
Happy Holidays Mariner and Philly fans—you got two of the best presents a baseball fan can get.