Is anyone else not all that worried if the Red Sox get Roy Halladay?
To be clear, I don’t think it will happen with them for the same reason it won’t happen with us. Despite their recent statements to the contrary, the Blue Jays really don’t want to deal him in division if at all possible. They’ll use both teams to drive the price up and then trade him for the next best package that comes from out of their division. They don’t want to see him in the visitors dugout 19 games next year, possibly pitching 4-5 games against them. The fact that he’s so popular in Toronto makes it an even tougher pill for fans up there to swallow. For most of the past few seasons, having the best pitcher on either team was all that Blue Jays fans had to hang their hat on when facing the Yanks or Sox. Trading him is bad enough, trading him to their rival would really be rubbing it in.
But I just can’t get all worked up if the Sox unload their farm system AND give a 100+ mil extension for a 33 year old (next season) pitcher. I think it’s bad move, if you look at the entire deal and not just the first few seasons. It’s the kind of move bad, desperate teams make and moves like this are a big part of why some teams are bad more often than not. Halladay makes sense for the Phillies, and where they are on the win curve. He’s that one piece that can put them over the top. For the Yanks or the Sox, trading away a Joba/Hughes/Buccholtz plus another top bat to get him, you’re trading away more productivity than you will receive in all likelihood. You’re worse off as a franchise long term, and tomorrow does come around sooner than you think.
Yes, he’s one of the best pitchers around right now. But that’s past performance. The team that signs him will be paying him for what he did with the Blue Jays, and the overwhelming likelihood is that he will not be the same pitcher over the course of his next contract. He’s already been banged up a bit in recent years, and the guys who continue dominate in their late 30’s (especially in the tough AL East) are few and far between. The one guy who we all thought was the exception to the rule was Randy Johnson and he went from dominating the NL West at age 40 (ERA+ 177) to becoming a very ordinary pitcher the very next season in the AL East with the Yankees (ERA+ 112) and even worse the following season (ERA+ 90) with the Bombers.
If I’m going to give up a huge package of prospects, I want it to be for someone who is entering their prime years. Someone who I can project should put up his best seasons here, not have already had them elsewhere. The Red Sox deal for Josh Beckett comes to mind. A trade for King Felix or Josh Johnson would fit the bill. Those I guys I’d break the bank for. For Halladay, I’d only give up one of our young studs. A package of Joba+ a B-prospect? Fine. A Hughes+ filler deal? I’ll live w/it. But not multiple studs who I’ll be watching enter their prime as I watch Roy age. The ‘trade in your division’ stuff cuts both ways for me. Watching Montero hit 40 HR’s while a 36 year old Halladay spends 2 months on the DL will drive me batty,and I’m sure many other Yankee fans as well.
So while a 2010 BoSox rotation of Halladay/Beckett/Lester would be scary, and undoubtedly the best in Baseball on paper, I’ll still take my chances with the young guns we have now. Let Boston have 23 mil per year of dead weight on their books in the out years of the deal, it will affect them more than the Yanks. The Yanks are just exiting a period when they had old, unproductive dead weight on their books year after year and I don’t want to go back there anytime soon. I don’t make this deal for the same reason we didn’t make the Santana deal. I don’t want to pay twice for a pitcher who’s already showing signs of slipping (health-wise) and I think we’re better off in the long run if we stand pat.
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