Well the waiting is over. Halladay was the newest toy to hit store shelves yesterday and the Phillies were first in line to scoop him up. And then they paraded him in front a dozen cameras and millions of viewers. They had ever right to. They were proud of this one. Ruben Amaro Jr had wanted this one since last July. Maybe even longer than that.
Rube first got his man last year when he traded for Cliff Lee. Once Lee was in Philly and Lou Marson, Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald, and Jason Knapp were gone, Philly phaithful thought that was it. No way Rube could get Halladay now. Lee was an ace. He was our ace. He would lead us to the promise land again this year just as Cole Hamels did in the previous year. Oh and how Lee did not disappoint. He finished off a great regular season to go 4-0 in the playoffs including two wins in the World Series against the Yankees. But apparently winning wasn't a priority.
Lee wanted money. And big money. Who could blame him. He had a good year and an even better year the year before. But what about before that? I think the inconsistency he showed before the 2008 season does not warrant him getting CC Sabathiatype money. And that is what he wanted. And good for him for thinking highly of himself. But the Philies FO does not give out long contracts to pitchers. Never have. And reports were saying Lee wanted 5 years. On to plan B. I know I was surprised there even was a plan B.
Roy Halladay is in Philadelphia with his agent? I don't even live in Philly, and I was looking for him. This was big news. But how would we get him in Phillies pinstripes? We shipped out 4 prospects last year when Kyle Drabek and Michael Taylor were 'untouchable.' So what did we have to barter with? In comes Seattle. A team with the right type of prospects and almost more desperate to get back to their winnings ways as the Phillies were three years ago. They were also not afraid of spending money seeing how they gave Chone Figgins to leave his first place team In this so-called blockbuster deal Lee went to the M's and Doc came to Philly. Throw in seven prospects changing through four different teams and you have a deal.
Who is to say Lee gets his five-year contract from Seattle? Not our problem anymore. Halladay got his three-year extension and gave the Phillies a discount. Because, to him, winning a World Series is important to him.
So what are the Phillies getting? Yes, it is rhetorical. But look at it for a minute. Halladay came from arguably the toughest division in baseball and still dominated. Now he comes to the NL East, which is no cake walk, and you have to believe he will be almost untouchable. And with Doc's first 3 starts, tentatively, being against Washington, Houston, and Florida the days of the slow starting Phillies may be over. Now, of course, this will depend on the other starters as well. Hamels has got to regain his 2008 postseason form and JA Happ needs to just keep doing what he is doing and the Phillies will do fine.
I was going to try and throw a lot of stats and numbers at you this article but it's already been done and I am a little late. So I apologize for that. I know somewhere out there, a reporter had to have asked Chase Utley if he liked the idea of signing RoyHalladay. His response would have been "Really? Come on, its Roy effing Halladay."
So Happy Halladays everybody and see you in the World Series.