What price Halladay


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.


  1. Frank says:

    Klapisch notes in today’s Bergen Record the M’s requested Melky and Gardner for Washburn.

  2. Little Bill says:

    It would be a monumental mistake for Cashman to give up on Joba who will be a great starting pitcher for years to come. I said this before his last two starts and I say it now. Joba and Hughes are untouchables. No trade for Halladay is needed. This is already one hell of a team and the best team in baseball.

    • Mike Pop says:

      Right now they are the best, yes. They need to get another pitcher though imo to keep it that way. Starter or reliever, Burnett can’t carry them the whole way!!!!!

      • Little Bill says:

        I’m not against adding a pitcher, I just think it’s stupid to give up a king’s ransom. Montero, Joba, Hughes should not be traded. They can get a decent pitcher and not have to give up one of those guys.

  3. Frank says:

    I believe what this team really needs is a RH bat who can replace Ransom.

    • Little Bill says:

      They’re fine on offense. Ransom plays once a week. Their biggest concern is pitching because of Joba’s innings limit and Wang’s injury. A backup who will play once a week is irrelevant.

  4. mustang says:

    “no General Manager would give up that youth for two months of limitless innings.”

    Isn’t Halladay sign through next year? And I’m sure they are not going to lose him to free agency in 2011.

    • UWS says:

      Maybe there’s a concern that Halladay would demand a trade after the season?

      • mustang says:

        Can he even do that? I thought they can only do that in the middle of a contract. He at the end of his.

        • zs190 says:

          He can. It’s been well established that because he’s being traded during a multi year contract, he can request a trade at end of season. Not to say he will, because that’s totally not Halladay’s personality, and it’s very rarely used. If he doesn’t want to go to some place, then he simply would just refuse to be traded with his no trade clause so it’s a non-issue.

    • Trapped In El Duque's Glove says:

      I think the key phrase was “limitless innings”, as in Roy would replace Joba for the rest of this season without any worry about hitting an innings limit.

      After that it’s just a straight one-for-one.

  5. Mike Pop says:

    You get more than 2 months out of Roy. All next year too, but w/e still don’t want to do it.

    Would be awesome to have Roy on the team, would be amazing. But not at the cost of Joba/Hughes/Montero being out of the Yanks org. So, it’s not happening.

  6. OmgZombies! says:

    Trading those three for ANY player in baseball is just plain dumb. How many starters put up a 3.43 ERA in 31 starts at age 23? I cant think of a “fair” package for Halladay as he would be a luxury for them and it looks like it would cost extra for him.

    GM’s needs to stop this silly notion that you cannot trade him within the division.Plain and simple you go for the best package you get offered. The Twins got burned by this during the Santana trade and pretty much traded a 4th OFer for the then best pitcher in baseball. Instead of Hughes and Lester that the Yankees and Sox were offering.

  7. Mike Pop says:

    I still think he ends up in Philly. Makes too much sense maynne.

  8. gxpanos says:

    Heyman’s an idiot.

    The Yankees might–repeat, might–do anything. I mean, can you just Twitter that the Yankees might do something just because the Blue Jays asked for it? Stupid.

    • Mac says:

      I agree on your assessment of Heyman – quite frankly few sports writers seem to be bright and not naive.

    • Stryker says:

      i think it’s fairly well known that heyman’s a boras mouthpiece. i really don’t pay attention to what he has to say on any other matter.

      the guy had the breaking story of the manny trade but other than that he’s been fairly hit or miss.

  9. LiveFromNewYork says:

    Cashman isn’t stupid. He wasn’t stupid for the Santana trade and he won’t be stupid for this. We retained our youth AND got CC, AJ and Teix because he passed on Santana at a time we were more desperate than now. The prospect/young pitcher trigger will not get pulled for Halladay. It’s not worth it and Cashman knows it.

  10. Doug says:

    I find it quite interesting that as recently as two weeks ago, the majority sentiment on here was to ship joba off to get halladay. now he’s back to being untouchable after a couple of solid starts.

    • Mac says:

      I don’t think anyone is untouchable, and I’m not convinced that Joba is going to be Walter Johnson like many are here – I do think that if you make a deal for Doc, take Rios’s 60 mil and give them anything but Hughes and Joba – otherwise try and get a guy who can be a #3/#4.

      Doc is great, and he could be great for another 5 years – but after some thought, I think the Yanks can roll the dice with CC and Burnett and hope one of Hughes or Joba can be that #3 – in the next couple of years.

      ANything the Yanks do is a risk since they’ve got an old veteran team that is right now healthy and productive.

    • gxpanos says:

      Haha yeah. All of a sudden Hughes was the golden boy even though Joba has better stuff and was (and is still) doing a more difficult job. The RAB chat poll last week (or two weeks ago?) was overwhelmingly “keep Hughes, trade Joba.” Ridiculous.

    • Little Bill says:

      Was it the majority sentiment? I think most of the rational people were saying that Joba as a starter was better than Hughes as a starter. I seem to remember a lot of people sticking up for Joba. I’ve said they’re both untouchables and should not be traded.

  11. Mac says:

    I’d like Doc, but not at the cost of Joba or Hughes. I do think looking at Joba’s “career” stats as a starter is misleading b\c up until his last two starts, he looked pretty bad most of the time.

    I’m also not ready to say Hughes or Joba or anyone else in the Yanks farm are going to have significant success in the majors.

    Too much can happen…

    Joba faced a pretty lousy A’s team although he definitely showed things in his command and ability to reach back at critical times in the game. He still looks like something is bothering him and preventing that additional velocity that we saw last year.

    Hope the Yanks can get an experienced middle of the rotation starter or set up guy without trading Joba or Hughes – anyone else is fair game depending on whom they get.

  12. I keep having this vision of JP Ricciadi calling Cashman in a Dr. Evil voice.

    JP – Hello Brian.

    Cash – What do you want for Halladay JP?

    JP – I want your top…one…HUNDRED prospects.

    Cash – (Laughing hysterically) That’s ludacrious! Be realistic!

    JP – Ok…ok. Give me Joba, Hughes, Montero and Heyward.

    Cash – Damn it JP! Heyward isn’t even ours!

    JP – Ok switch Heyward for Austin Jackson.


    aaaaand scene.

  13. Brett Speedner says:

    I think if we were to give up any of Chamberlain/Hughes/Montero we would regret it in the long term. I am not saying that Chamberlain is the next rocket, Nolan Ryan, or even that he will amount a career to parallel someone like David Wells, but I really would like to see him stay in the stripes for years to come and not be the pitcher that we should never have given up. Same goes for Hughes.. and What if Montero reaches his ceiling and terrorizes us for years to come, whether it’s at the DH spot or as a catcher. Maybe I am over-valuing the prospects here and going with best case scenarios.. but to think about Halladay for one year or one of the three for 10+ years.. I just don’t see a comparison. They are special players and to give them up, IMHO would be one of the poorest managerial decisions in the Cashman era. I would rather miss the WS than give up any two of them. They are special kids, whether they pan out or not is yet to be seen, but it is a chance I would love the Yankees to be willing to take.

    • Mac says:

      It’s DOc for two post seasons – and very likely for 7 years as he will have to waive his ntc and if he does to the Yanks they will make him happy with CC money for a 4-5 year extension.

      • Mike Pop says:

        Ya, season ages 33-37/38. Meanwhile, Joba/Hughes from 24-30 and so on. Hughes/Joba will probably never be as good as Roy is now and was but I wouldn’t be suprised if they put up similar production over those 5 year spans for what 1/6 the cost?

        • Mac says:

          Yep, its not what Doc has done, its what he will do – although I think he’ll continue to be great.

          Injury concerns for all of em, although as DOc gets older and piles up innings, I think I’d worry more about him especially if he’s making 20 mil+.

          The other way to look at it also is what will Hughes\Joba be worth in the future if the Yanks decide to deal them – if both continue to show significant promise, the Yanks can use that value to fill another need.

          A gamble either way

      • Brett Speedner says:

        We don’t know how he is going to do under the pressure of the post season.. he plays for the blue jays..

        • Mike Pop says:

          This should not be a factor in dealing for him. It’s what the Yankees give up for him that we should be worried about.

  14. Frank says:

    Hughes and Joba swapping roles should be fine as long as Bruney can get his act together. He’s the key. That would give the Yanks a Bruney/Joba/MO threesome to close out a game with Aceves and Coke to fill in when needed. And if D-Rob can gain Joe’s trust and be used more often, I think he’ll stengthen the BP even more.

    • Mac says:

      Too many “if’s” Yanks need to leave Hughes right where he is as long as he continues to be the best option there.

      Bruney and Ace are guys who were thrown away and found something – guys do that all the time and revert back to what they were – in Ace’s case, I hope that won’t happen.

      Robertson is not going to be a factor – he simply isn’t that good.

      • Mike Pop says:

        Robertson is not going to be a factor – he simply isn’t that good.

        Give me a break.

      • Brett Speedner says:

        “Robertson is not going to be a factor – he simply isn’t that good.”
        in 25 IP he has 36 SO .196 AVG against…
        which of those numbers “isn’t that good?”
        Yes I get the control issues, but he is young.. He has had rough outings lately.. “Isn’t that good” is a RIDICULOUSLY dull understatement.. I am not saying he can pitch the 8th inning in a one run game.. but he has GREAT stuff.

        • Mac says:

          Its really not, he’s got two pitches and compiled all those stats in blowouts – watching how he’s pitched the last few games, he gets hit hard and he gets rattled.

          Not all these guys are going to be stars – and I think as good as Girardi is managing the pen should tell us he’s not that impressed with RObertson or Melancon.

          • Mike Pop says:

            Maybe cause they’re still so young. They have a LONG time before we can say they just aren’t good.

          • Frank says:

            Let’s look at D-Rob’s last 2 outings. Yesterday, he goes 1.1 innings and gives up nothing. Friday, he comes in with an 8-1 lead and gives up 2 runs. But if you watched him pitch, he gave up a cheap single up the middle and 1 hard hit double where the runner got to third on Melky’s error. Otherwise, his location was spot on. He threw strikes, hit his spots on the the corners and kept the ball down. Considering he hadn’t pitched in 2 weeks, he did exactly what you are supposed to do in a blowout- throw strikes and not walk batters- something someone like Veras was inable to do.

      • Frank says:

        If you don’t have much confidence in Bruney/Ace because they were thrown away as you say, and you don’t think D-Rob is good (I happen to disagree with you), then even keeping Hughes in the BP won’t be enough.

        • Mac says:

          Yep Frank, its possible that even Hughes might become ineffective – none of us know.

          I’m not writing off Aceves, he and Molina made a mistake putting the 0-2 pitch in the same place and I think his FB was sitting a few mph lower than it has in most of his other appearances.

          I think Joba goes to the pen to limit his innings and I think Cashman also trys a few more guys in the role – up to the waiver deadline at the end of August – he always tinkers.

          I’m hoping Ace was a blip.

          I’ve got a little theory that most of the elite closers are failed starters with good FB’s and a secondary pitch. Also, I think the Yanks major failure the last several years was patching together a pen with flawed, B level prospects, guys who were good but in decline and journeymen.

          I think when you can spend upwards of 200 mil on a team, you can allocate a guy like Hughes to be Mo in training.

          As for Robertson, I don;t see what many here do – JMO.

          • Frank says:

            I respect that. It’s refreshing to see we can differ in opinions in a mature manne.

          • YankeeGrunt says:

            I disagree. The idea of using B-level starters as relievers has paid very big dividends over the past couple years. Prior to last year our pen was a joke, even with regular injections over priced free agents or trades (Farnsworth the epitome of this) we hadn’t had decent 7-8 inning options since Nelson and Stanton. Enter Coke, Robertson and Edwar Ramirez and they’re suddenly respectable. Not elite, but respectable.

            Throwing “a Hughes” – by that you mean a guy with front of the rotation talent – into a setup role long term is an option that no team would take, $200 million or not, because one of the things both the Sabermetrics guys and the “Baseball guys” agree on is that 200 innings of sub-4.00 ERA is a lot more valuable than 70 innings of even sub-3.00 ERA. Even the Yankees can’t make #1 starter arms in their young twenties grow on trees.

  15. zs190 says:

    Hoch mentioned Brett is not on roster today, combined that with Klapsich mentioning M’s want Brett and Melky for Washburn, could Washburn be on his way?

    • Mike Pop says:


      Interesting, Alby came up. It HAS to be a trade.

    • Little Bill says:

      I see that on his twitter. More info to come he says. They obviously can’t give up both their CF’s so I wonder what else they gave up.

      • Mac says:

        I doubt Ichiro is coming here – I don’t even know if he can still play CF.

        I hope Gardner does go, I think the Yanks would be trading him while his value is high.

        • Mike Pop says:

          Ichiro? Haha.

          What aboot Brandon Morrow!!

        • Little Bill says:

          No, Ichiro won’t get traded. Melky is in the lineup so they didn’t do the Washburn deal unless they worked something else out. I wouldn’t mind seeing Gardner go either depending on what they got for him and what else they gave up.

    • xkevin1x says:

      I think this had to be talking about the failed Washburn trade last season. I am in Seattle – there is an absolute lovefest for Gutierrez here. I can’t imagine the Ms have much use for Gardner or Cabrera, let alone both,

  16. Eric says:

    I have to say…I’m not totally against trading Hughes or Joba (but wouldn’t include both and would not include Montero) because I believe that the Yankees are really one pitcher away from winning the World Series. When you are in that position you have to think about the here and now and not just the future. The Yankees have a lot of aging stars and they need to win now.

    Look at the Red Sox deal for Josh Beckett. They gave up Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez and Jesus Delgado. Granted the latter two didn’t work out, but at the time many thought Anibal Sanchez would be great and obviously we know what happened with Hanley. The point is that that trade got the Red Sox an eventual World Series in 2007 and I don’t think many Red Sox fans would say that they regret the deal. Sometimes you just have to go for it now.

    • Mike bk says:

      the difference there was Beckett was 25 not 32 and they also got another piece in Lowell who was great for them for 2 years at least, granted that Roy is much better now than Beckett was at that point for production.

      • Chris says:

        Lowell was completely a salary dump for Florida. If the Red Sox had not gotten him, they would have had to give up MORE, not less.

    • Chris says:

      Anibal Sanchez threw a no hitter, and has a lower career ERA than Buchholz. And he’s only 6 months older. Its probably too early to write him off completely.

      • Eric says:

        I didn’t mean to write him off completely.

        What I am basically asking is – If I told you today that if the Yankees do this deal they win the World Series this year. Does that change your thinking?

  17. Mike bk says:

    interesting news for Boston that will stun ESPN i presume. Cafardo says the Indians turned down Bucholz for Victor and then also turned down Bowden, Masterson and an OF prospect for Victor.

    • Mac says:

      Shapiro just got a new laptop – that I believe is why he turned down Buch for V Mart.

      Seriously though, Buch for Martinez seems like a much better deal than Bowden Masterson +- I think Buch will be a much better major leaguer than Bowden Masterson.

      • zs190 says:

        Yeah, Buchholz is probably at worst a mid rotation guy. Very good curveball and changeup, if he ever commands his fastball well, he’s a top of rotation guy. Bowden+Masterson is kind of like IPK+Aceves.

  18. Mike bk says:

    i would give up both Gardner and Melky if we got Gutierrez back in the deal

  19. Frank says:

    Broken thumb for Gardner. Now, most certainly the Yanks will need to get a RH hitting OFr.

  20. xkevin1x says:

    Joba for Halladay does fulfill a need. Barring a monumental collapse, the 2009 yankees are headed for the playoffs. As of now, the playoff rotation is CC, AJ, Pettitte and ?????. Joba will hit his innings cap and will have to be moved to the bullpen. I personally like the Joba for Halladay swap – it makes the Yankees the clear front runners for this season and next. Joba has talent, but seems unlikely to put it all together before his shoulder gives out.

    Its funny that everyone at RAB acts like Joba for Halladay is ridiculous, but I don’t think that Toronto would be willing to do the deal. Ricciadi can get more….

    • Yages says:

      This is like exchanging a cooked steak for an entire cow. Sure, you can eat the steak right away…

      • DreDog says:

        Mike A would do the trade straight up, and I would too. It’s bot absurd when you consider that Joba won’t be able to give you Hallasay innings for 2 years when Jeter, A-Rod, Mo, Jorge are 2 years older or retired.

        It’s a win now move. Considering the team makeup, win now is not a bad idea.


  21. emac2 says:

    With Gardner out taking Wells giant contract in a Halladay deal might be more doable. If I were he Jays I would prefer to dump that contract then get a couple of good prospects.

    Wells and Halladay


    Jackson. Melancon, McAllister, Deleon and Nova.

  22. King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

    Wells, rios and halladay for Ajax, Nova, a
    nd if you act now–cause we can’t do this all day– buy one Duncan get one free.

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