The highly anticipated Roy Hallday and for that matter Toronto Blue Jay’s sweepstakes has so far been very interesting, with rampant rumors and speculation a bound, but nothing substantial has happened in Toronto just quite yet. My gut instinct is that J.P. Ricciardi finally realizes that while the organization has been injected with talent, his current roster just isn’t going to ever leap frog the Yankees, Red Sox’s or the Rays in the East, and being a 4th place team this year and every year after for the next decade isn’t going to get him anywhere. He realizes that it is only going to hurt his draft picks, leaving the team in a state of mediocre purgatory. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and if the team was in almost any other division in the league they could have easily been to the playoffs the last 5 years. But that isn’t the case, and the clock is ticking on Halladay’s playing days in Canada. The time is now to cash in on Halladay‘s trade value by restocking the farm system, completely rebuilding and starting over. Every day that he remains a Blue Jay, his trade value diminishes. The best offer the Blue Jays have found so far this year has come from the Phillies, who have been more than generous by offering their young stud Kyle Drabek, who is almost ready for the big leagues. Ricciardi is playing hard ball, waiting to see if anyone else will up the ante, but I don’t believe anyone will and the Phillies will inevitably force his hand, landing Halladay in Philly, and instantly solidifying the Phillies a spot in the NLCS alongside the Dodgers.
I realize that things need to change and so does J.P. Ricciardi. The problem for the Blue Jays, and the reason he has yet to be traded is that teams are not willing to move anything close to Halladay’s perceived value in Toronto. Word on the street is that the Blue Jays are asking for a kings ransom. For example, initial proposals with the Yankees and Dodgers include requests for franchise players like Phillip Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Matt Kemp, and Johnathan Broxton. Everyone has a different take on whether it would be a beneficial move. There are guys like Steve Phillips who think it would be a good idea for nearly every team to make the move. Logic like his sure helps to explain how during his tenure he ruined the Mets by stacking up on aging and expensive vets. Despite taking them to subway series in 2000, the Mets were in complete shambles after he left, and they still have never really developed any good young pitching since that point.
Why would either team trade one of these players, or even think about packaging any of these players for a year and a half rental? I’m sorry, I love Halladay and he is a legit ace that can do a lot of great things for a team, but he is not worth a single one of those players. Let’s all try to remember that this is the same guy who has had been plagued by a bunch of small arm injuries throughout his career, and has logged an insane amount of innings along the way. I would completely change my position on this matter if he were signed long term, but again that is not the case, and until then I’d rather take my shot with an unproven commodity like a Kershaw, Hughes, Chamberlain, or Billingsley and ride the perpetual up’s and down’s associated with young pitching, than trade the world for a one and a half year rental who will end up walking out on us, leaving us empty handed with only a compensation sandwich pick to show for our once franchise player. The Blue Jay’s are hoping to get lucky, have a team cave in to their requests, hit the jackpot on a few draft picks, instantly turning the franchise around, saving baseball in Canada. Unfortunately in my opinion that is merely just wishful thinking, but more power to them if they can find a team that will yield to their requests and cough up the young proven players they desire.
Taking into consideration the variables of the deal, I would be very cautious to ship out any young, developed, or proven MLB players. I live in L.A. and follow the Dodgers and Mannywood everyday and I am honestly praying that we don’t make the mistake of succumbing to the pressure of adding Roy’s big name, if it will cost us Clayton, Billingsley, Kemp or even our closer Broxton. If the Jays are asking for any of the home grown talent to be included, I’d have to respectfully decline any deal.
A guy like Kershaw is on the up, and has the physical makeup to dominate for years. He is an absolute beast, with an insane curveball. He has really come into his own the last few months, just check out his last 10 or so starts and his wicked k/9 innings. He’s never had any injuries, not to mention he is a lefty, which is something all teams covet. Giving up a cheap stud like Kershaw who has yet to even hit arbitration is just too much even in a straight up swap. In my opinion trading any currently established core players such as Kershaw, Billinglsey, Kemp, or Broxton whom all have the potential to be just as good, if not better than Halladay just doesn’t make any financial or baseball sense for the Dodgers, or anyone for that matter.
By: Morgan Spokny
Scouting The Sports Contributor
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