Monday, December 14, 2009
What's Up Doc? or: Halladay, Celebrate?
A post so nice that I had to name it twice! In a potential blockbuster deal, the Phillies are apparently very close to acquiring their original target from last year's trade deadline Roy "Doc" Halladay. Unfortunately, this trade his also means that Cliff Lee will be sent out of town. While I really loved Cliff Lee on the Phillies, I am beginning to think more and more that the Phillies' hand was forced and that they had to make this trade. Therefore, they might have had to give up a little more than they wanted to, but in the long run will be better off.
Ok, so here is how the supposed trade would break down:
Blue Jays get:
My first reaction to this trade was; "Wow, the Phillies are really giving up a lot." Thinking back to last year's trade deadline, the Phillies gave up 4 players from Pat's beloved Iron Pigs to acquire Cliff Lee. Now they are trading him and 3 of their best prospects (including Kyle Drabek, who was supposedly "untouchable" and was what caused the Halladay deadline deal to fall apart) to get Halladay? That is more than the Blue Jays wanted for Halladay back at the deadline! What gives? I'll tell you what gives, Cliff Lee's salary demands.
I think when the Phils traded for Lee and he helped them reach the World Series again this year, it was sort of just assumed that he would sign a contract extension with them. As Lee Corso would say; "Not so fast my friend." Apparently, in brief talks with Lee's agent, the Philly brass found out that he was looking for "C.C. Sabathia type money" As a matter of fact, as I write this Kruky is on ESPN saying that Cliff Lee turned down a long term offer from the Phils because he is intent on testing the free agent market. The Phillies may be a big market team, but they can't afford to get in a bidding war with teams like the Sox and the Yanks. They also can't afford to lose a guy like Cliff Lee and get nothing in return. Thus the trade.
The Phillies know what they are getting with Halladay, and I fully expect him to win at least 20 games this year. Moreover, this deal is conditional on Halladay signing a 3 or 4 year extension so he will be around for a while. I also like this guy Phillippe Aumont though. The only time I saw him play was in the WBC this Spring, but the 6'7" Aumont mowed down the likes of Kevin Youkilis, D Wright and Curtis Granderson with some serious heat. He could make the Phillies opening day roster, and possibly be the next closer if Lidge continues to struggle. I don't know much about the Gillies guy, but with the Phillies lineup pretty set for a while, I don't see him being a big piece to the puzzle. All in all I see this move as some the Phillies had to do, so while I will miss Cliff Lee, I'm not gonna complain at all about Roy Halladay taking his place.
As far as the other teams go, the Blue Jays also did what they had to do so they are winners. J.P. Ricciardi looked like a real moron at the trade deadline by demanding so much for Halladay, but their new G.M. got the soon to be departing Halladay traded away for a decent supply of players in return. From all accounts Kyle Drabek is going to be a stud too. The Mariners may appear to be winners as they now have a rotation of Felix Hernandez, Cliff Lee and Erik Bedard. However, they better do what they can to win next year, because I would guess that Cliff Lee won't be around for long. The Mariners may have mortgaged their future to win in the present. As Robin Williams would say "good luck." With the Angels clearly on the decline though, the division may be there for the taking. Short term win, long term loss for the M's.
The more and more I think about this deal, the happier I will be if it gets done. Ruben Amaro Jr. is really doing an amazing job as a GM for the Phillies. He realized that he can't allow his team to lose a great pitcher so he did what needed to be done to get Roy Halladay. Halladay apparently really wants to be in Philly, and their spring training stadium is about 10 minutes from his house in Florida. The Cliff Lee regime is apparently over, but now it is time to Halladay, celebrate. I plan on doing something like this.