Upon doing research, my answer is yes.
I did not weigh the pros and cons of losing Kyle Drabek, the linchpin on the part of the Phillies end of the deal. Nor did I look at Halladay's age, his last loss, or whether I thought the Phillies could win the National League East, then go through the playoffs to even reach the World Series.
Nope. I turned to what I usually depend my arguments in life. I turned to history.
The Cincinnati Reds were the last National League team to win back-to-back World Series titles in 1975-76. The Yankees were the last team to repeat, winning three straight World Series titles in 1998, 1999, and 2000. To base my argument I will look only at the Reds.
Following Cincinnati's 1975 World Series win, Tony Perez, Joe Morgan, Pete Rose, George Foster, and Ken Griffey all had better offensive years, while catcher Johnny Bench's average dropped from .283 to .234 and his power numbers dropped.
The Phillies could do the same thing, with Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Shane Victorino, and Jason Werth having better numbers, and Jimmy Rollins producing less.
The difference, I feel, was the Reds' pitching.
In 1975, Gary Nolan went 15-9; Jack Billingham, 15-10; Fred Norman, 12-4, Don Gullett, 15-4, Pat Darcy, 11-5; and Clay Kirby, 10-6. In 1975, Will McEnaney (15 saves) gave way to closer Rawly Eastwick, who had 22 saves.
Darcy only pitched 39 innings in 1976 and was replaced in the starting rotation by Santo Alcala, who was 11-4 in 1976. Clay Kirby was traded to the Montreal Expos over the winter of 1975, and was replaced in the rotation by rookie Pat Zachry.
Zachry did not go on to have a distinguished career, going 69-67 in a 10-year span, but in 1976 he posted a 14-7 record with a 2.74 ERA and 143 strikeouts in 204 innings. He tied with Butch Metzger for the National League Rookie of the Year honors.
His career sounds a lot like Rodrigo Lopez, who had a stellar debut for the Phillies, but was injured in his second start.
Nope. Brett Myers, Antonio Bastardo, then Lopez. Not enough to hang your hat on. Not even Joe Blanton worthy in terms of combined quality starts. Pedro Martinez does not have enough left in the tank.
Roy Halladay is this year's Pat Zachry for the Phillies. He is 10-3 this season with a 2.85 ERA. He went 20-11 with a 2.78 ERA in 2008, and in 12 seasons, he is 141-69 with a 3.47 ERA.
Winning the World Series two times in a row for a team not named the New York Yankees is difficult.
Something special has to happen.
His name is Roy Halladay.
As I heard on WIP today, Kyle Drabek may become a Cy Young award winner, but he won't likely do it until after 2011, when many of the Phillies' big guns' contracts are up.
Time to pull the trigger and bring home another World Series title...or two.