What price HalladayBy
Sunday morning is a great time for unfettered discussion. The TV stations are filled with talking heads arguing health care, Supreme Court confirmation hearings and economic reform. The Sunday newspaper and crossword puzzle can fill the hours we must pass until baseball action resumes.
But that does not of course mean we have nothing of our own to debate or discuss. With the non-waiver trade deadline a scant five days away, news and rumors — some less founded than others — fill the airwaves. While the Yankees have not made a major splash yet and haven’t been subject of many legitimate rumors, the names are out there — the Phil Hugheses, the Joba Chamberlains, the Jesus Monteros. The GMs with something to offer know what the price tag should and could be.
On Saturday, a flurry of Yankee-related rumors arrived late in the day, long after the Yanks’ game against Oakland and the team’s eight-game winning streak came to an end. The first comes to us from a Peter Gammons blog post. It’s a buyer’s market, says Gammons as he pontificates about teams that want to hold onto their young players. Of the Yankees and Roy Halladay, he writes:
Yankees GM Brian Cashman argues that he doesn’t overvalue prospects, which is why he has Phil Hughes pitching like the American League’s best eighth-inning reliever, Melky Cabrera in center, Nick Swisher (obtained for Jeffrey Marquez, another pitcher in the package the Twins would’ve required for Johan Santana) in right and CC Sabathia on the mound, all in lieu of Santana.
When the Yankees approached Toronto about Halladay, the price was Phil Hughes, Austin Jackson and Jesus Montero. Not happening.
Of course it’s not happening. Roy Halladay isn’t worth three of the Yanks’ top young players. That doesn’t make an ounce of sense. The Yankees need pitching depth, but they need depth without surrendering depth. Sending out one pitcher for another doesn’t solve the problem.
Another rumor hit the Twitter world some time around 11 p.m. This one came from Jon Heyman whose track record this July has been spotty to say the least. He writes: “Yankees might – repeat, might – consider giving up Joba for Halladay. but wont entertain request of Joba & Hughes.” Joba, by the way, has thrown 13.2 innings since the All Star Break and has given up two earned runs on five hits and 14 strike outs.
This one is more ludicrous than the Blue Jays’ asking price for Halladay. The team just isn’t going to give up Chamberlain for Roy Halladay. While it might solve a short-term depth problem, no General Manager would give up that youth for two months of limitless innings. It is also worth pointing out that Joba’s starting career — 31 starts, 9-3 record, 3.43 ERA and 166 strike outs in 168.1 innings pitched — is off to a far better start than Halladay’s. Through Roy’s age 23 season, he was 10-12 as a starter with a 6.23 ERA and 116 strike outs in 179 IP.
And so it goes on. The rumors rise and fall, and we wait for something to happen as the clock ticks onward toward Friday.