To the surprise of no one, the Yankees are officially in the Roy Halladay sweepstakes. Of course, it’s unclear whether this is just a smokescreen to drive the price up for other teams. I imagine the Yankees and Blue Jays will exchange names, and if turns out Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes plus Austin Jackson gets it done, I would initially be highly disappointed but begrudgingly come to terms with the move.
I realize this is a complete 180 from my Save Phil Hughes days, but the reality is it’s two years later, and as Ben astutely pointed out the other day, the Yankees should have a better idea of what they feel their top two young starting pitchers will end up becoming. If that ceiling is something lower than an above-average starting pitcher, then as much as it might sting to lose one of the most exciting homegrown guys Yankee fans have been exposed to in years, the Yankees pretty much have to make that deal. We’d still have one of Joba or Hughes (I’m honestly torn at this point as to which one I’d prefer to keep), and, most importantly, the best rotation in baseball.
Of course, you have to figure Toronto will also demand Jesus Montero, which the Yankees will probably balk at. The only way I see Montero getting shipped to the Blue Jays in a Halladay deal is if the Yankees are 110% convinced they can land Joe Mauer after the 2010 season.
At one point I assumed Mauer to the Yankees was a certainty, but now I’m not so sure. One has to imagine that Minnesota will do whatever it can to retain the face of the franchise, while lifelong Minnesotan Mauer will likely feel a strong desire to continue playing for his hometown team.
In conclusion, my ultimate preference is that the Yankees don’t do anything, but if they determine they absolutely must trade for Halladay and can get it done only sacrificing one of Hughes or Chamberlain, then I can get on board with it.
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