• Yanks On The Hunt For Halladay?

    Posted by on November 19th, 2009 · Comments (16)

    Via Jon Heyman yesterday -

    The Yankees recently called the Blue Jays to express interest in superstar pitcher Roy Halladay. And while the Yankees made the very same call last summer with no hope of acquiring Halladay, this time they have a real reason to believe they may actually have a legitimate chance to make a blockbuster trade.

    If that’s a positive development for the World Series champs, the twist is that they might be battling the rival Red Sox for the star pitcher who’s well-known as a Yankee killer, as his 18-6 record against the Bronx Bombers attests.

    Here is the most obvious reason the Yankees (or Red Sox) may now finally have a legit shot to trade for arguably baseball’s best pitcher: New Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos is making it clear he is genuinely willing to consider a deal with either the Yankees or Red Sox, a sharp contrast to Anthopoulos’ predecessor, J.P. Ricciardi, who had GMs convinced he’d never make a Halladay trade with either the Yankees or Red Sox.

    Speaking generally about the concept of intra-division trades, Anthopoulos said by phone Tuesday, “This isn’t the NBA where you’re talking about one of five guys on the floor at all times … If you have two trades that are identical, and one is in the division and one is outside, then it’s easy to go outside the division. However, if the trade is better inside the division, I think you have to take a look at it. We have to do what’s best for our organization.”

    Other GMs said they believe Anthopoulos also understands the Jays aren’t ready to overtake the Yankees or Red Sox yet and has the full faith of upper management, who appeared ready to fire Ricciardi even before he botched the Halladay trade talks by not finding a suitable trade partner when his value was highest. Of course, the possibility also remains that the Jays could still hold Halladay until the summer, when his value would still be close to what it is now.

    Last summer the Yankees never felt the urgency to make an offer for Halladay because they never felt Ricciardi would trade him to Boston. Back in July, Toronto was also asking for both Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes in a bigger package, and the Yankees never were going to do that. But with a year gone by now, the World Series winners might have a reasonable expectation that either Chamberlain or Hughes in a package might at least get the ball rolling. The Yankees also have several catching prospects to entice the Blue Jays, including Jesus Montero, who is still only 19 but is said by one scout to be “off the charts” as a hitting prospect and “better than he’s given credit for as a catcher.”

    If Brian Cashman could turn Joba Chamberlain and some prospects who have yet to prove themselves over a full-season at Double-A (or above) into Roy Halladay…well…then…I might just be forced to display his mugshot on this blog with the caption “My Hero” underneath it…

    Comments on Yanks On The Hunt For Halladay?

    1. MJ
      November 19th, 2009 | 11:30 am

      Chamberlain/Montero would only be the start of discussions, no matter what this article says.

      The price will be ridiculously steep, and that’s before the Yanks are forced to extend a 33 year old pitcher to a contract similar to Sabathia/Santana. Ridiculous to even consider paying prospects and cash for someone that we clearly don’t need.

      The Yanks just won the World Series without Halladay. Why empty the cubbards and the coffers for him, no matter how good he is?

    2. YankCrank
      November 19th, 2009 | 11:50 am

      MJ wrote:

      The price will be ridiculously steep

      Exactly MJ, before every Yankee fans starts foaming at the mouth in anticipation they just need to simply look at the Johan Santana picture. Why would we pay double for a pitcher named Halladay when we wouldn’t do it for Santana?

      The players we would have/could have sent over to Minnesota for Santana just helped us win a World Series (Melky, Hughes, Chamberlain). That’s the value in not paying double for one player, don;t Yankee fans see that yet?

      It’s not like I want him, but even Lackey will cost just money. Next year Cliff Lee and Matt Cain will cost just money, and next year Roy Halladay may cost just money. Pass, let another team pay double for him.

    3. MJ
      November 19th, 2009 | 11:59 am

      YankCrank wrote:

      It’s not like I want him, but even Lackey will cost just money. Next year Cliff Lee and Matt Cain will cost just money, and next year Roy Halladay may cost just money. Pass, let another team pay double for him.

      Bingo. As Cashman smartly passed on Johan for Sabathia, so too should he pass on trading for Halladay when he can just sign any number of good pitchers coming to market next winter.

    4. November 19th, 2009 | 12:30 pm

      Halladay is a very, very, special pitcher. And, he doesn’t carry the same injury concerns that were around Santana. I think, if you have a chance to get him, you do it. Lee and Cain are not Halladays.

      Think of it this way. You have CC Sabathia. And, he’s the real deal – assuming he doesn’t exercise his opt out clause when it’s up, of course.

      Behind CC you have Burnett. Great stuff. But, basically a 15-game winner at best. And, that assumes he doesn’t go back into Pavano mode where he starts spending his summers on the disabled list…as many feared he would revert back to when the Yankees gave him that big contract.

      After that, maybe, you have Pettitte who is nice – but, on the backside of his career, for sure.

      Next comes the cast of has-beens and never-was’s that Cashman loves to use in the 4th and 5th spots of his rotation…Joba, Hughes, Kennedy, Ponson, Mitre, Chacon, etc.

      That’s not a rock-solid rotation. Sure, the Yankees were able to bat-bash their way into the post-season this year and then ride CC, AJ and Andy to a ring. But, can you count on that in 2010?

      Having CC and Halladay at the front of your rotation next season basically means you’re going to win at least 80 games next season even if your #3, #4 and #5 guys are just average. And, then, if Burnett does not tank, you’re winning 95 and will be in the post-season.

      Basically, IMHO, getting Halladay makes the Yankees a lock to make October next year. Can you say that about them, for sure, without having him?

    5. MJ
      November 19th, 2009 | 12:37 pm

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      Santana was a better, younger pitcher at the time he was made available. You aren’t saying anything that is egregiously wrong here but, again, the Yanks just won the title without him. There’s no reason to believe that they can’t do so again in 2010 AND still sign premium free agents for 2011 without having to blow the money and the prospects.

      At the time of the Santana negotiations, everyone’s line was the same: Santana is “a very, very special pitcher…” Just remember your history.

    6. #15
      November 19th, 2009 | 12:57 pm

      Hughes or Joba, a top prospect, and some filler, and I’d do it in a heartbeat. I’d make that trade even if it’s for just one year because we’d be lined up to be scary good in 2010. After that, the market will determine if Doc or Lee is the best way to go, assuming Lee hasn’t signed long term with the Pills. I hate to bring it up, but the problem with the deal I describe, is that the Botox can match or beat it. I think the sure fire way to get Roy (cringe) is to offer to take Wells off their hands as well, with Toronto picking up a big chunk of the contract balance (ala Texas and A-Rod). Only the Evil Empire can drop that kind of coin. If that’s what it would take, I’d only do it if we are able to pre-negotiate a multi-year with Roy. You wave goodbye to Damon at that point and move Melky/Gardner to left/4th outfielder. Our outfield defense gets stronger, our 1-2-3 starters are the best the Yankees have had since I don’t know when, and we are lined up to take a run at winning a couple of WS in the nest 3-4 years. I understand the Wells contract may be the worst contract in baseball, Toronto would have to be willing to eat ~ 30 million+ over the rest of the contract to get this in the realm of reason.

    7. MJ
      November 19th, 2009 | 1:11 pm

      @ #15:
      I disagree on two counts. First, trading prospects for one year of Halladay is a short-sighted move. If the Yanks are going to trade for Halladay, they have to do it with the intention of keeping him long term. Any other way would be ridiculous.

      Second, there is absolutely no way that the Yanks accept any deal with Vernon Wells. Wells sucks and the Yanks would be fools to help Toronto out of their mistake, even for Halladay.

    8. RockyTopYankee
      November 19th, 2009 | 1:29 pm

      Agree completely MJ.

      If the Yankees do trade for Halladay, a contract extension will certainly be part of the deal – at least an additional 4 years after 2010. That will mean they will have three of their starters committed to huge contracts into their declining years – CC, AJ, and Halladay will be in their mid-upper 30s in 4-5 years. Will Halladay still be very, very special at age 38? Very, very doubtful.

      And this is very similar to the Santana situation – why give up prospects now when the free agent market is much stronger next year? This team needs to get younger, instead of committing to players as they head into their declining years.

    9. GDH
      November 19th, 2009 | 1:40 pm

      Barring some miraculous, Mike Lowell – like revival, I’d have to agree with MJ that Vern is just an albatross that Toronto will have to deal with.

      Halladay is exactly Santana, plus four years older. You’re paying big big coin and top prospects for his performance in another uniform.

      Trading players this season, for the Yankees, is probably not the type of move to make. There’s good argument that bringing back last year’s team would put us in the playoffs again, and with the right FA signings we could keep all the prospects too.

    10. #15
      November 19th, 2009 | 4:03 pm

      @ RockyTopYankee:
      And this is very similar to the Santana situation – why give up prospects now when the free agent market is much stronger next year? This team needs to get younger, instead of committing to players as they head into their declining years….

      I know that’s the mantra, younger & more athletic, but my take is they need to get better for the short run (the next 2, 3, or 4 seasons). I just don’t want to waste the last few great/very good years that they are likely to get out of Jeter, Mo, Jorge, Andy, and perhaps even A-Rod. Doc gets us there. Hughes and or Joba might be great someday, but probably not in time to line up with the Core Four+. That’s why I’d give up one of ‘em.

    11. RockyTopYankee
      November 19th, 2009 | 4:26 pm

      #15 wrote:

      I know that’s the mantra, younger & more athletic, but my take is they need to get better for the short run (the next 2, 3, or 4 seasons). I just don’t want to waste the last few great/very good years that they are likely to get out of Jeter, Mo, Jorge, Andy, and perhaps even A-Rod. Doc gets us there. Hughes and or Joba might be great someday, but probably not in time to line up with the Core Four+. That’s why I’d give up one of ‘em.

      I can understand that view, but there must also be a balance between thinking long term and thinking short term. Once we’ve gotten all that Mo, Jeter, Jorge, and Andy can give us, then what? Who will be around to take their place if we’ve traded away our best young players like Joba and Montero?

      The way to improve in the short term while also building a new core of young players is through free agency rather than trades. I do agree that they should add one more SP for next season – I think signing a guy like Sheets or Harden is the way to address that – they can fill the gap until a better crop of free agent pitchers is available year.

    12. Raf
      November 19th, 2009 | 7:24 pm

      MJ wrote:

      Second, there is absolutely no way that the Yanks accept any deal with Vernon Wells. Wells sucks and the Yanks would be fools to help Toronto out of their mistake, even for Halladay.

      Then again, if it means the Yanks give up spare parts (or otherwise less of a package) for Wells/Halladay, they should consider it

    13. 77yankees
      November 19th, 2009 | 7:36 pm

      If Joba, Montero, & Melancon does it, I say go for it. Maybe they even consider throwing in Brett Gardner (please, please, please) as well.

      Then you have CC, Halladay, AJ, Pettitte(?) & Hughes as your starters.

    14. MJ
      November 19th, 2009 | 7:42 pm

      Raf wrote:

      Then again, if it means the Yanks give up spare parts (or otherwise less of a package) for Wells/Halladay, they should consider it

      The Wells contract makes him completely worthless. And I imagine that if the Blue Jays give up Halladay for your so-called “spare parts” then they’d be reluctant to toss in money for Wells.

      If the Yanks want Halladay, they should be prepared to go get him. Why complicate matters by bringing a player the Yanks don’t want? Don’t shop for shit you don’t want or don’t need. Either buy something you want/need or don’t go shopping.

      Again, why pay in prospects and cash for Halladay (and Wells) when you can just wait a year and have your pick of all the best free agent pitchers around?

    15. butchie22
      November 19th, 2009 | 11:36 pm

      Anthopoulos trading Halladay to the Red Sox or Yankees is like trading Mattingly to the Blue Jays during their heyday! He’s probably using both teams to drive up the price….. Heyman is such a dolt. Ricciardi didn’t botch anything, the ownership was reticent to deal him because of the outcry over the possiblity of a trade.JP Retardi was fired over a million other things including a supposed team mutiny against Cito last year. If they trade him within the divison they have to RAPE said team talent wise. In my opinion the team with the better chance will be Boston,although I still can’t see him being traded to either team. IMO, Philly is the most logical situation. They still have the perfect prospects to get it done and they need another lights out pitcher. Gillick pushed for it BUT Amaro went with Lee ,who was great for them BUT Doc could have started games 1,4 and 7 of the World Seriies if need be. And even after they got Lee, they had the prospects to obtain Halladay.

      @ MJ and Crank, we agree,PERIOD! Can you believe that? As much as I admire Doc, he”s getting up there in age. I can’t see him pitching for an AL team past next year as brilliant as he is. UNLESS that team pays him an obscene amount of money. Once again with all the free agents next year, the Yanks can make a more judicious choice. If the Blow Jays trade Doc to either the NYY$ or the Red Pox , they will extract something painful from them. PASS! The Yanks will still be have their pick of Beckett, Cain etc so on so the landspace will not be barren.and I can’t see any team having two pitchers that make 23 million a year, what Doc will probably make. Even for the money bloated Yankees that’s a bad use of funds,that they can use elsewhere.

    16. Scout
      November 20th, 2009 | 8:32 am

      A few points:

      1. We do not yet know what the market for Halladay will be. Toronto clearly wants as many teams as possible involved, especially the Yankees and Red Sox. If the market is strong, then a team will need to pay more.

      2. No player makes the Yankees a lock for the post-season. This is all about probabilities. The conversation divides between those who believe the Yankees already have enough pitching to be a strong candidate fo rthe play-offs and those who question whether the team as constituted can repeat its 2009 success. For the latter (and I am one of them), adding a front-of-the-rotation starter would significantly improve the probability of a return to the play-offs and thus to the World Series.

      3. Another issue is your time frame for team success. Those who believe the Yankkes are operating with a limited window of time due to aging regulars want to invest more now to maximize the probability of winning again with the current core of players. Halladay or Lackey would do that. On the other side are those who think the window will remain open for a longer time as players such as Chamberlain, Hughes, and Montero mature. In defense of the latter viewpoint, its advocates have urged making reasonable investments now to shore up the team, including pitchers such as Sheets and Bedard who have some upside if healthy. As I see it, this is again about probability. Do you want the surer bet (Halladay or Lackey) or are you prepared to accept greater risk in exchange for a better return ont he dollar? (BTW, I’d be curious to know whether proponents of either side advocate different investment strategies in their financial affairs.)

      4. Neither the Yankees nor any other team will take the now-worthless Wells from Toronto. That would amount to paying Halladay something akin to $40/year, plus incur a larger luxury tax penalty. Why would you do that with a Lackey available on the market? Yes, of course, Halladay is the better pitcher, but the difference is not nearly great enough to justify the loss of roster flexibility such a trade would entail.

      5. Cashman’s MO seems pretty clear. Although he will make a trade when it surits him, he prefers not to “pay twice” by handing over top prospects and paying top dollar to lock up a player to a long-term deal. This alone suggests that if there were to be a strong bidding war among teams seeking to deal with Toronto, the Yankees would drop out early. Of note, too, is that the team that acquires Halladay and signs him long-term will not be able to afford top free agent pitchers next year (and possibly the following couple of years). If Casman expects the likes of Cliff Lee to actually reach the market, that again makes it less likely he’ll offer much for Halladay.

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