Over at RAB, a few of us were having a spirited conversation about Peter Abraham’s suggestion that the Yankees give up Joba Chamberlain, Jesus Montero, and any two others not named Phil Hughes in a trade for Roy Halladay. One poster compared Halladay to Mike Mussina, who was about Halladay’s age when he joined the Yankees, and is in fact one of Doc’s “through current age” top comparable players. Commenter TSJC came through with the following numbers:
Mussina when acquired by the Yankees (32 years old):
Career: 129 ERA+, 1.175 WHIP, 6.9 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, 200 IP and 4 CG per season
Fragile dvdrip 3 most recent seasons: 129 ERA+, 1.191 WHIP, 7.7 K/9, 1.9 BB/9, 215 IP and 4 CG per season
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Halladay now (32 years old):
Career: 132 ERA+, 1.201 WHIP, 6.5 K/9, 2.0 BB/9, 160 IP and 3 CG per season
Those numbers are extremely close, with Halladay possibly having a slight edge. However, Doc does have some injuries in his past, while Moose had been a picture of perfect health to that point. Now, Moose pitched well for the Yankees, especially in those first three years. However, they never won a championship with him despite initially adding him to a stacked, can’t miss rotation. I highly doubt that Yankees fans would give up Joba, Montero, and anyone else not named Hughes if I told them that they were getting the 7 years they got from Moose’s initial contract.
The fact is, nobody over the age of 30 is worth that much. Halladay is likely the second best pitcher in baseball over the last 5 years, but he is really no better than Moose was when he joined the Yankees, and has a more suspect injury history. Moose was very good, but you expected more than one season with an ERA plus over 130 over the life of his initial Yankee contract. Per Fangraphs, his WAR from 2002-2008 was 31.1. That is very good but not something that Joba and Montero cannot reach collectively. Halladay’s ace type performance is in no way guaranteed.
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