There’s a bunch of Tweets and stories from Jordan Bastian of MLB.com that shed some light on what the Blue Jays will likely be looking for in a prospective Halladay deal. First, he has a story up on MLB.com saying that the Blue Jays are likely to lose Catcher Rod Barajas this off season. They plan on offering him arbitration, but it appears he has a multi-year deal elsewhere. He also quotes Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos on his Twitter, saying this in reference to the Barajas situation:
“We’re going to keep the dialogue open. But, right now, I don’t see there being good chances of Rod coming back.”
He later Tweeted that Travis Snider has been told he will have to earn a spot on the Jays’ roster during spring training, leaving the possibility of another opening in the outfield on top of the hole left by Alex Rios last year. Finally, he sums up the info with a quote from the Blue Jays GM
Anthopoulos: No. 1 need right now is at catcher, but Jays are also looking for help in the outfield.
My first impression is that this is an attempt to draw the Yanks in to the bidding, having a plan in place for their Catching position next year that could very well be bringing Barajas back on a 2 year deal. But any good GM has a series of contingency plans, so there’s nothing really ‘skull and dagger’ about that. I’m admittedly suspicious when New York beat writers are breaking Red Sox-related stories regarding Halladay, but I’ll take all of this on face value for purposes of this discussion.
This means a few things right away. First, the Red Sox are not as good a match as we initially thought. Casey Kelley is too far away and the don’t have any good catching prospects anywhere near the level of what the Yanks have to offer. The Phillies are an excellent match, maybe the best of all. They could do a Drabek/Brown package and blow everyone else out of the water. But are they willing? Coming as close as they did this season, and being a pitcher (or two) short of winning it all, you’d have to think they are. But Phillies GM Ruben Amaro has shown a willingness to go for lower cost options, opting to pass on Halladay and go for Cliff Lee last season at the trade deadline. His two top prospects may be more than he’s willing to give for one year of Roy Halladay, and I would understand that completely.
We can start drawing up our own various packages that suit the Jays needs while avoiding giving up the kind of multiple high ceiling talents and/or players on the current 25 man roster that most Yankee fans want to avoid for a single year of Halladay’s services. Offer a package that fits their needs directly, but without giving up Joba or Hughes. The Yanks have multiple players at each position of need for the Blue Jays, all of whom are close to MLB ready. A package could consist of some combination of Jesus Montero or Frankie Cervelli, Austin Jackson or Brett Gardner or Melky Cabrera, and one of our AAA arms like Zach McCallister, Ian Kennedy or Ivan Nova. I’m not going to speculate on specific packages since they instantaneously become Pinatas, and I’m sure we all have opinions on which combination is too high and which is too low to get it done. But the point is we are a good fit for the Blue Jays needs both in terms of position(s) and MLB readiness.
So the question becomes, would you be willing to give up a bat like Jesus Montero (with some other useful MLB players) for an arm like Roy Halladay? If just one high upside prospect gets it done, then I’d have to think the answer is yes. But now that Josh Johnson has become available, the decision gets tougher. Lets say Montero+ package gets you Roy Halladay, but a Montero+Joba/Hughes could land you the 26 year old Josh Johnson. Which one would you go for?
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