On Thursday the Toronto Blue Jays made public their demands for superstar pitcher Roy Halladay. Three-for-one seems pretty appropriate given that Halladay is one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball. However, the three players that the Blue Jays are seeking may ensure that Halladay remains on a non-contending team for at least another season.
The Blue Jays have made it known that they will accept Phillies pitcher J.A. Happ and top prospects Kyle Drabek and Dominic Brown. While the Phillies seem very eager to add Halladay to the roster, this request has forced them to think again about this year's push towards the playoffs.
Several reports argue that the Phillies would be willing to deal Happ or Drabek, but not both. This seems fair given there are no guarantees for Halladay remaining with the team after his contract runs out in 2010. My guess is the Phillies are looking to have at least one of these young arms in the rotation for a number of years, with the Phils’ brass likely leaning to Drabek as that long-term option. Parting with both pitchers now would leave some serious holes after 2010. While Brown is the highest rated everyday prospect in the system, the Phillies current outfield corps – all three All-Stars in 2009 – makes his loss a little easier to swallow.
Over the next few days there will be more offers and counter-offers, but ultimately the Phillies are going to have to decide how important Halladay is to their plans of a repeat championship in 2009. The Blue Jays are clearly in the driver’s seat here and have put on their best poker face. Halladay even acknowledged this isn’t a situation where the team is trying to get rid of him nor is he eager to leave, thus complicating things even more for the Phillies.
In the end, I think the Phillies will do everything possible to get Halladay, except for accepting the Blue Jays’ proposal. The Phillies recent run may have them feeling like they could make a run at another championship with the pieces in place, however no one should consider they made anything other than a sign that the Phillies can beat the teams that aren’t so great. The real question is: would the Phillies rather face down
One thing I know for sure – there are no obvious answers in this situation. The Phillies fan in me says that I’m happier if Halladay is on our team. We’ve waiting quite some time for a consistently good team. Let’s make the most of this opportunity!