The Toronto Blue Jays GM, J.P. Ricciardi has officially acknowledged that Roy Halladay is available for trades.
The Blue Jays' bridesmaid status in the AL East has forced Toronto's hand. They probably cannot keep Roy after his contract expires in 2010 because the Blue Jays cannot make the playoffs in the toughest division in baseball.
Roy Halladay does have the rest of this season and the next on his contract. It may seem like Toronto's front office is jumping the gun. However the sooner he gets traded, the more value Toronto will receive in return.
Halladay will have to be paid at least half of his contract this year—around $7 million—and then $16 million next year.
The major key to making any deal work is Halladay's no-trade clause. Apparently, Halladay has told J.P. that he would be open to a trade to the right team and situation.
I have have asked someone for a translation of that statement from Canadian to English, and it literally means that Halladay will only accept trades to a legitimate World Series contender.
The Jays most likely will not trade within the division unless they are completely blown away by an offer, taking the Yankees and Red Sox off the table. The Yankees and Red Sox probably would not be willing to give much in return anyways, since they could potentially just buy his services in 2010.
The Angels should make an inquiry, considering their injury issues at the front of their rotation, but it remains to be seen if they have the pieces necessary to manufacture a deal.
The Dodgers could also show some interest although early rumors of a trade with the Dodgers have included Kershaw or Billingsley as the foundation, two players the Dodgers would refuse to give up.
There are other teams in playoff contention that could be possible suitors, like the Giants and the Mets. However, Halladay probably would reject an offer to a team that is a question mark to make the playoffs and doesn't have all the pieces necessary for a title run.
This brings us to the Phillies, a team that has been openly pining for a front-of-the-rotation starter.
The Phillies have over the past couple years preferred to shy away from big trades, and have made moves for decent veterans that has worked well. Kyle Lohse in 2007, and Joe Blanton in 2008, both showed that the Phillies can get solid pitching without having to give up their key prospects.
These moves were all made by former GM Pat Gillick, and even though new GM Ruben Amaro is a Gillick disciple, he appears to be willing to give up the prospects necessary for a big-time player.
Money would not play a factor for the Phils, as they stand to drop $30 million off the payroll this summer with Myers, Eaton, and Geoff Jenkins become free agents.
Halladay would most likely love a move to Philadelphia, a team just off a World Series win, and in the National League. Yes Halladay would be moving from a pitcher's park to a hitter's, but Halladay is a ground-ball pitcher, and he would be facing easier competition.
He wouldn't have to be the de facto ace since Cole Hamels has already grown comfortable with the role in Philly. They could be 1A and 1B, in no particular order. Halladay would also enjoy interacting with Jamie Moyer. Halladay may even impress Jamie enough with his work ethic that Jamie would be willing to share the secret location to the fountain of youth.
Now the big questions: Do the Phillies have enough to make a trade with the Blue Jays, and would they be willing to give up several prospects? A trade may have to include a Phillies major leaguer, J.A. Happ, who has been pitching very well for the Phils. The Phils won't let a major leaguer go, since they are trying to contend for a title now.
This leaves the Blue Jays the oppurtunity to pick three to four prospects from the Phillies' farm system. The Phillies have plenty to offer, with only pitching prospect Kyle Drabek being untradeable.
Any combination of pitchers Carlos Carrasco or Antonio Bastardo, along with outfielders, Dominic Brown, Michael Taylor, and John Mayberry Jr., and catcher Lou Marson and shortstop/third basemen Jason Donald, should be offered.
Three to four prospects from that pool may be enough for Halladay, and all those prospects should be offered for him. It shouldn't be too much to stomach for Philly, because their window to win is now, and if Halladay doesn't perform up to expectations, the Phils can let him go and get two first-rounders for him in 2011.
Halladay is a stallion who could shine in Philadelphia. He is a star with workhorse qualities that can make back-to-back World Series titles a serious possibility in Philadelphia.