Halladay leaving Toronto would be good news for Yanks

What the umpire saw
Jeter wants to stay at short, but should he?

The Blue Jays started the 2009 season as hot as can be. On May 12 they were 23-12, a game up on the Red Sox in the AL East and 6.5 ahead of the Yankees. While some thought they were for real, it looked more to me like a 2005 Orioles job. Lo and behold, almost two months later they’re 43-41, seven back of the Red Sox and six back of the Yanks. They’re not out of it, but it would take an incredible run to charge back in this powerhouse AL East.

What does this mean for the Jays? Ken Rosenthal thinks it means they’re ready to take offers for ace Roy Halladay. It’s not the first time we’ve heard Halladay speculation, but with a year and a half left on his deal the Jays will never find a bigger haul for him than they will this month. General Manager J.P. Ricciardi has said that the team’s best chance to win next year is with Halladay in the rotation, and that’s true. But is it their best long-term option?

What further complicates the situation is that the Jays owe gobs of money to Vernon Wells and Alex Rios, who are both underperforming, through 2014. The Jays just have to hope they produce, because there is little or no chance of trading either without eating a significant portion of the contract. Moving Halladay, who rightly would be the highest-paid Jay next year, could improve the team not only with prospects, but with a bit of financial flexibility that they could use to make another deal in the off-season.

There are almost no bad scenarios for the Yankees here. Rosenthal’s list contains only three American League teams: the Yanks themselves, the Red Sox, and the White Sox. Obviously, the Yanks don’t want to see Halladay starting at Fenway any time soon, but almost any other scenario, including acquiring him themselves, looks just fine.

What about acquiring him? Rosenthal notes that Ricciardi would deal within the division, though we all know there’s a premium there. Any package would probably have to start with Phil Hughes, and then include one of the Yanks’ precious few bats, likely one of the catchers. Would Hughes, Romine, and a third prospect, probably of the top-10 variety, be enough to land Halladay? Would the Yankees be wise to make such a move?

There’s no doubt that acquiring Halladay would leave the Yankees with the best rotation in baseball. In the short term, they’d be as well off as any other team, probably better off. In the long term they’d be giving up prospects, sure, but prospects can bust. It looks like Phil Hughes is finding his way, and it would probably suck to face him four or five times a year. But it wouldn’t be nearly as bad as facing Halladay that many times.

Chances are, Halladay stays put. Teams are more reluctant to part with prospects than ever, especially because of their economic value. The Blue Jays will request a ransom for Halladay, and rightly so, but other teams might not be so keen to part with young, cheap, controllable players to acquire an expensive one whose contract runs only through 2010. If there’s a deal to be made, though, I expect the Yanks will at least kick the tires.

What the umpire saw
Jeter wants to stay at short, but should he?
  • jsbrendog

    i dunno. peavy is great, not as great as halladay mind you, and look what the white sox gave up. it wasn’t the “haul” you’re speculating. i think that ricciardi might be surprised by the lowball offers. Plus look what minny took for teh johan. it boggles the mind.

    • gxpanos

      I just dont see the Jays being as desperate to unload Doc as the Twins/Padres were to unload their respective guys. I agree with Joe on this one.

      The Johan package was criminal, though. Still kind of ticks me off.

      • jsbrendog

        true those were moe desperation. but peavy is signed for multiple years, which usually increases the package regardless….halladay doesnt have a no trade right? and he’s not 10-and-5 so then i guess theoretically he can go anywhere.

        seriously, if I am kansas city, i find a way. any way

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

          Halladay has a full no-trade clause.

          • jsbrendog

            ok so then that def puts him in the peavy category where he has to approve a trade and therefore could limit the return a la the white sox offer for him.

  • jonathan

    Its to bad that Wang is hurt again, and not rebuilding his stock because a package with Wang,Z-Mac and Romine would more than likely be able to pull it off.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      As long as the Wanger’s on the DL, he can’t be traded. That said, his stock is so low right now, and the Yanks wouldn’t exactly be pulling the wool over anyone’s eyes if they tried to trade him. Everyone knows how bad he’s been lately.

  • Mac

    Not saying they would or should do it, but the Yanks could take Rios or Wells off their hands in a deal for Doc. Yanks need a corner ofer for 2010 – Wells would be an upgrade over what we have in CF now as well.

    Prob no other team could offer the Yanks that kind of salary relief – still can’t see them doing it or Riccardi trading to the Yanks.

    I think the Yanks let Doc go elsewhere – unless they get suckered into a Red Sox keep away scenario.

    Doc is probably at the very top of the list not only as a regular season guy but maybe the best guy in a big game.

    He’d look good in pinstripes, but at what cost?

    • AndrewYF

      No one is going to pay Vernon Wells $20 million for the next four years. No one, not even if it means they get Halladay for cheaper. One of the most unmovable AND worst contracts in the sport today.

      • jsbrendog

        can we give him some steroids? or pay someone to pavano-ize him so we can maybe get some insurance return? then I’d do it.

      • Mac

        Jays would likely eat alot of that, it all depends on what they really want, payroll relief or prospects – it will be interesting to see what happens.

    • http://deleted RollingWave

      Me think you have not checked Vernon Wells number in 3 years.

      If we do it easy and just look at WAR. Cabrera (1.0) + Gardner (2.0) >>>>>> Wells (-1.0)

      Wells is so bad, that he’s worth negative dollars RIGHT NOW.

      Let’s put it simpler, Replacing Melky with Wells is essentially replacing a above average player with a replacement level one yikes.

    • http://twitter.com/JamalG Jamal G.

      Wells would be an upgrade over what we have in CF now as well.

      Yeah, except that he wouldn’t. Not only is Vernon Wells the worst defensive outfielder in baseball, let alone center fielder, he is a crap-ass with the bat. Oh, and let us not forget that the combination of Brett Gardner and Melky Cabrera have put up the 10th best center-field wOBA in MLB (4th in AL) with a .352 mark.

      • http://deleted RollingWave

        and a crazy good UZR mark, the 2 combine for 3.0 WAR right now. that’s , which would in fact, as absurdly as that sound. be the second most CF combination in the majors. !!! (only Matt Kemp’s 3.7 WAR is slightly ahead of them. WOW)

        • http://deleted RollingWave

          though obviously that’s not fair, since both of them have done some time in the other positions as well.

          • Mac

            Melk’s #’s are actually the best as a CFer -.826 ops, but we’ve seen him wear down at the end of the year and Gardner isn’t posting a .400 babip right now either.

            I’m not saying the Yanks should get Wells or Rios, however, Wells as a bottom of the order hitter in the Yanks lineup might be more than ok.

            As for fielding stats, Pinto last year said Melk was the worst defensive CFer in the game – so who do we believe? FWIW, I think Melk and Gardner are more than adequate defensively, but neither is close to Paul Blair and they never will be.

  • George G.

    Please don’t move Hughes. Halliday is a walking injury. I’d much rather develop for a strong dominant future than dump money and prospects for the present. I’m done with the Kevin Browns of the world.

    • jsbrendog

      roy halladay>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Kevin brown

    • gxpanos

      Kevin Brown Doc is not. Doc is 7 years younger right now (32) than Brown was when the Yankees got him (39).

      • gxpanos

        That’s just age. Halladay has been dominant in the AL east, as well, and is just overall a much better pitcher.

    • Mac

      No guarantees on either Hughes or Joba becoming top of the rotation starters – and DOc isn’t Kevin Brown – still, I’d rather keep Hughes and Joba and go get a guy like Ted Lilly or Arroyo for this year (not that either is available).

      • gxpanos

        Well, Arroyo DOES win games…

        Maybe we could go after floppy-haired McLouth, too?

      • http://twitter.com/JamalG Jamal G.

        Saying Vernon Wells is an upgrade over anyone, and now advocating a trade for Bronson Arroyo? You’re on a real roll, huh?

        • Mac

          Look at what Arroyo does in the second half – try to be civil as well – I doubt you are Pat Gillick.

  • /guest’d

    Is it wrong to want Joba “I got a job” Chamberlain in that trade instead of Phil Hughes? Joba’s still more highly touted and i’d argue that putting him in the package saves us from having to ante up a better 3rd prospect (like McAllister).

    Joba, Romine,& Ivan Nova for Roy Halladay. i’d do that.

    – I believe the Mariners ownership will open the Wii purse to sign Felix Hernandez.

    • jsbrendog

      I believe the Mariners ownership will open the Wii purse to sign Felix Hernandez.


  • dave

    It might take a quantity plus quality thing – we’re probably looking at giving up 4-5 guys and they’re going to want some upside – the only guy i won’t discus in Jesus

    Hughes, Romine, De Leon, Nova, and Mcallister

  • Tony

    What are they really gaining with this kind of huge trade? 3-5 years at huge money to be in line w/ CC and AJ at the top of the rotation? That’s great, obviously, but I don’t think they’re addressing enough of a need to make that worth cleaning out the system.

    • V


      Young, cost-controlled players allow you to throw the big bucks at the free agents. Just sign him after 2010 if you want him that bad.

    • Mac

      It’s a tough call – Jeter is 35, the Yanks are getting nice offense from Sui and Damon in probably their last year, A-Rod 34 with his hip issue, Jorge 37, Mo 39 – the Yanks may decide the next year or two is their best chance to win another title.

      I don’t think that will be the case, but I’m sure Trost and Levine are concerned about next year’s ticket sales…

  • MattG

    Jackson, McAllister, Romine for Halladay and Wells.

    • zs190

      I might do that for Alex Rios, no way for Vernon Wells.

      • /guest’d

        Toronto made its bed with that Wells contract. Now they gotta live with it. Nobody’s taking on that contract in its entirety or at that length.

  • A.D.

    I don’t see the Yankees doing it, Halladay still needs to be paid after next year. So you’re talking:


    All on Mega deals, they would be over 100M in payroll alone. And else they’re giving up prospects for a year+ rental.

    The silver lining of the Sox getting him is that their young pitching will be shipped out.

    • AndrewYF

      They’re not really using their young pitching. Buchholz is turning 25 in August and has yet to have actual consistent major league success. Bowden is struggling in AAA and is a Jeff Suppan-type anyway.

      I’m all for Boston keeping their young pitching in the minors over actually improving their major league ballclub.

    • MattG

      You can add Jeter, Posada, and Mo to that list.

      • A.D.

        Yeah, but they at least have contracts expiring in the nearer term

  • http://deleted RollingWave

    I hope people realize how bad Wells is right now. he is NOT a upgrade over Melky Cabrera right now. he is infact, a massive downgrade, even BEFORE we consider the 20 million.

    • Mac

      His #’s are scary but he still managed to go 7-17 against the Yanks – look at his away stats as well.

      If the Jays want to move him, they eat at least 1/2 the contract – I’d rather take the chance on Rios for RF – the Yanks also need a guy who can curse the fans out…

    • Jake K.

      I think people are suggesting Wells be part of the deal because it would greatly lower Halladay’s price. At least I hope that’s why, because you’re right that Wells sucks. He would be a sunk cost from the get-go.

      • jsbrendog

        that was the initial reason i believe but it snowballed from there.

      • Chris

        I wonder if you could swing a 3 team deal, Doc and Wells and having the Jays take half of Well’s contract, the Yankees picking up 25 percent and then moving him to say the Mets to try and replenish what we would move for Doc. That would be worth it. That would be attractive to someone who could use a corner outfielder under contract for 5 mil.

    • MattG

      I was going to refute this, but then I looked up the numbers. I can’t believe how bad Wells’ UZR is. He is a terrible CFer–but he looks so good! How can my eyes deceive me so!

      He had a horrible ’07, and he’s having a horrible ’09. I still think he is a better hitter than Cabrera.

      • RollingWave

        maybe, but not 20 million better for sure. what’s frustrating about Wells is that he bounces between very good to horrific wildly year to year. both at the fplate and in the field.

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    I’d rather they keep the prospects. I would love to see another Yankee dynasty with all (well, mostly all) home grown products.

  • http://www.supertangas.com The man with 33 fingers

    They can have all of our prospects for Halladay.

    He is hands down the best pitcher in baseball, the relief he gives bullpens is unmatched by any in either league.

    If he is available, they should use all resources to go get him.

    • Tony

      Yeah, they can just go buy Holiday and have 6 guys make 140 mil, surrounded by 38 year olds and rookies.

  • crawdaddie

    The Jays would want Montero, no question about it. Romine is still in “A” ball. They want prospects that aren’t far away from the majors. Hughes is a definite and any pitcher in AA ball or above.

  • UWS

    Halladay is great now, but the dude is 32 and is going to command CC-type money after next year. To trade him within the division, Yanks are going to have to pay above and beyond a king’s ransom. Depleting the farm system for the privilege to sign a 33-34 year old guy with tons of mileage on his arm to a $200M contract? I’m going to say no, thank you.

    • UWS

      Sorry, $100M contract.

    • OmgZombies

      I think you said all that needs to be said. It won’t be the end of the world if boston get Halladay. They missed out on Tex, didn’t make a rash move and are doing fine.

  • adeel

    Is cash an option? Rather than take Wells huge contract and have to give him playing time, we could pay them like 10 million a year for two years plus holladay…. I figure if he was a free agent, he could easily get 25 mil a year and the Yankees would sign him at that price…. but to think that we would pay his 10 mil, plus give 10 mil to toronto in salary relief would never happen.

    Even if we gave money, we might have to throw in something, but not hughes or chamberlain i think.

    • adeel

      i always misspell his name… halladay.. sorry.

      • UNION YES.

        Yes Hughes or Chamberlain. This is Johan redux. Halladay has more value now than Johan did while still a Twinkie.


    It’s tempting to bid on Halladay, but I’m gonna say pass. The price is too steep. This club is aging and they’re not getting any younger. I’d rather pursue a starter through a 1 for 1 trade for a #2-3 starter. Maybe a Scott Baker type?

  • jsbrendog

    I would get involved in a 3 team deal in order to facilitate his deportation to the nl. Something like the weaver 3 team deal with us the tigers and a’s. (not comparing the quality of pitchers, just saying we oculd be a third wheel to help facilitate a deal with a team like the phils or another nl team who owuld want halladay but oesnt have all the goods)

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    I don’t touch it. If Ricciardi’s willing to deal Halladay within the division then there’s something he knows that we don’t.

    We’d be paying way too much for a starter on the wrong side of thirty.

    • MattG

      He knows his team isn’t winning anything in 2009 or 2010, and then Halladay’s contract is up and he’s got about a 50% chance of being in the AL East anyway. I wouldn’t read anything into that.

      • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

        I still wouldn’t touch him.

  • andrew

    this is all speculation and theres a 99% chance this does not happen. i doubt halladay goes anywhere, and in my opinion, riccardi will try to open the purse to keep halladay.

  • Chip

    If we could get Halladay without losing Hughes, Joba, or Montero I’d be for doing it. Problem is, the Jays really can’t accept anything less than one of those three.

    Also, if we had to get one of Wells and Rios, I’d take Rios in a heartbeat. He was actually very good in centerfield last year, maybe he could do the same for us? I mean if it’s Z-Mac, Romine and Nova you almost have to do it.

    • whozat

      that’s why it’ll never be that. If the Yankees could get Halladay for that package (or Halladay and Rios), the Sox would beat it and get him (them) instead.

    • MattG

      I don’t understand putting Rios and Wells into the same basket. Rios is a very good player, who has had an OK first half. There is still plenty of time for him to get his numbers up to his career averages. He is a very good OF, and his salary seems about right for the market. In short, he is no salary dump.

  • Thee4stringking

    I think the White Sox make perfect sense for Halladay.

    They’ve constantly been looking for an ace this season (Peavy and Oswalt both turned them down) and Buerhle and Danks make great middle of the rotation pitchers.

    I think they’d be a perfect fit for him IMO

    • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

      Are they willing to give up Gordon Beckham?

      • Thee4stringking

        I don’t think they’ll give up beckham, but they have other pieces in their farm to give up as well.

        They could easily sell them Aaron Poreda, Clayton Richard, and Chris Getz for him.

  • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

    Wells+Doc = The Ghost of Kei Igawa+Any AA player not named Jesus

    The money works pretty well there.

    We get to send At Least I Gotta Joba or Phranchise to AAA while the other fills in for Wang (prolly Phil-AAA), spot starts, multi-inning relief (my only fear is further strengthening the you-know-what argument if he does well…).

    Next year:

    hmm…six…so you can develop Phil more, use him as injury protection, trade one or two farm pitchers for a positional player without wetting your pants, etc.

    back to having great depth (yeah we might not sign Doc back, but then we’ll have the two youngins another two years older).

    upside: unlimited
    downside: Wells taking up that spot…can we send him to AAA? Is he better than Hinske? We get screwed somewhere on a 40 man spot, but the money isn’t as big of a deal as I think we’re making it out to be…

    • Observer283

      Kei Igawa and a AA prospect not named Jesus Montero for Roy Halladay and Vernon Wells.

      Kei Igawa.

      AA prospect who is not blue chip and years away from contributing (that’s what we have at AA other than Montero).

      Why would Riccardi even think about doing this. Perhaps I am missing the snark here. Wouldn’t this go down as one of the worst trades in baseball history? The Blue Jays would get nothing of value in return here other than getting Wells of their books. Plus, that gain is materially undermined by having to pay for Kei Igawa.

      This. Will. Not. Happen.

      • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals


  • MG

    as good as Halliday is I wouldn’t give up Hughes/Joba plus any of the top prospects for him. It’s a short term fix and a long term mistake. They would no doubt (assuming CC, AJ, and Doc all stay healthy) be the overwhelming favorite to win the AL and WS this year and next but who knows how many years it would set back player development? Plus, if any of the top 3 gets hurt you have a depleted farm system for replacement.

    I really believe the short term answer to the starting pitching issue is Aceves. He can flat out pitch, has a rubber arm, has shown he can be an effective starter, and has earned the spot. He reminds me so much of Ed Figueroa, who won 20 games twice in the 70’s, it’s just remarkable. Let him make a few starts, if he completely fails (highly unlikely) go after a starter at the deadline, they can be picked up cheaply as a 2 month rental. I’d like to also see Hughes in the rotation but they Yankees are adamant about keeping him in the ‘pen for the rest of the year so it isn’t going to happen. But, with Hughes and Coke both capable of getting out both lefties and righties and pitching multiple innings, it’s time to get away from the Larussa mentality of changing pitchers for each batter in front of Mo and just letting these guys pitch.

  • barry

    At this point I trade Joba not Hughes.

  • JobaWockeeZ

    I’d skip on Doc. Is pitching such a concern for us? Sure Wang is on the DL but still we have options on what to do and these options are much better than Sidney Ponson or Darrel Rasner. I don’t want the Yankees to give up good prospects for a great pitcher that we may not really need. If they are asking Jesus or Hughes/Joba then I pass.

  • MG

    I wouldn’t trade either Joba or Hughes, those kinds of trades have a way of coming back to haunt a team down the road. There is no way to tell which one of them will be better but they are both 23, way too early to give up on talent like that. Ricky Romero is pitching well for the Rays and is 25, let’s check back on the 2 of them in 2 years…

  • mryankee

    I cant see Riccardi trading Halladay in the division-He would be crucified by the fans who probably only watchthe Jays to see Halliday. Unless he is overwhelmed or unless Hlladay pulls a Randy Johnson and blocks any deal but to the Yankees I think the price will be to steep. Maybe if Burnett can get to Halladay and concince him to only agree to pitch in NY then we get him on the cheap.

    Howvere anyone who ay we have enough pitching is kidding themselves, we have the cowardly lion(JOBA afraid to throw hard) as our #3 pitcher and we have inconsistent and inured wang as our$4 starter and I wish it were 1996 Pettite. Would anyone feel confident in game three of ALCS if we get there JOBA-WANG PETTITE-Vs SOX. If anyone could be had I think Cliff Lee would be ideal lefty Cy young last year and put him on a team that scores runs and has good closer would be perfect #3

  • Kingjoe793

    hypothetically speaking does it matter if we give up montero , romine and some other prospect or add joba and someone knowing halladay is a very dominate pitcher and joe mauer is a free agent in a couple years

  • Tank Foster

    The reason I could see to trade for Halladay would be the gamble of trying to force a WS win this season–so much pitching talent that no team can touch you. The problem with this is that Halladay seems hurt right now, so you don’t know what you’re getting.

    Long term, I don’t like it. He’s on the wrong side of 30 and puts both financial and age pressure on the team. Our minor league strength is pitching now, so it’s almost cutting off your nose to spite your face by getting him.

    But if he were healthy, and dealing, and you wanted to “rent” him for 3 months and try to nail down the WS, maybe. If the prospect price isn’t too high.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    I don’t trade Phil Hughes for him, but I question Joba Chamberlain enough at this point to give him and A-Jax up for Halladay without even thinking about it. they can also have any non-Montero catcher in our system.

    • Dwnflfan

      It’s this kind of knee jerk, play for the now formula that got us in position to win no titles in the past 8 years.

      You have to build a core of young stars and surround them with veterans to have a run at a dynasty. The mid-90’s Yankees had Bernie, Jeter, Posada, Andy P & Mo. The panic mode crowd would’ve dealt Mo for Felix Fermin, (Gene Michael had to talk George out of it and let Jeter take over SS) or David Wells. The same crowd would’ve pulled the Bernie Williams for Jeff Blauser deal earlier. The results? Not 4 titles that’s for sure.

      We have two, young, potential #1 starters…let them develop!

      I wouldn’t mind Halladay for the right deal, (no Montero, Joba or Hughes). With him on board you could deal Andy P to a contender for the stretch run. I would let him walk after next season and pocket the draft picks rather than give him big money for his decline years.

      Rios would fit nicely into right or left, (I like him left due to range), but his decline in what should be his prime makes me wonder if his previous performance was “enhanced”. His BABIP is abnormally low so bad luck is probably a factor this year. Dude kills the Red Sox to the tune of a .955 OPS over his career.

      Next year the salary impact of Halladay & Rios would be more than made up for by the departure of Pettitte, Matsui & Damon.

  • j-man

    Just throwing out scenarios
    Roy Halladay for Romine, Hughes, Z-Mac, A-Jax
    Roy Halladay and Alex Rios for Romine, Hughes, Z-Mac, A-Jax, Melancon
    Roy Halladay and Vernon Wells for Z-Mac and Romine
    Vernon Wells contract is so bad, the Blue Jays would have to sacrifice serious talent. They probably would have to consider giving Halladay away for almost nothing.
    Vernon Wells
    2009:1.5 mil

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