Making Sense Out Of The Halladay Trade: The Jays Perspective.

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Making Sense Out Of The Halladay Trade: The Jays Perspective.
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Alright, so if you happen to be a Jays fan you probably just saw the end of an era. Yes the Halladay era that is. Quite a blow to the already weak collection of talent for all of Toronto's pro teams combined. As a result the amount of angry fans has risen to an all time high. Fact is people have just grown impatient to see all the unsuccessful seasons produced by the Jays. If YOU happen to be one of them please allow me to explain to you why this deal is not nearly as bad as people make it out to be. As a realist (with a slight hint of optimism) the Jays simply did not have enough guns to keep up with the stacked AL East. With J. P. Ricciardi's numerous failed attempts at becoming a dark horse team the Jays seemed to be always one step behind the pack. This ultimately lead to his firing at the last game of the 2009 season. That move in my opinion is a foreshadowing for good things that await us. Enter Alex Anthopoulos (AA), the "real" future of the Jays. I've got to say as a rookie GM, who came in fresh with ZERO days of experience as a regular season manager, he had to have some kind of balls to pull off such a deal. Basically he just changed the tone for this franchise and brought forth a new message in the bottle. Sacrifice 2 years of pain and live large for the rest. *****Applaud***** Finally someone who actually understands the SYSTEM for going towards the right direction. If you look at all the AL East teams, the Yankees, Red Sox, Rays and even the "work in progress" Orioles, they ALL grew/have been growing their core players from their own farm system. As much as you want to knock on the Yankees and Red Sox for buying players at will they still developed their core players through their farm system (the Jeters, the Canos, the Pedroias). J.P. failed to understand this and doomed the franchise. Anyways, so my point is if AA has left a bad taste in your mouth with the Doc trade, unfortunately you must understand that it is the ONLY way to develop winners. Buying players without a core will never solve anything.

Ok now with the actual trade analysis. Harry Leroy Halladay the man possessed with greatness, and class at its highest level was arguably not only the best pitcher, but the best player that any of Toronto's franchises has seen, bar none. If you want to argue that then you must have issues. At the ripe age of 32 he is at the very peak of his game. Phillies wanted Halladay REAL bad since mid season when they failed to trade for him, as J.P. demanded two of their untouchable prospects Kyle Drabek and Dominic Brown plus 2 others. But Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is a smart cookie. Mortgaging your future for a rental was not good enough. That's why he waited to see what the Jays do with him at the end of the season, because if we decide to deal him, Halladay would be willing to sign an extension right away and would guarantee the Phils multiple years of his service. Smooth Amaro, real smooth. So anyways, we finally deal Halladay to the Phillies in return of 3 highly touted prospects: Kyle Drabek, Jason D'Arnaud, and Michael Taylor who was dealt to Atheltics for their #1 prospect, Brett Wallace. I REALLY wanted Phillippe Aumont in the deal (from Mariners) as well but then I realized we do not live in a perfect world. Anyways, in my opinion as much as I hated to see Doc leave, this deal had to happen. Doc deserves a chance to win, holding him back would be very selfish of the fans especially with all that he has done for us. Secondly, as I stated earlier when you want a sinking franchise to bring back hope, you got to start fresh. We did just that. Our minor league propects before the 2009 season were not so promising. Yes you had the Sniders, and the Arencibia's but the list ended there. Then we got Zach Stewart in the mid season Rolen trade (bravo J.P.) and with the 3 new additions we can now safely and legitimately say we HAVE a future. With that said let's take a look at the prospects from the Halladay deal,

Kyle Drabek: The 22 year old RHP has a fastball that touches 96 with a range from 90-92 in a consistent basis. Often times he uses a 2 seam sort of sinking fastball (which I saw in a youtube and trust me it's NASTY). He offers a plus curve and also has a change which he still needs to master. Potential? Possible all star front line starter for our rotation for years to come. By the way if you were wondering, YES he IS the son of former Cy Young Winner Doug Drabek.

Brett Wallace: Calling this 23 year old big and bulky is an understatement. This guy epitomizes the word B.E.A.S.T. His bat possesess tremendous amount of power and has the ability to hit it out with ease. The only knock on him is his defense. But because we are looking to position him at 1st base his defense won't be much of a problem. Potential? .265 AVG, 30-40 hrs and 110+ rbis / season.

Travis D'Arnaud: The 20 year old catcher was the least popular name in the deal but that doesn't mean he is not worthy of being noticed. He was the Phillies top catching prospect and their 4th best overall according to Baseball America. This gives us some added insurance for the future with the already developing Arencibia and Jeroloman in the catching position. He possesses above average power for a catcher with gap to gap hitting ability. He is a good game caller, sound defensively and also has opposite field pop. Potential? Top ten catcher in MLB in overall production.

All of this for Halladay who was going to sign with another team anyways next season after his contract expires. True we would've gotten two high picks because of Halladay's Type A free agency status, but a polished and guaranteed good is more desirable than facing uncertainty. So it was the best of both worlds in my opinion. Halladay goes to a contender and we get our prospects. Now some of you might be wondering well why not overpay for Bay? Sign Lackey? Trade Overbay for a shortstop? Resign Barajas? The list can go on and on...But simply put that would have been a WASTE of money. The Jays were a 75 win team last season, adding a couple of bats and a pitcher would not guarantee a 25 game leap the next season. Didn't work in 2006, did it? But that's if we had the money to sign them anyways. With a budget roughly around $71 million going into the future it's safe to say signing a big bat in the near future would be wishful thinking. The Jays are adding to their core of Wells, Snider, Lind and Hill and once the prospects are on pace to make impact in the majors only then should they sign top free agents to compliment the core. Speaking of prospects let's take a look at the remaining top guns in our farm system.

Zach Stewart: 23 year old RHP who has a fastball with movement that can touch 95-97 mph consistently with good control. He has the potential for a plus slider which it is still in the works. Scouts say he has a smooth delivery and a free and easy arm action. Potential? A possible firm and consistent closer for the Jays. Although the Jays project him to be a #3 starter.

J.P. Arencibia: 23 year old catcher drafted by the Jays in 2007. Tagged as an offensive catcher of the future for the Jays. Scouts do not doubt his pop, but what they do doubt is his defense behind the plate. His defense seems to be the only thing that is holding him back from the majors. Otherwise with his bat the Jays can actually have quite an amazing offensive catcher. Potential? .290 AVG, 25 hrs, 65-70 rbis.

Chad Jenkins: 21 year old RHP, drafted by the Jays in 2009. Live arm with a fastball that ranges from 90-94 mph comfortably with solid command. To compliment that fastball he has a very good changeup that can be nasty enough to confuse the heck out of batters. But his best pitch is his hard slider which is also considered his out pitch. Potential? 2nd or 3rd starter for the Jays with solid production.

So with all that said you should be able to understand that with the added baggage in the farm system for Doc it was a deal not half bad as it initially seemed. I know the Jays fans have grown impatient of seeing such a struggling team, but now that they are in a RIGHT direction, I say give 'em time. In the J.P. era there was no true, "pure" rebuilding effort, it was always done half heartedly with "some" attractive signings to fill the seats. So the phrase "Give 'em time" really had no validity. But now that we are actually doing it the right way only time will define us. I guarantee it. Go Jays Go.
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