Pondering the untouchables


Yesterday’s news concerning the Blue Jays’ willingness to trade Roy Halladay sparked a fire storm of conversation among baseball fans around the nation. With that announcement, Halladay became the most sought-after July name, and early indications are that he would waive his no-trade clause for New York, Philadelphia or Boston. My money is on Halladay’s landing in Philadelphia, but we can’t count out the Yankees.

Yesterday, in writing about the potential for a trade, Joe mostly summed up my take on it:

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.

I’d add a caveat: Considering their respective ages, Phil Hughes could be a thorn in opponents’ sides longer than Halladay may be. Furthermore, as many have pointed out over the last 24 hours, if Brian Cashman opted 18 months ago to avoid sending Hughes and others to the Twins for a younger Johan Santana also with one year left on his contract, why would he do the same with Halladay? (Santana, by the way, has a 5.12 ERA over his last 10 starts with some bad peripherals. Meanwhile, Fangraphs posits that J.P. Ricciardi will not only ask for the sky for Halladay but deserves it as well. Roy is just that good.)

While we’ll be hearing a lot about Halladay and other potential trade targets over the next few months, I noticed an interesting thread in the comments from Yankee fans who were discussing potential deals yesterday. In light of a few bad starts and some thoughtless comments to the media, Joba Chamberlain isn’t as untouchable in the eyes of the fans as he once was. That’s an odd and confounding sea change in fan opinion, and I’m willing to discount it as the frustrations of a fan base expecting their 23-year-old stud to be lights out right away.

Anyway, these comments and the general state of trade rumors made me ponder the question of untouchables. As fans, we overvalue our prospects, but who among the Yankee farm hands is truly untouchable? Jesus Montero fronts that list. In two levels this year and at just 19 years of age, he is hitting .336/.391/.556. A young hitter who is, for now, a catcher such as Montero doesn’t come around that often, and the Yanks should hold on to that one.

Beyond Montero, I would also add Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes to that list. While both are clearly works in progress, they have shown the ability at a young age to get hitters out by way of the K. Hughes had shown his potential pitching out of the pen this year, and we know what Joba, when 100 percent healthy and on, can do with his high-90s fastball. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Yankees stopped developing young cost-controlled pitching to complement their free agent signings. With Joba and Phil, they can do just that.

Beyond that, though, anyone is fair game. The Austins — Romine and Jackson — both have a lot of potential, but both feature some red flags as well. Romine’s on-base percentage is just .316 at A+, and Jackson is striking out a lot. Keith Law, in particular, has accused fans of over-projecting A-Jax. For the right package, I would trade either. Other prospects are certainly movable too.

In the end, this boils down the simple reality that the Yankees must know when to trade from a strength. They have catching depth, and they have pitching depth in their farm system right now. Both of those are commodities, and either could land the Yanks a big fish. The next 23 days will be as interesting as they always are, and the Yanks should make some splashes. We’ll suffer through some separation anxiety, but with the right moves, it should be well worth it.

Categories : Musings


  1. Chip says:

    I couldn’t possibly agree more. Not only is there some small talk about maybe Joba not being untouchable, over at NoMaas they have a poll of who Yankee fans would be willing to trade.

    Right now the easiest to give up with A-Jax followed by Chamberlain with Hughes and Montero pretty close to each other as the most protected. Seriously, how quickly can public opinion change on a guy? Chamberlain has had some decent success (for his age) thus far as a starter while having a ton of success earlier in his career as a reliever at the big league level. Hughes is starting to show success as a reliever but hasn’t done anything well thus far in his starts yet fans suddenly want us to keep Hughes? I don’t think we should trade either of them but I was shocked to see that.

    • Double-J says:

      I’m guessing the problem is that B-Jobbers have put some doubt in the Joba/Starter camp, largely because he hasn’t been lights out as he was in the ‘pen. Because he’s teh suck!!!1!1111!1 as a starter (he’s not a starting pitchaaah!!!), and the Yankees aren’t prepping him as the penultimate closer, he must be useless to this team.

    • Jamal G. says:

      I found that poll at NoMaas quite amusing, actually. I remember during the of-season I got into a little debate with a few of the posters over whether they would include Joba Chamberlain in a hypothetical deal for Hanley Ramirez (I was – and still am – a major proponent of that), and I appeared to be the lone pro-voice.

      Now, just 8-9 months later, Chamberlain has become the player most readers of that blog feel should go in a deal for a 32-year-old starting pitcher with just a year-and-a-half left on his contract after Austin Jackson.

    • Mike HC says:

      Hughes throws faster than Joba right now. It is that simple.

      • Colombo says:

        Not necessarily…Hughes is throwing faster because he’s working 1-2 innings. You throw harder out of the bullpen than you do as a starter. For an example, please see Chamberlain, Joba.

        • Cano wears the GIDP crown. says:


          • Colombo says:

            Really? Explain the negativity. You throw harder out of the bullpen because you can ramp up the energy for a short amount of time rather than conserving for 6-7 innings. Velocity questions this year aside, he has never, as a starter, sat at 99-100 like he did as a reliever.

            The comment I was replying to stated that it was a simple case of Hughes throwing herder than Joba right now, when it is not that simple because they are not in the same situation.

          • andrew says:

            I’ll give your -1 a -50

  2. Double-J says:

    Really great article, guys. One thing to keep in mind about the Santana non-deal in comparison with Halladay is that Doc Halladay has pitched in the AL East, arguably the toughest division in baseball, for his entire career, while Santana was in the AL Central and now in the NL East (not trying to discount Santana; my point is merely that Halladay’s divisional opponents are arguably better than Santana’s are/were). I’d be interested to see whom folks would consider the better pitcher right now: Halladay or Santana?

    • Kiersten says:

      Also, in regards to comparing the Santana situation to that of Halladay, this is happening in the middle of a season where the Yankees have a pretty good shot at making it to the World Series. Halladay gives them that extra push to all but guarantee they get there. Yes, the Yanks missed out on the postseason last year, but I honestly don’t believe that having Santana instead of Hughes and Cano would have made the difference. After watching this team for half a season, it’s clear that Halladay would make a difference. The future is important, and I love Hughes and Joba, but we’re the Yankees and we should want to win now. What would you rather have: the Yankees making the playoffs for the next 5 years straight never winning that coveted #27, or winning it this year at the risk of maybe missing the playoffs a couple of times in a few years?

      Postseason rotation: CC, Doc, Burnett, Pettitte. Think about that.

      • UWS says:

        the Yankees making the playoffs for the next 5 years straight never winning that coveted #27, or winning it this year at the risk of maybe missing the playoffs a couple of times in a few years?

        #1, hands down. When you get to the playoffs, anything can happen.

        • Kiersten says:

          Like losing, which the Yankees did 8 years in a row. It’s a matter of opinion of course, but I want a championship. Period.

          • Jamal G. says:

            I’m sorry, but I’d rather take my chances with this offense and CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett fronting a postseason rotation than sacrificing young, high-ceiling, cost-controlled players and top, young prospects for a 32-year-old starting pitcher who only has nine months remaining on his contract.

            This 2009 Yankees team has a good a shot as any team in Major League Baseball right now. Yes, I realize hat Doc Halladay would improve the already stellar chance the Yankees currently have, but not enough to sacrifice a very huge portion of the team’s future.

          • rbizzler says:

            The only problem with your logic is that acquiring Doc in no way guarantees that the Yanks win anything this year. It would seem that they would be poised to make a strong push in the playoffs, but there is no way to accurately predict this. In mortgaging the future by making a trade that gives up a ton of talent, you may, in actuality, lessen the likelihood of the elusive #27.

            • Kiersten says:

              Well yeah, nothing’s a guarantee obviously, but I think adding Halladay greatly increases our chances. I’m not saying they should give up anyone to get him, but if they could get him for Hughes/Joba and 2-3 additional prospects, I think they should. I highly doubt he winds up with the Yanks anyway, but I’ve been dying to see that man in pinstripes for years.

              • rbizzler says:

                I think that we can all agree that Doc sans the scraggly beard would be an imposing figure in pinstripes.

                I just think that the cost, plus the tax that will be applied for moving him within the division, will be prohibitive. Especially if Montero is the sticking point for the Jays.

      • JGS says:

        actually, it would be Doc, CC, AJ, Pettitte

      • What would you rather have: the Yankees making the playoffs for the next 5 years straight never winning that coveted #27, or winning it this year at the risk of maybe missing the playoffs a couple of times in a few years?

        False dichotomy FTW!

      • Ed says:

        What would you rather have: the Yankees making the playoffs for the next 5 years straight never winning that coveted #27, or winning it this year at the risk of maybe missing the playoffs a couple of times in a few years?

        Of course, trading away several top young players for an older player demanding a massive contract and still not winning #27 would really suck.

  3. thurdonpaul says:

    i dont want halladay, at least not at the expense of hughes or joba, i dont think we need him that bad, if the red sux got him we could enjoy beating him as a sux, if he becomes a free agent ,thats a different story

  4. Mattingly's Love Child says:

    I think the only untouchables have to be Joba/Hughes/Monstero (copyright Rebecca Optimus Prime 2009).

    Anyone else should be fair game for a big time player, such as Halladay. But I don’t think the Jays make any deal with the Yankees if none of the Big 3 are in the conversation. They don’t have to trade Halladay, it’s just something they’re looking at, therefore, the price will be higher than if they couldn’t afford to keep him. I think the Mets and the Phillies are the 2 teams that need him the most. And neither have much in the farm that the Blue Jays would find satisfactory as fair trade for Halladay.

  5. Zach says:

    It’s going to take one of Hughes or Joba to get Halladay, plus others.

  6. JGS says:

    I would say anyone is movable for the right price except Montero. Posada is going to be 38 in a month and while Cervelli has hit better than anyone expected, I don’t think he has the bat to ever be anything more than a Jose Molina caliber backup catcher. He will have a long major league career, but having a primary catcher who can hit when there will soon be a large need for one is too much to give up.

    The other thing is, I’m not sure Halladay is the right price. He is either the same age or one year younger than Pedro was when the Red Sox let him go, and the deal the Mets gave him was awful. the Sox had to give up Hanley Ramirez to get Josh Beckett, and that was worth it…because Beckett was only 26 at the time. Had Beckett been 32 they wouldn’t have made that deal.

    I also don’t think Ricciardi has any intention of actually dealing Halladay within the division, but getting the Yankees and Red Sox involved drives up the price for everyone else

    • Thomas says:

      Well, Halladay and Pedro are very different cases. All of Pedro’s numbers were trending down, highest ERA of career, K/9 had been dropping, and H/9, HR/9, and BB/9 were all rising to some of the highest levels of his career.

      Halladay’s ERA, H/9, and HR/9 are constant with the past couple of seasons (minus 2007 ERA aberration). In fact Halladay’s K/9, BB/9, and WHIP have improved in 2008/2009 compared to earlier in his career.

      This isn’t to say Halladay won’t decline and we should trade for him immediately, it just appears he should stay in his peak throughout this deal and be a very effective pitcher for a few more season, whereas it was clear Pedro was declining and probably would have bad years in his new 4 year deal.

    • Ed says:

      At the time Pedro left Boston, he was clearly declining. He was also pitching for several years with a torn rotator cuff, which would eventually need to be repaired. The odds of returning to form after rotator cuff surgery are much lower than other surgeries. Pedro was sliding down a gentle slope, which was leading to a cliff…

      Halladay doesn’t have any of those issues. No concerns with his arm, and no decline in his stats.

  7. Montero for me is the real untouchable, my love affair with him aside.

    It’s been ages since we’ve had a legit power bat like this in our system, and what he’s doing at 19 in AA is kind of insane, even with the recent slump.

    I don’t think anyone that hasn’t made the jump to AA can really be untouchable since it’s just too far to go to know if they can make the jump.

    Right now, I’d deal Joba over Hughes but one month of Joba pitching well and Hughes pitching poorly could change all that.

    • Reggie C. says:

      your last point explains the outcome of NoMass’s poll. Joba’s rough stretch stands out more with Hughes crushing 3 hitters a game every 5 days and then calling it a day. Furthermore, Hughes has demonstrated velocity only rumoured about years ago.

      • Zach says:

        “Furthermore, Hughes has demonstrated velocity only rumoured about years ago.”

        I cant wait til Hughes goes back to the rotation and everyone goes, WHERE’D HIS VELOCITY GO!?! INJURY! MECHANICS!

    • CountryClub says:

      I agree. Jesus would be the only true untouchable for me.

      I didnt want to give up the farm for Johan because I didnt think it would have helped much for the immediate future. But now that the Yanks have added CC and Tex, adding a guy like Halladay would be terrific. I think they can win this year without him. But add him to the mix and they’d be the odds on favorite for this year and next year. Plus, Jeter, Arod and Jorge are at the age where the Yanks are in win now mode.

      I never really had a preference between Joba and Hughes. They both have great stuff and I hoped they’d be with the Yanks for the next decade. And I still hope that’s the case. That being said, if they have to give up one of them, I’d rather keep Hughes. I agree that Joba has the more electric stuff (when he’s on), but I think Hughes will ultimately end up being the better pitcher over the long haul.

  8. Reggie C. says:

    Working with Ben’s no-trade list, i’m pretty sure the RS and a couple other teams could beat that offer in terms of prospect quality. It wouldn’t be winning bid, and so it’d be one that Riccardi wouldn’t accept.

    I dont think a package of two B+ prospects (Jackson & McAllister) and a two B/B- prospects (Nova, WLDR, Bleich, Banuelos) is gonna do it.

    IF there’s no Montero, Joba, or Hughes, then could Riccardi ask for Robbie Cano?

    • jsbrendog says:

      he’s got aaron hill.

      • Thomas says:

        Not saying they would, but the Jays might add Cano thinking of either moving him to SS, since they have no real starting SS.

        • Chip says:

          If Cano could play SS, he would be

          • Thomas says:

            Not gonna lie, I was originally going to say Cano could be moved to either SS or 3B with him moving to 3rd more in mind (since many scout think he should be at 3B). Then, I realized Rolen was signed through 2010, not 2009 and thus, one would need to be traded eventually. I deleted the 3B portion and just posted the other portion anyways.

            Also, if Cano could play SS (which I doubt he could, since he didn’t in the minors), he still wouldn’t be playing SS in the majors, because Jeter/the manager would require him to switch positions like Soriano and A-Rod did.

            • Thomas says:

              Also to clarify, I was thinking Hill can play short, which he has done, just not recently. I was thinking Cano moving either to 3B (not happening with Rolen signed through 2010) or Hill moving to SS with Cano staying at 2B. But this much position switching is unlikely.

      • Reggie C. says:

        Baaaaaaaaaad mistake on my part. i just checked out hill’s stats. damn. Riccardi has no need for Cano.

        So simply put, Cash could only make a prospect-only offer. Without any of Ben’s no-trade 3 included, its unrealistic.

        • Reggie C. says:

          Good point Thomas.

          Aaron Hill has played SS before at the ML level. Played it bad though and moved to 2B. Riccardi would need to have faith in Hill that he could end up playing SS at least as well as DJ has.

  9. Beyond Montero, I would also add Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes to that list.

    I’ll add Cano to the list as well. Because trust me, his name will come up in these harebrained schemes in no time. Those are my four untouchables for Halladay.

    Does that mean I think that Cano is better than Halladay? No, not at all. Cano has his shortcomings. But, due to his age, position, long term importance to the team, and the long-term outlooks at starting pitcher and middle infielder, I think it’s unwise to create a massive hole at 2B just to get another frontline starter.

  10. A.D. says:

    Cashman said before he doesn’t want to pay in both prospects & money, which is exactly what Halladay is. He’s owed ~15M next year, and then will want a mega-bucks contract to stick around.

    The Yankees goal lately has been to get younger, trading the top of the farm for a 30+ year old pitcher isn’t going to do that, and will cause them to spend even more money than Halladay by paying various older free agents to come play in NY instead of those positions being filled by younger prospects.

    Yankees are in the deal talks if either the price isn’t what Riccardi & co make it out to be or just to drive up the cost/make sure the Sox don’t get Halladay.

    Sure they could trade Hughes, AJAX, and Montero and none of those guys could end up being much more than average major leaguers, but if one pans out to full potential, then they’re likely more valuable to the organization, over their career than Halladay will be for the rest of his.

  11. Ed says:

    Trading Joba or Hughes would be a panic move by the front office. Not trading them for Johan was a message that the team was willing to work through their ups and downs to reap the benefits of their potential and their low cost years. Trading them now means they lived through the growing pains but don’t get the rewards of it.

    Considering Montero is already destroying AA after barely any adjustment time, he’s probably going to be one hell of a trade chip in a year or two. While I’d prefer not to trade him, I realize he may not have a position on the team if he can’t stick at catcher (who knows if he can handle the outfield). But once he gets on the verge of a promotion to the majors, his value will go up a ton. It probably makes more sense to wait on trading him.

    A-Jax, Romine, Z-Mac, Melancon, etc – these guys are good, but not the types you build a team around. No hesitation to trade them for Halladay, but they probably aren’t enough to get the Jays to bite.

    • MattG says:

      Funny thing about predicting the value of a minor leaguer. I think Montero might never have more value than he has right now. You would’ve said the same thing about Jackson last year, and you would’ve been wrong.

      • Ed says:

        Why would I have said the same about Jackson? Jackson was always a tools guy who could be great if he put it all together. He never was great, he just had enough raw athletic ability that he had the chance to turn into something great. It was always about the potential with him.

        Montero’s flaw is his long term position, but his bat is good enough that he’d still be worth a lot as just a DH. There’s always a chance that he just completely falls off a cliff, but it’s a much lower risk than a guy like Jackson is.

        • MattG says:

          Because, you said that as they get closer to the majors, their value increases, thus you would have said the same about Jackson (who had appeared to have put it all together very, very nicely). I don’t see where you qualified that statement with regards to their tools at all.

          But even if you did, Montero right now is a catcher. By this time next year, he might be a man with no position–ostensibly, Jack Cust. Think that might translate to a hit in value?

          • By this time next year, he might be a man with no position–ostensibly, Jack Cust.

            I’m sorry, no. There’s virtually no chance of that happening at all, unless he gets injured. Montero is 19 and catching in the minors. He’s 19.

            He’d be given a shot at 1B and LF way before he’s moved to DH. And even those moves won’t happen for quite some time. There’s basically no chance he becomes “a hitter without a position” for at least 3-4 years. He’ll be an established big leaguer before he’s permanently moved to DH, if he’s ever moved there at all.

          • Ed says:

            Because, you said that as they get closer to the majors, their value increases, thus you would have said the same about Jackson (who had appeared to have put it all together very, very nicely). I don’t see where you qualified that statement with regards to their tools at all.

            My original statement (smack in a paragraph exclusively about Montero) was “But once he gets on the verge of a promotion to the majors, his value will go up a ton.” It was very clearly about Montero specifically, nothing generic about it.

            Tommie’s comment is dead on in response to the rest of your comment.

            • MattG says:

              I know you were talking about Montero, and saying you can determine his value will increase a ton as he gets closer to the majors.

              But his value can go down.

              Tabata would be another example. From high A to AA, Tabata lost his superstar shine. And in his case, it was mental (supposedly). You do not know Montero’s value will increase. There is no way to know, and being that his value is phenomenally high right now, simple statistics would tell us his value is likely to decrease–be it injury, defensive deficiency, or something completely unrelated to baseball.

              • Chip says:

                Tabata’s power was all theoretical though. Everyone figured he’d start hitting for power eventually but it still hasn’t really shown up.

                Tabata’s home runs in his entire age 19 season = 8
                Montero’s home runs so far this season = 13

                Keep in mind, he has a few more months to pad that lead

              • Ed says:

                Obviously there’s a chance his value goes down. That’s why he’s a prospect, not “the next big thing”. That much goes without saying.

                With that in mind, he’s already at AA and seems to be handling the level very well (small sample…). Once players make it that far, their odds of panning out are much higher. And he’s a guy that’s refining his skills, not one who’s still developing them like A-Jax (no need to touch on the defense again here).

                Basically, yeah, he’s a risk like all other young players, but he’s in a much lower risk class than most.

    • Reggie C. says:

      Lets give Montero more than a terrific week before saying that the kid’s “destroying AA”.

  12. Mike HC says:

    A lot depends on whether Boston would be going hard after Holliday. If the Phillies are the front runners, I would hope the Yanks don’t trade their young stars and wait for 2010 if they want Holliday. If Boston is the odds on favorite, then it might be worth it for the Yanks to trade for Holliday in order to keep him away from Boston.

    • jsbrendog says:

      holliday = outfielder for A’s

      Halladay = pitcher for jays


    • If Boston is the odds on favorite, then it might be worth it for the Yanks to trade for Halladay in order to keep him away from Boston.

      No, it wouldn’t.

      • Mike HC says:

        Beckett, Lester and Halliday for the rest of this year and next. I wish the Yanks and the rest of baseball best of luck with that starting staff in the playoffs. Letting Halliday go to the Sox would terrible, and worse than losing Hughes, and a guy in Double A who may or may not be able to catch.

        • Tampa Yankee says:

          What the Red Sox do or might do should in no way have any influence on what the Yanks do. That’s just a dumb way to run your team.

          • JobaWockeeZ says:

            Further more I also do not see the Red Sox trading for Halladay. It will require Clay Bucholz and Bowden and apparently Boston is in love with those prospects. They’d rather use them for a big time catcher instead of another big pitcher. But if they want to deplete their farm system for Doc well they can go right ahead but I doubt it.

          • Mike HC says:

            No, it is not a dumb way to run your team. It would be dumb if the Yanks didnt take the Sox moves into account. They are our direct competition. Hurting the Sox directly helps the Yanks. It is not like both teams can win the division and/or championship every year. If the Sox get Halladay, it really won’t matter what the Yanks do for this year and next. We will not be better than them. If the Yanks want to concede that and look 3-5 years in the future, then fine. But allowing the Sox to grab Halladay will be awful.

        • H-A-L-L-A-D-A-Y. There is no “I” and no “O” in his name.

          That said, no. If Boston wants to trade their prospects for 32 year old Roy Halladay it will be suboptimal, but no, we shouldn’t overpay in prospects just to keep him away from Boston.

          Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain will probably not be as good as Roy Halladay. However, they’ll both be excellent, top-flight starting pitchers and they’re healthier and cheaper, and 10 and 9 years younger, respectively.

          • Mike HC says:

            sorry, but I just disagree. I would not want to trade our top guys either, and I hope the Sox do not go after hAllAdAy, but if they did, then the next two years will not be very much fun. I think you guys are seriously underestimating Halladay and overestimating Hughes/Joba/Montero etc…

            • Ed says:

              You’re underestimating the effect of adding another long term, top dollar contract to the team at the same time you remove quality, low cost, young players.

              (Obviously assuming the objective in trading for Halladay is to sign him long term, otherwise, the price seems even more absurd)

              Also, the team will need 1-2 outfielders next year and a catcher not too far off. Keeping Hughes/Joba/Montero and trading other prospects for position players may improve the team more than trading the farm for Halladay.

            • I think you guys are seriously underestimating Halladay and overestimating Hughes/Joba/Montero etc…

              And you’re seriously underestimating the difference between age 32 and 22/23 and overestimating the difference between the next two years and the 8 years after that.

        • Chip says:

          Beckett, Lester and Halladay is a very beatable rotation. I’m not saying that it wouldn’t be pretty damn good but it’s not like they’d be the 2003 Yankees. For one, any of those three could get hurt. Secondly, Lester has a career WHIP of nearly 1.4 so don’t get me started on how his “aceness” has been overblown by ESPN. Kid had one pretty decent season last year and suddenly he’s a top 10 pitcher? No way.

          If either Joba, Wang or Hughes can pitch the way they’re capable, I’m comfortable putting our rotation up against theirs any day. Not only that but by spending all that money on pitching, they’re killing their long-term options for offense which is really the problem they’re having this season.

          • Mike HC says:

            If a top three of Beckett, Halladay and Lester is “very beatable,” then every other rotation in baseball flat out sucks. Also, if don’t think that Lester is very good, not necessarily top ten, then I’m not sure what you are watching. It is one thing to be a Yankee fan, but it is another to just think all of the Sox are overrated. That is a very good team which would become unbeatable with Halladay in my opinion.

            • The Fallen Phoenix says:

              The Cleveland Indians proved to be very beatable with Sabathia and Carmona, which was probably as good a 1-2 punch in the playoffs we’ve seen since Johnson and Schilling in 2001.

              Oh, and if Maddux/Smoltz/Glavine could be beat (and let’s not fool ourselves, Maddux/Smoltz/Glavine in their primes are better than Beckett/Halladay/Lester), I’m sure some teams could figure out how to beat Beckett/Halladay/Lester.

            • Chip says:

              Lincecum, Webb, Halladay, Beckett, Cain, Greinke, Lee, Sabbathia, Peavy, Oswalt, Lackey, Billingsley, Verlander, Josh Johnson and Santana are names I can come up with off the top of my head that are better than Lester. You could make an argument for many more I believe. So…….Lester is not a top 10 pitcher unless you can convince me he’s better than 5 of those guys.

          • AndrewYF says:

            Those three would be better than any top 3 in the 2003 Yankees rotation.

            However, the kicker is that the Yankees had 4 top-of-the-line pitchers in their rotation that year. Other than the White Sox’s everyone-has-a-career-year 2005 rotation, the majors hasn’t seen a better rotation since.

            And yet, they didn’t win the WS.

            • Chip says:

              2003 first half
              Mussina – 3.26 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 5.76 SO/BB
              Clemens – 3.68, 1.17, 3.66
              Wells – 3.76, 1.16, 10.67

              2009 first half
              Beckett – 3.62, 1.21, 2.94
              Halladay – 2.79, 1.09, 5.76
              Lester – 4.16, 1.33, 3.73

              Yankees in 2003 > Red Sox theoretical rotation by a LOT

              • andrew says:

                Yankees in 2003 > Red Sox theoretical rotation by a LOT
                How so? The Yankees may have had better peripherals.. but when it comes down to it, they gave up pretty much the same amount of runs, which is all that matters at the end of the day. If anything, it’s a toss up.

        • The Fallen Phoenix says:

          CC, Burnett, Joba, and Hughes for the next four years.

          And Joba and Hughes should keep getting better as each of those years go by. Beckett and Halliday can only get worse from here.

  13. pollo says:


    Montero, Cano, Hughes, Pettitte.

    I’ll take a Rios salary dump. (No to Wells) and give you AJax + Romine+ McAllister in the process.

    Take it or leave Riccardi!

    Otherwise, Doc can have fun with Philly all he wants.

  14. Drew says:

    The question is, would you rather go get Halladay or HanRam?
    They’d probably include similar packages.

    • MattG says:

      Halladay is a free agent after 2010. Hanley Ramirez will cost considerably more, and is probably not available at any price.

      • Probably right. The Marlins are finally gonna get their stadium, they can’t afford to move HanRam. He’s their Joe Mauer.

        So it’s moot. But to answer the moot question, HanRam over Halladay in a cocaine heartbeat.

      • Drew says:

        I don’t think it would be considerably. Also consider that we have no idea what Ricciardi wants. I’d Say Hughes/Joba, Ajax, ZMac/Romine-ish. That would probably not be too far off from a deal for Hanley. Add one or two other prospects and they’d have to consider it.

    • Thomas says:

      Hanley would require much more, in my opinion, since he is signed reasonable through 2014 and as an excellent, everyday player (at SS no less) is more valuable to a team than the top pitcher in baseball is.

  15. Jackson says:

    Does it even matter who is untouchable and who isn’t? Just offer Melky and IPK, done deal.

  16. Joltin' Joe says:

    Personally I think it is grossly irresponsible to trade for a 32 year-old who has shown recent struggles on the mound after returning from a seemingly minor injury. I don’t care that his name is Doc Halladay; he is not going to be immune to injuries, and based on the 26-32 theory he is (or will soon be) leaving his peak years.

    As far as the prospects go, Romine would be fine by me, but I wouldn’t trade any of Hughes, Joba or Montero. Jackson is certainly not untouchable in my eyes but he could fill a need at some point next year, saving us some cash and prevent another thirty-something from playing left field. If the Jays would take something in the vein of the Santana trade, i.e. 4-5 decent prospects, go for it. Otherwise it’s too risky. Maybe something like Romine, Jackson, McAllister, Russo. Not enough for Riccardi I’m sure but hey, that’s too bad…

  17. MattG says:

    If you want to sell high, trade a player that is blocked, and trade from an organizational strength, on all counts the player is Montero.

    I make Montero appear untouchable, but I listen carefully to how highly he is coveted. If I find a team willing to trade for Mike Piazza reincarnate, I’d deal him. For instance, if they offered Halladay even up, I would be very tempted.

    Jackson, Chamberlain, and Hughes all have undeniable roles on the 2010 Yankees, so I would like to hold all three. Jackson might not be capable of filling that role, which makes him more expendable, but his value might be a little depressed. Unless Toronto is willing to overlook some warning signs, I don’t expect to get the proper value for Jackson.

    Anyone else is expendable.

    Toronto does not appear to be at a loss for arms. I would think it is Montero or nothing for them.

    • For instance, if they offered Halladay even up, I would be very tempted.

      I’d still say no. I know he’s only a prospect and there’s go guarantee Montero ever becomes a great MLB hitter. But, the class of prospect he’s putting himself in is a special one. I’m not trading a 19 year old hitting super-prodigy for a 32 year old starter, especially when our greatest organizational depth is already starting pitchers.


      • Joltin' Joe says:

        Exactly what I was thinking… nice

      • MattG says:

        You’re right, I wouldn’t do it either, fully understanding that I have about a 2 in 3 chance of kicking myself if either:

        1. Yankees do not win a world series in either (both?) 09 and 10

        2. Montero flames out

        I would say Halladay is somewhat of a sure thing for a year and a half. That is very, very tempting…

        But you, TSJC, are always gazing into the future…the future…

      • JobaWockeeZ says:

        Comapring Montero’s hitting skills to another great offensive cathcer, Joe Mauer.

        At 19 Joe Mauer was in low-A ball hitting .302/.393/.392 and OPS’ing .785 with 4 HR.

        In AA where Montero is now he was hitting .341/.400/.453 OPS’ing .853 with 4 HR.

        Jesus Montero aged 19 and in AA ball so far has been doing .312/.379/.527 OPS’ing .906 with 5 HR.

        But if that’s too small of a sample size then .356/.406/.583 OPS’ing .989 in High-A ball with 8 HR.

        He has potential to be good at hitting and I really really don’t want to see him go.

      • MattG says:

        Isn’t the Yankees’ greatest organization depth catching prospects?

        • I didn’t say depth “prospect wise”. I said overall depth.

          I’m including the fact that we already have 4 damn good starting pitchers at the major league level in CC, AJ, Joba, and Hughes, thus lessening the need for Halladay in the first place. Top to bottom, from big leaguers to GCL’ers, we have more quality players in the SP role than in any other position.

          • MattG says:

            What, Posada and Molina are chopped liver?

            Hey, I’m just busting chops. I think the Yankees have more catchers, from the majors to the GCL, than starting pitchers. But they probably have more relievers than both of them.

            • No, they’re not chopped liver. One is 38, though, and the other is a backup whose deal expires in November.

              SP-wise, we have CC, AJ, Joba, Hughes, Wang, Pettitte, IPK, Mitre, McAllister, Nova, Bleich, Brackman, Betances, etc. etc. It’s a good list.

              But I’ll concede this point to you: Deciding whether we have more good pitchers or more good catchers, top-to-bottom, is an enjoyable hair-splitting contest. Both positions are pretty stacked.

              It’s like deciding whether you want to be a Joba Chamberlain impersonator or an Andy Phillips impersonator: It’s a win-win.

              • Chip says:

                You trade from the bottom of the pile, not the top. If you’re going to use catchers as trade bait, you start by dangling Cervelli (who might actually have some decent value) and then start going to the Weems, Murphys, and Romines. You don’t trade a potential all-star because you think you might have a decent league-average guy in the system.

              • andrew says:

                The difference is, however, that you only need two catchers while you need five starting pitchers. We have tons more great catcher prospects than we have roster spots, yet we only have a lot more great pitching prospects than we have spots. Again, not a bad problem to have, but the ratio of prospects to roster spots seems higher at catcher

    • How is Montero blocked?

      • Drew says:

        FRANKY CERVSSS!!!1

      • MattG says:

        Are we going to persistently delude ourselves?

        • Are you going to answer my question or just be unnecessarily nasty for a change? Allow me to put some words into your mouth then.

          Posada is going to be 38 in less than six weeks and is under contract through 2011. He’ll turn 40 that year. Montero turns 20 at the end of November and probably wouldn’t really be ready for a Major League job until 2011. He’ll be playing his age 21 season.

          If you’re talking about your expert opinion that Montero doesn’t have a long-term future behind the plate, well, then he can DH and spell Teixeira at first base. That, however, is just your parroting some scouts while ignoring others who aren’t as concerned about it. It’s certainly no reason to trade him right now.

          Verdict: Not blocked.

          • MattG says:

            I did not know I was being nasty. Yeesch.

            Check out these two links:


            Cust was a little older, and I think the Texas league is a better hitting league than the Eastern league, so it would seem Montero is better prospect than both. But this is the best my feeble mind can come up with.

            I put this here, in this way, because the difference between Montero, Cust, and Butler is that Montero right now plays catcher. If he didn’t, well, how would you feel if you had Cust or Butler in the organization, instead?

            Nobody wants a 21 year old DH. The DH spot is for 37 year olds that make too much money to cut, in other words, Alex Rodriguez. Unless Montero can catch or play left field, he won’t have a place to play.

            • The DH spot is for 37 year olds that make too much money to cut, in other words, Alex Rodriguez. Unless Montero can catch or play left field, he won’t have a place to play.

              Edgar Martinez begs to differ. The DH spot is for a player who can hit and contribute. If the Yanks had someone better than Matsui to DH, he would be DHing. The DH isn’t there to save space for over-the-hill players who can’t contribute. If the best option for Montero is DH and he can crush there for 10 or 15 years, then so be it. I’ll take it. Those 600 PAs are far more valuable than just about anything you would get in return.

              • MattG says:

                So you do not think Rodriguez will be DHing by 2011-2012, then? Do you think Jeter will still be on the team, and if so, at SS or LF? If Montero truly cannot catch, I think he will need to prepare for right field.

                You know what, if it will make everyone feel better, forget I stated he is blocked. Let’s just say he is not going to offer improved flexibility positionally.

                • I’ll agree with you, Matt, that if Montero can’t catch he becomes PARTIALLY blocked, because we’re not likely to have a vacancy at 1B or DH anytime soon. You’re right on that point.

                  Where you’re wrong is in assuming that he’s going to be labeled a DH by this time next year. That’s crazy. He’s 19. we’ll give him probably two years minimum to learn how to be a catcher, and if that fails, we’ll give him an outfielders glove and let him try that.

                  There’s tons of time and tons of minor league games left for us to turn him into something. And, worst case scenario, he becomes a butcher of an LF, like Dunn, Manny, Abreu or Braun. He looks to have a bat good enough to still make that a positional win.

                • MattG says:

                  okey-dokey, close enough for me!

                • By the way, Matt, Kevin Goldsmith has something of interest on Montero today:

                  Montero’s defense behind the plate has often been the bigger story, but he continues to make strides there, with a handful of scouts believing he could at least start his big-league career behind the plate. “He’s got a ways to go still,” admitted Newman. “But his arm accuracy and delivery times are much better. We knew that was an issue when we first signed him, but my confidence in his ability to stay at catcher grows all the time.”

                  That sounds good enough for now for me.

                • MattG says:

                  Wow, that is tremendous. But the link is wrong. I tried to Google it, with no luck.

                • The link isn’t wrong. It’s subscriber-only content.

                • MattG says:

                  OK, then it’s attributed to the wrong guy. The name on the article is Kevin Goldstein. I take it he is a BP staffer, and unbiased? Sounds good.

              • MattG says:

                Oh, and Edgar is a bad example. He didn’t show his face in the majors full time until he was 27, and he didn’t DH until he was 29. It is likely that if he had a position, he would’ve played a lot sooner than that. Edgar is actually closer to proving my point that yours.

                • Chip says:

                  Ripken played 111 games at 3B at the age of 40 so why does A-Rod need to DH in 2011 again? You put the best combination of offense and defense on the field and that’s that.

                  Also, David Ortiz (the guy before this year) would also beg to differ about the DH. He was a full-time DH at the age of 24

                • MattG says:

                  David Ortiz (the guy before this year) would also beg to differ about the DH. He was a full-time DH at the age of 24

                  …and didn’t make it to the majors for good until he was 26. You guys keeping proving my point with these examples–that being, DH is not an option for Montero. He must catch or play the OF to start for the Yankees in 2011.

                • Chip says:

                  So if Montero is as good a hitter at the age of 21 that Ortiz was when he was at 26………he’s useless? Ortiz was 21 when he got to AA and was showing great power but had about a 3/1 K/BB ratio. That means he had a weakness in strike zone judgement that got exploited in the majors.

                  Montero has a 2/1 K/BB ratio and is two years younger at the same level. That indicates that Montero is light years above David Ortiz prospect-wise.

                  Think of it this way, if A-Rod couldn’t play the field, would he still be “blocked” by Matsui? No way

                • leokitty says:

                  He HAD a position. He was a 3B. The Mariners let him sit around in the minors and destroy baseballs for a long time for really no good reason when you look back at who was “blocking” him.

                  The reason he was switched to DH is because of a horrific leg injury that happened after he was called up.

                • Chip says:

                  If I remember, wasn’t he just horrible at third? I thought the whole leg injury was just a convenient excuse to put him at DH

                • MattG says:

                  We need to have some ground rules here. Come up with an example of a 21 year old that played 140 games at DH, rather than making excuses for the guys that did it in their mid-20s.

                  Montero will not make the Yankees as a DH. It does not happen. It is catcher, corner outfielder, or trade to a team that needs a first baseman for him.

                • Frank Thomas, John Olerud, Eddie Murray.

                  350 PAs with at least 50 percent at DH from ages 20-23. Thomas was 23 but played some as a 22-year-old the year before, and Olerud and Murray were 21.

                  It’s not 140 games, but few 21-year-olds ever play 140 games in the Majors. All were full-timers at one position or another come age 23. I’d take any of that from Montero. Book it.

                • MattG says:

                  Olerud was outstanding, Murray was very good, and Thomas was a butcher, but in each instance, the teams cleared out first base for them. Will the Yankees do the same for Montero with Teixeira there? Maybe, but either way, a trade is needed.

                  You’re right–if he cannot catch or play OF, there is a scenario where Montero makes the team as a DH/1B short-term. But long term, the team will not keep both Montero and Teixeira on the roster–the more pragmatic thing to do is trade one of them for a need, and replace them with a player that truly has no position.

                • Chip says:

                  So you’re saying that if you had Babe Ruth and Albert Pujols on the same team, you’d trade one away for a 32 year old starting pitcher. Can’t argue with that!

      • Reggie C. says:

        Montero could be ready to DH by mid 2010 … but he’d have to keep his insane development curve going at the same rate. Not likely. He’s going to settle at some point in AA. I’m dying to see where.

        If Montero’s catching actions keep improving noticeably this season, then its hard to get red-faced by taking it slower.

        prediction: Opening day 2011. Montero’s in the lineup.

    • Zach says:

      How is Montero blocked?
      I know we all love him, but hes not ready to be opening day starter 2010. Can he atleast finish the year at AA? See how he does in ST? See how he does back at AA or AAA in April-June next year, then if his bat is still killing it they can find room at DH/C with Posada being 38

      “Toronto does not appear to be at a loss for arms.”
      - you can never have too many arms, especially when 2 guys will ve coming off TJS and one guy is coming off shoulder surgery

    • Joltin' Joe says:

      Right, but remember you would be giving up a young AAer who has handled the level well over a reasonable sample size for a 32 year old making a lot of money under contract for only one more full season.

      If it were Jackson or Romine, or even both, I would say forget this idealogy and make the trade, because those players are not the same caliber as Montero. And to say that anyone else is expendable is dangerous; selling off McAllister or Betances, etc. would put the organization a few years in reverse…

    • rbizzler says:

      As long as the AL still has the DH rule, a guy with a ++ hit tool and developing power will never be blocked from contributing.

      Not that you should be chastised for exploring every angle of the situation, but the Yanks will find a way to get the impact bat in the lineup.

  18. Andy says:

    My problem with trading for Halladay is that he is either a costly rental, or you have to sign him to a long term deal. I actually like him as a rental better, because if the Yanks lock up another pitcher to a long term deal, they will have three guys in their 30s locked up for the next 4+ years. That, and the money all three would command would seriously limt the roster and financial flexibility. Even the Yanks have a limit – what if one or more of these guys goes down, a significant risk given Burnett’s history, and the fact that Doc has dealt with some injury issues and is already 32? Giving up a cheap young rotation-ready guy like Hughes, especially one who could be a star, plus depleting your already weak system of a couple bats, is a harsh price to pay for either a rental or a long term deal that limits your flexibility to a guy already 32 years old.

    Say they did sign him. Then look at who they have:

    ARod – 34, signed to an unmoveable contract into his 40s
    Posada – 37, a C signed for two more years until he’s 39
    Texiera – 29, signed for 7 more years until he’s 36
    Jeter – 35, signed until he’s 36, likely to be extended
    Mo – 39, signed for two more years until he’s 41
    Sabathia – 29, signed for 6 more years until he’s 35
    Burnett – 32, signed for 4 more years until he’s 36
    Halladay – 32, signed for say 5 more years until he’s 37

    Now I know that’s only 8 of 25 guys, but that’s at least $150 million in salary for those 8 players. Then, in 2011, you have players ages 36, 39, 31, 37, 41, 31, 34 and 34 at key positions; assuming Posada and Mo retire, by 2013 you have guys ages 38, 33, 38, 33, 36 and 36 at key positions, eating up well over $100 million in payroll.

    Just not sure it makes sense to add another big name to a long term deal right now. They need to fill some positions from within, and have the talent to do so if they don’t trade people away. They have enough established talent to win, if they trade their good young talent for more old guys, I fear another 1980sesque period of draught…

  19. BklynJT says:

    Can we say that Hughes > Joba now?

      • Mike HC says:

        I don’t think you can say who is better either way. Joba is not definitively better than Hughes anymore. It is far more even and debatable this year.

    • BklynJT says:

      Well Hughes was initially the better prospect. Then all of a sudden Joba came on the scene (in the bullpen) gang-buster style. His performance there opened everyones eyes to his potential.

      I wonder how differently the fans would have looked at him if he came up as a starter, and never had that outstanding stint in the bullpen?

      Now that Hughes is in the bullpen, everyone is jumping back on his bandwagon.

      This just goes to show you, if you want to boost someones trade value, just throw them in the bullpen and have them go all out.

    • YankeeScribe says:

      Yes because of Joba’s drop in velocity and Hughes is more mature…

  20. Tampa Yankee says:

    If I MLBTR’s is accurate, Bedard and Harden are FAs after this season. While both are not in Doc’s category, they do not require trading anybody to get and are younger (Bedard not by much). If the Yankees are really looking to add another SP, I’d rather they go with what they got already and look at these two for next year. You can add Lackey to this group if he doesn’t re-up with the LAA. JMHO

    • Zach says:

      Why would you ever give a multiyear deal to Bedard and Harden? They’re more injury prone then AJ

      • Tampa Yankee says:

        I’m not. Getting Doc would essentially be for the rest of this year and next unless they sign him to an extension. So looking at next year only (because I don’t think they need another SP for this year), if the yanks need SP ie if Andy retires and given the potential innings limits on Joba/Hughes it might make more sense to look at potential FAs. Because it would be FA SP + prospects not given up in the Doc trade (similar to the CC deal).

        • Zach says:

          “I’m not.”
          Bedard, Harden and Lackey are not going to take 1 year deals

          • Tampa Yankee says:

            They very well may not but the market may dictate that they have too, who knows.

            Also, Doc may require an extension with his new team before he oks the trade and that wouldn’t be the smartest thing either.

            Regardless, my point was that trade for Hallady < one these FA pitchers + prospects.

    • Joltin' Joe says:

      If you could snag one of those guys (Bedard?) on a one-year deal, I would go all in assuming he’s healthy. Pitching is so volatile that giving long term deals to 3/5 of your rotation just isn’t a good idea, unless they are named Felix Hernandez, Zack Greinke and … see?!?!?!

    • Charlie says:

      Yea, i like Harden on a 2 year deal more than giving up a shitload of prospects plus jobber/phranchise for halladay

      • Zach says:

        Harden is one of those pitches I like to watch on another team, not on mine. He’s been over 150 IP once in his career.

        • Charlie says:

          yea, but if or when he gets hurt we’d have the depth in our system to replace him for the time being. CC AJ Harden Joba Hughes/Wang. (with wang possibly being dealt). If harden got hurt, mcallister/nova/kennedy could step in. trade for halladay and HE gets hurt, then you don’t have that depth.

          • Zach says:

            So you’re ready to have McAllister/Nova/Kennedy get what 10 starts next year? And if anyone else gets a DL stay, or innings limit, then you have 2 more rookies in your rotation?
            im not calling for them to trade for Doc, just saying I dont want Harden for 10m+ as my 5th starter who will be lucky if he gets 150 IP

  21. Charlie says:

    The problem is its probably going to take hughes or joba in a package to get halladay. Its just too much to give up to get a 32 year old pitcher. My opinion: don’t trade for halladay unless we’re not giving up a lot, and we will have to give up a lot. The guy hasn’t even been that good since his injury, so who knows if he’s even 100% healthy. Kick the tires, don’t let the Red Sox get him, but don’t ship our farm system to the Jays to get halladay.

  22. JobaWockeeZ says:

    Absolutely great article. I one hundred percent agree. I am against a deal because it will involve some “untouchables” to be traded. The Blue Jays have said over and over that they will deal if a boatload offer is made and they’re going to want Hughes/Joba and Montero plus more. But if the Yankees can get a deal somehow without involving any of them I’ll be for it. But that doesn’t include Melky/Ian Kennedy/Other prospect

  23. Herb says:

    You have to figure that if it comes down to the Sox and the Yanks, the Sox probably have the advantage simply becuase they have more top flight prospects to deal from. A package of Buckholtz plus Lars plus someone else likely gets it done, leaving them with Westmorland, et al. It may cost the Sox the same as it would the yanks, buy they can more easily bear the cost in prospects.

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      Yeah and they will likely use that in an effort to get Victor Martinez. They want better catching first. And the Sox have to deplete a good amount of prospects for the Jays to even get rid of Doc and give him to an AL east team. It’s probable that Doc stays in Toronto because no one wants o give up many prospects nowadays.

  24. Joltin' Joe says:

    Rather than trade prospects I would explore trading guys like Cano and Melky during the offseason if it would net us another MLB player. Especially with a guy like Cano – no OBP ability whatsoever, solid D but nothing great. There’s no reason we shouldn’t try to swap him for a similarly aged hitter (Kemp, if only if only!) but his offense is not quite as irreplaceable as we might think, and if you just stick a Pena type in there, the glovework could be good enough to make him worth enough wins above replacement.

    • Rob in CT says:

      Kemp should be untouchable. If he’s not, the Dodgers GM is a moron.

    • if you just stick a Pena type in there, the glovework could be good enough to make him worth enough wins above replacement.

      I highly doubt that.

      • Joltin' Joe says:

        Right, but if the player we got back for Cano filled a need (OF?) then it could make sense to take a small hit at 2nd. I mean if Pena’s say, a 1.5 WAR player, the other guy is gonna have to be pretty solid. But I just think Cano is one of those guys who’s value seems to be tied more to his skill than production.

        • Charlie says:

          No, they shouldn’t trade Cano. Since when is it no big deal to lose your young starting second baseman? that is what you’re making it seem like. just cause of the slump with RISP, he’s still a very productive player at a young age

  25. Rob in CT says:

    IMO, the Yanks cannot afford to trade fair value for Doc. They need those top prospects b/c they have such an aging core. I understand the appeal b/c Doc is fantastically good and we want to win and win NOW, but I think it would be a mistake.

  26. YankeeScribe says:

    Montero is the only untouchable prospect at this point but I wouldn’t give up our best young pitchers for Halladay. He’s not worth it.

    Halladay is worth a trade that includes Wang, AJax, and Cervelli or Romine. I believe Wang still has some value and can bounce back to his old form next season but Halladay would be a major upgrade over him…

    • Zach says:

      “Wang, AJax, and Cervelli or Romine”

      thats like the Daniel Bard for Joe Mauer trade the Red Sox fan suggested. atleast try to be fair, Halladay is a top 3 pitcher in the league

      • Chip says:

        Daniel Bard might even have more trade value than Wang right now. I doubt the Blue Jays would even take Joba for Halladay straight up at the moment. You have to give up really good prospects to get really good pitching.

        • Zach says:

          Joba for Halladay straight up is too big of a risk for the Blue Jays. What % of prospects actually work out to their potential? The Lee/Phillips/Sizemore for Colon was obviously a steal, if only one of those 3 guys lived up to their potential it would have been a win for Cleveland

      • YankeeScribe says:

        What’s not fair about trading a two-time 19 game winner and two ML ready 2nd tier prospects?

        • You can’t price Wang like a two-time 19 game winner anymore. That’s what’s wrong with it.

          Until he shows his old dominant form again, he’s just a reclamation project.

        • Thomas says:

          Well, Wang is hurt and has been completely ineffective this year. Jackson is ML ready, but the Blue Jays aren’t in need of OF with Wells and Rios locked up, Lind playing very well, and Travis Snider (a superior prospect to Jackson) ready for the majors as well. Cervelli is a future back up and can use some more minor league at bats. Romine is in High A with a low OBP and poor defense. Romine and Cervelli are not even second tier prospects at this point, more like 3rd and 4th tier respectively.

          • YankeeScribe says:

            The BJ’s are obviously not in “Win Now” mode so they can afford to rehabilitate Wang. He’d be a low risk, high reward kind of project.

            good point on Ajax.

            I think it’s waaay too soon say say that Cervelli is only a backup catcher. He’s only 23. Defensively, he’s one of the best catchers at the minor league level. Offensively, he can hold his own at the plate, make productive outs, and potentially get better if he gets more atbats. I think his play thus far with the Yankees this season has boosted his trade value substantially…

            • Chip says:

              And by hold his own at the plate, surely you mean hit like a backup defensive catcher? Cervelli would have to be Pudge Rodriguez and Jesus would have to end up like a worse version of Victor Martinez to justify going from a .300/.400/.500 powerhouse in Jesus to the .250/.290/.350 that Cervelli might be able to hit one day.

            • Thomas says:

              Your right that the Jays aren’t in “Win Now” mode so they can wait, but trading away the best pitcher in baseball for a former good pitcher with severe problems in not low risk. In your deal Wang is the centerpiece, thus if he fail to regain his form, the Jays traded a great player for a guy with a legit chance of busting. If the trade was centered around Hughes or Joba and Wang was the second or third piece then it is low risk, high reward, but as the deal is setup now it is very high risk.

              Also, all scouts peg Cervelli as a backup. In the minors he has never shown power and in the majors/AA, this year he has an OBP of .276.

              • YankeeScribe says:

                That was probably before he got atbats at the ML level this year. I don’t think any scouts predicted that he’d hit .270 on his first run through the majors.

                Joe G. thinks Cervelli has potential as an everyday catcher:

                “Overall, Girardi said Cervelli has played well enough to establish himself as a potential major league starter down the road.

                “I think he has a chance to be a No. 1, I really do,” Girardi said.”

            • Zach says:

              Wang is 29 and in his arbitration years, how is that attractive to a team thats not a ‘win now’ team?

        • ChrisS says:

          And wins are a poor metric.

          Well, unless Steve Phillips or Joe Morgan are the GMs you’re dealing with.

  27. Chip says:

    Would people please stop with this, the time to win is now crap? Seriously, I’ve heard for the past threeish years that the time to win is now because the core of Jeter, A-Rod, Posada and Mo are getting old. And still, they’re producing. Maybe the time to win in five years will be because Tex, CC, Montero and A-Rod will be getting old. It’s ALWAYS like this and you can’t use that as an excuse to make stupid trades.

    • Charlie says:

      Ha, Montero will be 24 in 5 years. he won’t be getting old for 15 years. I don’t want to trade for halladay, but I can’t even tell from this comment what your opinion is.

    • YankeeScribe says:

      Well I like our prospects but the core of the team isn’t getting any younger. And as of today, we don’t have enough starting pitching to get through the first round of the playoffs(assuming we get into the postseason). After CC and AJ we have what? Pettite? Wang? Aceves? Joba will be in the pen after reaching his innings limit and Hughes looks like he’ll be in the pen for the rest of the season…

  28. Tank Foster says:

    Halladay is a gamble. Some teams need to gamble, because they are borderline as playoff contenders and want to go all-in and take a shot at a title.

    The Yankees are contenders every year, so they don’t need to gamble.

    Is there a scenario that would make it a good deal to get Halladay? Sure…Give them Joba and Montero, and Joba ends up permanently stuck at 93mph and poor control, and Montero ends up a bust, AND Halladay continues as a dominant pitcher for 5 more seasons.

    I don’t see that happening. Certainly not the first 2. And the fact that Toronto is willing do deal him now, after this injury, also has me a little concerned. Maybe they’re worried about this injury, and are trying to unload him before taking the risk of his value tanking.

  29. Reggie C. says:

    Gotta admit that my head is spinning right now from the possibilities being explored in this thread. I’m not entirely sure that’s a good thing.

    Cash should really just simply the goal of getting Hughes and Joba their innings. Get a stronger Bullpen. Shorten games! Get Huston Street. Not some dude named Grabow or Qualls. STAY STREET!!!

  30. ChrisS says:

    Not for nothing, but Halladay as a minor leaguer was a very good prospect with decent, but not mind blowing numbers.

    As a 22-23 year old, over two seasons and 217 IP, he managed a 6.01 ERA, 1.517 WHIP, and 1:1 K:BB ratio.

    The next season, he spent half in the minors – starting over at A-ball – and rebounded to finish out the season in the majors with 3.16 ERA in

    Then as a 25 year old, he threw 239 innings of 2.39 ERA ball with a 1.19 WHIP, and a 2.7 K:BB ratio.

    Prospects take time to develop. Giving up a player that could be as a good as Halladay plus a top-5 hitting prospect in baseball who plays (as of now) a supremely valuable defensive position for a 32 year old pitcher (with a ton of IP on that arm) is asinine. Gutting a farm system for players like Halladay is a fool’s choice.

  31. Little Bill says:

    This is ridiculous. PHIL HUGHES AND JOBA CHAMBERLAIN ARE GOING TO BE STARTING PITCHAS FOR THE NEW YORK YANKEES FOR A VERY LONG TIME! It would take trading one of those guys to get Halladay. Not to mention a couple other high end prospects. Let the Phillies get him and pay him $20 million a season when he’s 38. Then he’s out of our division.

  32. Anthony Murillo says:

    Let’s be real here…

    If the New York Yankees have an oppertunity to acquire Roy Halladay, they have to do it. They passed on Johan Santana in favor of ‘Generation Next’ Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, and Joba Chamberlain. And guess what? It blew up in the face of the Yankees.

    I understand the need to develop players. I really do. But let’s really be serious here for one moment…most of us Yankee fans don’t have the patience to develop our prospects. Those same people that said “Bah, forget Johan Santana! We have Generation Next!” are the SAME people who, after they sucked in 2008, posted “Man the Yankees dropped the ball on Santana. We might have clinched a playoff berth if he was our ace…”

    Trading a Phil Hughes, Robinson Cano, Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy, Melky Cabrera, or whoever the Blue Jays want for Roy Halladay is okay in my book.

    Joba Chamberlain and Robinson Cano are a little too comfortable being in New York, in my opinion. Joba had the nerve to say “At least I still have a job” or something to that affect. How the hell can Joba say something like? If General George was still the George of old, he would say something to the affect of “If you keep pitching the way you do, let’s see if you still have a job.” These players have ZERO accountablity to their poor performances.

    If you didn’t see Robinson Cano player every day and you looked at his stats and see his .300 batting average, you might think he’s a tremendous player. But, again, let’s all be real here for a moment…Robinson Cano is a lazy player. We all can see that, we’ve all commented on it. Look at how Cano performed as the #5 hitter. How many Yankees did he leave on the bases?

    I have no problem giving any of those guys, sans maybe Montero and Jackson, for a winner like Hallday. A starting rotation of:

    Halladay, Sabathia, Burnett, Wang, [insert #5 starter]

    That rotation is unbeatable. It’s almost unfair! This rotation could lead the Yankees to a World Series Championship NOW and MORE in the future.

    Let’s lock this title NOW. Let’s show everyone we’re not afraid to do what it takes to win for now AND the future. Halladay might be 31 or 32 but that guy is money. He’s an ace, he’s a winner. Just like Sabathia and Burnett are.

    If we have a shot to make this happen, then Cashman should make it happen.

    Let’s lock this baby up for 2009 and beyond.

    • Hughes and Joba are all of 23 freakin’ years old.

      2008 didn’t work, but in the past nine months, if I am reading Mike’s tweet correctly, had knee surgery, elbow problems and just now a cortisone shot.

      In three years, if Hughes and Joba are scuffling, talk to me. Until then, they’re still prospects with tremendous upside.

      I worry that Joba may be hurt, but they are far from busts.

    • If the New York Yankees have an oppertunity to acquire Roy Halladay, they have to do it. They passed on Johan Santana in favor of ‘Generation Next’ Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, and Joba Chamberlain. And guess what? It blew up in the face of the Yankees.

      Johan Santana is rumored to have just received a cortisone shot in his pitching elbow. He has a 5.15 ERA over his last ten starts with declining peripherals. He’a also still under contract through 2013. Just stop that.

      Anyway, if you’re alleging that any rotation with Chien-Ming Wang is now “unbeatable,” I’m not really sure there’s much point in continuing this argument.

      • gc says:

        And just for grins and giggles, it should be noted that as great as he’s been, Johann Santana has only won one post-season game (on some pretty decent Twins playoff teams). In other words, he has as many post-season victories as…….you guessed it…..Phil Hughes. (Not to say that Hughes = Santana, just sayin…)

    • A.D. says:

      Let’s lock this baby up for 2009 and beyond.

      If by beyond you mean 2010, and then who the hell knows, then yes, beyond.

    • Little Bill says:

      This is terrible logic. You say the same people who wanted to keep “generation next” are the same people who are upset we didn’t get Santana. That is false. I think most rational fans believe that Joba and Hughes are still very young and are going to be great pitchers for a very long time. But let’s take your idea and lock up another pitcher through age 38 when we’re paying him $20 million a year.

    • Drew says:

      Wasn’t it Generation Tre?

    • Mattingly's Love Child says:


  33. Tampa Yankee says:

    That’s all batshit insane.

    (copyrighted – tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside – 2009)

  34. A.D. says:

    Per Heyman:

    The Jays are serious about looking for a trade for superstar pitcher Roy Halladay, but they probably prefer to deal him out of the American League East, will want a premium bat back and likely have particular interest in a shortstop because breakout performer Marco Scutaro will be a free agent after this year, according to one person familiar with the team’s inner workings.

    Pretty much nothing the Yankees have outside of a premium bat.

    Looking very nice for the Phillies.

    • Little Bill says:

      This just gave me a crazy idea. Let’s trade Derek Jeter, Jesus Montero, Ramiro Pena, Phil Hughes, and Joba Chamberlain for Roy Halladay!!!! Halladay-CC-Burnett-Wang, THAT ROTATION IS UNBEATABLE MAN!!!!! If Cashman doesn’t pull the trigger on this deal, he’s an idiot.

    • Or the Brewers. Or the Angels.

      If I’m LAA GM Tony Reagins, I’d give them Ervin Santana (a far better and younger reclamation project than Wang), + blue-chippers 3B/SS Brandon Wood, LHP Trevor Reckling, and one more non-elite (i.e. not Hank Conger/Jordan Walden) prospect.

      After losing Adenhart and having Santana and Escobar struggle, that rotation is too thin. A troika of Weaver/Lackey/Halladay makes them contenders again, and Halladay is nice insurance in case Lackey bolts in free agency this winter.

    • Reggie C. says:

      I’m pretty sure Minaya would agree to cut Riccardi’s lawn for a year to avoid this from happening.

  35. Chris V. says:

    I think realistically, if you want a comp for Halladay going forward it would be Mussina at age 32 when he signed with the yankees. He may have a slightly better career going forward if you are optimistic (and Mussina’s yankees career was very good). Still I don’t think that career is worth Joba Phil or montero.

  36. matt merc says:

    does anyone know if eric bedard is available

  37. BG90027 says:

    We’re falling too much in love with prospects though when it gets to the point that so many people think its crazy to consider dealing prospects that may or may not pan out for a guy that’s easily one of the top five starters in baseball. I also suspect that his stuff probably ages better than CC’s or Santana’s and I wouldn’t be as concerned about acquiring a young 30′s Halladay as I would be acquiring a young 30′s fireballer. I’m not saying I would pay what it would it would take to trade for Halladay. In the final analysis, I probably wouldn’t.

    And to the main question of who is untouchable, no one is. Some guys are harder to give up than others but no one is untradeable. Its a good thing that we’re seemingly over the practice of trading our best prospects for fading, former superstars in their mid to late 30′s. But that doesn’t mean anyone should be untradeable if you can upgrade your team with proven talent in the prime of their careers. Not saying Hallyday is in his prime but if you call a guy untouchable, its implying that you wouldn’t deal him for HanRam, Greinke, Verlander, Mauer, Longoria, or anyone else like that.

    • We’re falling too much in love with prospects though when it gets to the point that so many people think its crazy to consider dealing prospects that may or may not pan out for a guy that’s easily one of the top five starters in baseball.

      BG90027 = 1
      Strawman = 0

      • BG90027 says:

        Change your name to strawman. You said yourself that you wouldn’t trade Montero straight up for him.

        • Yes.

          Did I say that it was “crazy” to trade for him, because I “fell in love” with him? Or did I dispassionately say that it would be unwise to trade for him because he’d be a luxury since we’re already quite deep in starting pitching, he’s already quite old and nearing his decline phase, and that the prospects pose a greater long-term value over the short-term gain of Halladay?

          You’re not arguing against my position, you’re arguing against a strawman version of my position. You’re using emotional language to make my position seem less coldly rational than it actually is.

          • BG90027 says:

            Yeah, well you’re right I shouldn’t have said crazy. I also wasn’t orginally reacting to your post in particular but I do think people are too easily dismissive.

            I wouldn’t say 32 is “quite old” especially since he’s not a power pitcher. I think he has at least a couple elite years left and many more very good years. I don’t understand how you couldn’t at least be pretty damn tempted to trade a single unproven prospect, even one with as great upside as Montero has, for an elite pitcher like Halladay. I do that trade in a second. Its when you add multiple prospects that I start to question the wisdom. The Yankees don’t need starting pitching but if you have an opportunity to add Halladay to your staff, you have to seriously consider it. The championship teams of the Yankees were always built around stacked starting rotations. This is the deepest rotation the team has had in a while but its still not as strong as the championship years.

            Maybe I just think a lot more of Halladay than you do. If you wouldn’t trade Montero for Halladay though, how many starting pitchers would you be willing to consider trading him for? I can’t think of that many pitchers that I’d rather add than Halladay, even considering age. To me prefering to keep a guy unproven above AA over Halladay is being too much in love with a prospect.

    • zack says:

      Exactly. For Halladay, nobody is untouchable. Hughes and Joba could only hope to be somewhat of the pitcher Hallady will be for the next 5 years.

      But as you so rightly point out and some of us have been trying to reinforce for a long time, the obsession and overvaluing of prospects has reached absurd levels in the era of blogs. Now that fans can really get to know a lot about these kids, of course they all seem like they are untouchable. Weakness get overlooked, and the actual chance that any of them will make a serious impact gets way inflated.

      Other than Jesus, perhaps, there is nobody in the Yankee system that is untouchable. There are no sure fire talents, and those who might be superstars aren’t even clear yet. Heck, Hanley Ramirez was never the prospect that hinted at what he has become. And even still, Boston has to be pretty damn happy with that trade.

      • Hughes and Joba could only hope to be somewhat of the pitcher Hallady will be for the next 5 years.

        And then, when Halladay is 38 and Joba and Hughes are entering their primes, Halladay could only hope to be somewhat of the pitcher that each of them will be.

        • BG90027 says:

          This is complete B.S. and really is making my point for me. You are automatically assuming that Hughes and Joba both pan out and have long and successful careers. They both have good stuff and have had some success at the big league level but its homerism to assume that they will be better than Halladay five years from now. There are a long list of pitchers who have been very effective into their late 30′s: Schilling, Clemens, Maddux, Mussina, D. Martinez, Smoltz, K. Brown, Randy Johnson. Even assuming that Halladay regresses to a #3 type starter, what makes you that confident that Joba and Hughes will ever best that. We all hope that they will but its a big leap of faith to just favor youth over someone with a record like Halladay’s.

    • Chip says:

      There’s being untouchable and being untouchable in realistic trades. There’s no way guys like HanRam, Greinke, Verlander, Mauer or Longoria are getting traded at least not anytime soon. Teams don’t trade those type of guys because those are the type you build your franchise around. You might trade one of them when he’s about to hit free agency but not when he’s only costing you 1 or 2 million a year.

      Sure, I’d give up Joba and Ajax to get HanRam but that’s more of a factor of him also being cheap, young, and locked up for a long time. We’re talking about a guy who can play everyday and will be in his prime until his contract expires in 2014 yet not cost you 20 million a year.

  38. Bo says:

    It’s a pretty useless topic. Cashman didn’t trade prospects for Santana when he was getting a bargain and a younger pitcher. He won’t pay double for Halladay.

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      Bargain? Then you must know what the exact trade deal was. And if you say Hughes/IPK/Melky then you’re wrong.

  39. Zach says:

    Gordon Edes (Boston Globe) said, “if I were Ricciardi, my conversation with the Yankees would begin with Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and catcher Jesus Montero”

    But then, “The Boston Red Sox could put together an enticing package that includes starter Clay Buchholz”


  40. YankeeScribe says:

    I like our championship chances with Doc Halladay in the rotation. CC, and AJ isn’t enough to get us to the WS…

    • You’re right. If only we still had Andy Pettitte, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, Chien Ming Wang, and Al Aceves on the roster!

      What’s that you say? They are on the roster? Oh, nevermind, then.

      • Zach says:

        I think hes talking about playoffs, Joba wont be in the rotation due to innings, but CC-AJ-Andy-Hughes is more then enough for top 4, especially when you look around at other rotations

        • YankeeScribe says:

          From Cashman’s comments last week, I don’t think Hughes will re-enter the rotation in 09′

          • Zach says:

            CC, AJ, Andy, Wang, ____
            They need a 5th starter for Sept, when Joba hits his limits, and unless Wang comes back and impresses everyone I doubt they’ll trust him in the playoffs. If Mitre or whoever else comes up and impresses ok, but Hughes should still be the 4th guy in the playoffs

            • YankeeScribe says:

              I really don’t see Wang pitching effectively enough to start in the post-season this year.

              I really want Hughes to get more starts but Cashman’s language last week makes me doubt that we’ll see Hughes start again this season…

              Ace and Mitre? I don’t know. I haven’t seen enough of those guys starting this year…

      • YankeeScribe says:

        Pettite – not as effective as he used to be. May burn out by September

        Joba – Will reach his innings limit by September

        Hughes – Cashman thinks he should stay in the pen the rest of the season and Joe G goes along with whatever Cashman insists on

        Wang – IF he gets his ish together by September maybe but otherwise, he’s worthless come October

        Aceves – Slightly better than Wang and Pettite at the moment

        Cashman can’t possibly think we have enough arms to get us through the first round of postseason play… Can he?

        • Cashman can’t possibly think we have enough arms to get us through the first round of postseason play… Can he?

          He can’t. Which is why he’s waiting for Damaso Marte and Mark Melancon to be ready to join the pen and Brian Bruney to pitch better so that he can have a staff of Bruney-Marte-Aceves-Coke-Robertson-Melancon in front of Mariano, thus enabling him to move Hughes back to the rotation.

          But, worst case scenario, if we really don’t have enough arms, we should be trading for a reliever, because the price of a relief pitcher is lower than the price of a starting pitcher, and we currently have two starters in the pen (Hughes and Aceves) who can and should be moved back into the rotation before we trade for an expensive starter like Halladay.

          • Mac says:

            That’s alot of “if’s’ and unproven pitching leading up to Mo.

            To be diplomatic, Marte pitched like a cowardly POS for the Yanks last year – glad to see he’s turned that around.

            Melancon’s first go round was uninspiring, Robbie’s 92 mph FB and nice curve makes him a great option for the 6th inning down 7 runs.

            CC’s 7.92 post season era doesn’t exactly inspire confidence and as for Hughes, how can anyone predict what kind of starter he would be the rest of the year?

            I’m cool with seeing the Yanks pass on Doc, I don’t think their pitching is good enough to bring #27 in 09 though. We had fun beating the hapless Mets and sinking Jays – the Sox and Angels won’t be as gracious.

            • YankeeScribe says:

              Exactly. We need to add a solid starter if we’re serious about making a run for #27 this year. It doesn’t have to be Halladay but he would certainly better our odds more than any other pitcher that we can pickup midseason.

        • Russell NY says:

          Right – 30 innings at 2.40 ERA last year and 40 innings at 2.02 ERA this year is just “slightly” better than Wang and Pettitte lol

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      So you’re saying our rotation needs Halladay to win it all? Then Mo help the other 29 other teams in the MLB.

  41. Russell NY says:

    Why don’t we just trade Igawa and Shelley Duncan? Igawa is dominating in the minors and Duncan has pop. That should get us Holliday. And maybe the Jays can throw us a little salary.

  42. Alex says:

    I am sure Toronto would take less if they included Rios as a salary dump situation. I would trade Joba, Romine, Melky, and One other pitcher Nova type prospect for Halladay and Rios. Not sure the Jays do that but if the yankees eat salary they get less. Rios isnt bad anyways.

  43. Tank Foster says:

    “I also suspect that his stuff probably ages better than CC’s or Santana’s and I wouldn’t be as concerned about acquiring a young 30’s Halladay as I would be acquiring a young 30’s fireballer.”

    I used to think that, too, but I’m not as sure anymore. There are examples of all types of pitchers “aging well,” but in general I think guys who strike out lots of guys overall age better. Why? Because they can fall back on the “crafty” ways of getting guys out. Pitchers who don’t get lots of Ks are already making use of the alternate ways, and have less room to adapt as they age and lose their stuff.

  44. bravo116 says:

    My only question is… Can he throw to Posada? ;)

  45. [...] I last examined the questions concerning the Halladay trade, I looked at the Yankee Untouchables and concluded that just three players belonged on that list. Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes have [...]

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