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Friday, July 24, 2009


Sorry, too much.

Happ AND Drabek? Rube, be smart here.

This will definitely be a good challenge for Happ. As a new fangraphs article points out, St. Louis is now very righty-heavy in their lineup. Against RHB, as compared to LHB, Happ is plus .030 in BA and OBP against, while being plus .060 in SLG against.

Should be a good test.

I wouldn't do that deal...Don't give up your #3 in the midst of a pennant race.

I'd substitute Carrasco and another prospect in lieu of Happ.

It's a big price, particularly when you consider Happ is a semi-proven MLB SP, and not just a prospect anymore.

Still, as long a Hallday is healthy, I'd bite the bullet and do it.

Taylor looks like he's almost ready, and there's no guarantee on Brown.



That's a weak bottom of the rotation.

It's a fair proposal or start to a proposal. The deal breaker for me would be Brown to tell you the truth, not Happ or Drabek.

I'm okay with Brown (even though I think he has AS potential). We'd still have Taylor to replace Werth.

Happ would be my dealbreaker, JW.

It a deal that so close it should make BL'ers experts happy as no matter what Rube does they can have a field day.

It's a lot to give up, no doubt. But if giving up Happ makes the deal a 3-for-1, then at least we have an additional silver lining. We'd keep Carrasco, Taylor, Donald, Marson, Knapp, D'Arnaud, and some of the developing arms in AA. Hell, it might even leave us with enough to swing another deal for a RH bat or a back-end reliever.

I'm still inclined to believe he can be had for less.

Well this is certainly a reality check.

I'd rather give up 2 prospects than the #3 in our rotation. Happ has already shown he can get MLB hitter out. None of the prospects have done that. I'd rather do Drabek, Carrasco, Brown and Donald than that.

I've always been 100% in favor of this deal if it didn't involve Happ. Involving Happ subtracts from our current rotation (even if it does add an ace), and I think that's a line that Rube should think very hard about crossing.

But Happ AND Drabek? Riccardi clearly feels he has the upper-hand here in not HAVING to deal Doc, so he's asking for the moon. I would be hesitant to give it to him. I don't evnvy Rube's position.

It sounds (to me, a decided non-expert) like the Jays leaking a "first offer"-type proposal. I would hope and expect that the Phillies' counteroffer is significantly lower, and it ends up somewhere in the middle. i.e., I think what's going to end up happening is the Jays get 2 of these 3, plus 1 more 2nd tier prospect (Marson, Donald, etc) in lieu of whichever of these 3 stays.

Don't do it.

Halliday has a LOT of miles on that arm. He's already 32 years old. He's a small town guy, who has been hiding in Toronto, pitching in obscurity.

Not saying he won't do a great job here. But, wouldn't be surprised if he isn't nearly as sharp as some might think. The pressure will be squarely on him to produce. And if he doesn't or the team falls short (especially after the team just won 11 of their last 12 games without him) in the playoffs, fairly or not, he will get a lot of blame. Especially, if one of 2009's best pitchers in the NL gets traded in the deal to get him.

I am not saying this team couldn't use a 2nd starter to pair with Hamels in the playoffs. I am not saying the team won't be more dangerous in a short series with Halliday.

But I don't think this deal puts the Phils over the top or even the favorite in the NL.

Because as it does with most teams, it comes down to the closer and if you can lock down games. And, the Phils in 2009, don't have that guy and are woefully short in that department. Unless Lidge does a 180 MENTALLY and PHYSICALLY and shows anything close to form again, this team is in trouble down the road.

And Halliday doesn't solve this problem in the least.

They are Scouting carrasco tonight. Pray he does well then add him and Donald and take our happ.

Without a doubt he can be had for less. Riccardi is not in the strongest bargaining position. Doc has a full no trade and he wants to come here. Plus, the blue jays don't really have any other teams that match up. That's why Riccardi has been leaking to the media for weeks to increase his leverage. If this is poker, its time to call his bluff.

JW: you'd rather deal Taylor with Happ and Drabek?

NEPP: I completely agree that it's very tough to part with a contributing member of this year's rotation. I'm just looking at the other side, and noticing that we'd still have Marson and Donald to deal (or keep, for that matter). I also haven't given up on Carrasco, the kid has good peripherals (save with runners on), tons of Ks, and a good FIP. Just 22, he's got plenty of time to take the next step. I think he's more than a throw-in.

If Victorino weren't in center for us ... we'd have some big problems.

Halladay will dominate NL hitters like C.C. did last year. I think Happ still has to go around the league one more time to prove he could be a legit front of the rotation pitcher.

Mozeliak, the Cardinals GM, had an interesting comment when he discussed the Matt Holliday trade today:

Per Scott Lauber:

""These types of opportunities are rare. The price to complete this deal was steep, but our organization feels that it should greatly improve our chances to compete for a postseason berth."

“It’s always difficult, but if you feel that you’re getting a deal that you believe is better, even though it may have very short-term ramifications and you may be sacrificing a year or two down the road, you’re not always going to be in contention,”

There is no guarantee Drabek will even pan out or remain injury free.

There is no guarantee Brown will ever pan out.

Losing Happ is the tough part to swallow.

Happ is a deal-breaker for me too. If you include Happ, you're not really getting the same bang for your buck because, when the dust settles, your team still has the exact same areas of weakness that you had before you made the trade.

Great play by Feliz!

I can't believe what I'm seeing here. We don't want to give up our #3 in order to get the BEST PITCHER IN BASEBALL, who is tailor made for CBP? Everybody else in the deal is an unknown. Halladay is a proven commodity.

As for the comment about if we have Halladay and no Happ we have a weak bottom 3, Right now we have a weak top 2. What's more important, especially in the playoffs?


I think thats a bit much, especially considering the deals for CC and Santana that have gone through recently.

I'll re-quote Mozeliak:

" even though it may have very short-term ramifications and you may be sacrificing a year or two down the road, you’re not always going to be in contention,”

It's this simple:

Even if the kept Drabek, Brown and Happ and traded Carrasco, Marson and Donald for Halladay - or a bag of balls, THERE IS NO GUARANTEE THEY'LL BE IN CONTENTION in a couple of years.

Man, choppers to 3rd base is the name of the game today.

rolo, but you can guarantee they won't be in contention if you trade the farm.

Well, his legs were one of the reasons the Cards picked up Holliday ...

Got to keep Happ. Rube won't do it, Jay's are starting high. We need to add to the rotation not take away.

I hope Happ wore his pitching pants tonight. Wow do I hate seeing this team face sinkerballers.

This is the only time I plan on doing this, but I finally got around to putting together the baseball blog I've had in mind for a while. I've put two deadline-related posts up today, so if you've got a minute I'd appreciate it if you'd click on my name, give it a look, and leave a little feedback. Thanks, BL.

Big time strikeout by Happ. I really like this guy.

Really tough proposal to swallow. I like the Twitter rumor better, although I guess that was a heckuva rumor considering how quickly this report surfaced afterwards.

I don't know if there is a single part of this group that I don't want to let go. I suppose I'd be fine with it if they just dumped one of 'em and filled it in with a prospect from the next tier down (let's call it the "Carrasco-level prospects").

Darn. I spoke too soon. I hate Happ. :)

This kid throws strikes!

Bad pitch up 1-2, came right back over the middle of the plate.

That run might be the only one the Cardinals need against a sinkerballer, they make the Phils look horrid.

err, only one the Cardinals need *with* a sinkerballer. Need an edit button.

The Holliday deal pays the Cards immediate dividends.

Why in the hell do you start a game when you need to have a rain delay 20 minutes into said game? I can't stand that, needlessly burns pitchers.

Too much. My untouchables are Happ and Taylor.

Maybe counteroffer with Drabek, Brown, Kendrick and Donald.

They had to know the rain was incoming (anyone with access to could see it) so why the heck did they even start this game?

I'm getting tired of this rain delay after one inning junk. Look at the freaking forecast and make a decision before we blow our starter. This is a disgrace.

What if they did it knowing full well that the rains were coming and they could throw Carpenter multiple innings tonight and that they'd waste Piniero? It's worth it then right?

i don't understand this constant use of the "even if we keep prospects there is no guarantee they will succeed" argument. Guys, baseball is a simple PROBABILITY GAME! If you trade away your best prospects, it is less likely that you will have bonafide homegrown talent come into the big league club in the next few years. You might not have had any bona fide talent anyway, but now your CHANCES are less. the fact that it isnb't 100% probability at any point doesn't mean the probabilistic difference isn't significant.

Whatever happens with Doc. Its been alot of years since a guy like him has 'wanted' to go to Philadelphia. The Phils for too long have always been top player repellent not magnet. So whatever happens its nice to know good players now want to be Phillies.

I would actually love if the Phils could substitute Carrasco instead of Happ. Still, the Phils won in the playoffs last year because of three factors:

1. Hamels dominated
2. They mashed a ton of HRs
3. Bullpen including Lidge was very air tight.

They can mash with anybody right now but how many people think Hamels and Lidge are capable of duplicating their postseasons from last year? I don't.

Well, we ARE the WFCs...that means something. We also have probably the best offense baseball.

Heyman just said on MLB, that there is "no way" the Phils deal both Happ and Drabek.

He says it will be EITHER Happ or Drabek (likely Drabek) and EITHER Brown or Taylor (likely Brown) with 1 or 2 other prospects (I would think Carrasco would be one).

That was poor pitch selection by Happ/Ruiz to Ankiel. Ankiel is awful against lefty's and can't hit a slider to save his life. You get him 1-2, you have to bury him with the slider.

The way Happ's fastball/cutter runs in to righties, its no surprise that pitch drifted over the middle of the plate to Ankiel. That's just a tough pitch to control, lefty to lefty, the way JA pitches. He left it out and Ankiel drove it for a single.

guys Brown is the only guy you DEFINATELY GIVE UP. He is playing in Aingle A and is AT LEAST TWO YEARS away. Happ is good now and Drabek is probably one year away at the most. I hope this is just posturing, but that PRICE IS WAY TOO HIGH.

Bad time to catch the Cards - 3 of first 4 hitters are new - must feel like the first day of the season in that dugout.

Two things I don't understand:

- This insistence that trading Happ somehow hurts the Phils chances of making the playoffs this year (Don't think so) or next year (more of an issue)

- That dealing Happ is a non-starter. Happ's value likely will never be greater. There are several peripherals that point to him being the benefactor of some really good luck to go along with his good starting pitching. Maxim to live by, "Sell high, buy low."

If it has to go down as stated in Jason's post, I wonder what else Reuben might wheedle out of Toronto. Bruntlett for Scutaro? Maybe a bullpen piece?

MG: The playoffs are basically a crapshoot. You can't analyze it like you do the regular season. Theres a reason baseball has a 162 game season. In any 5 or 7 particular games, anything can happen.

Vic doesn't hit a grand slam in the NLDS? Maybe the phillies lose that game and lose the series and the Rays win, or the Dodgers win, or who knows. You never can predict anything about October other than 7 teams lose and 1 team wins.

IMO of course.

I'm not in Philly and too lazy to go to

Anyone have prospects on the length of this delay?

Happ's peripherals point to him being a solid 4th starter at the low end and possibly a good #3. He's not the #2 he's looking like right now but that's not that much of a drop off.

Should be short delay. The heavy storms are just south of the park.

I'd say in 30 minutes, they will back playing (which might save both starters).

This deal has got me thinking about Ferguson Jenkins and Rhyne Sandberg.

Can't look back.

MG: it's not about Happ for the future, it's about Happ being a key part of the rotation depth right now. If you do this deal (forgetting the part about the request for Drabek AND Happ being too high) you are basically rolling with Hamels, Halladay and Blanton + who the hell knows as a playoff rotation. Keeping Happ gives the rotation depth...dealing him leaves us with the same problem we had before.

I don't think anyone is saying dealing Happ will keep us from making the playoffs. The division is a safe bet right now even without a trade.

So during the rain delay - what better to do than switch over to Toronto v. Rays and watch our boy Halladay throw about 9 pitches to get 3 outs in the 2nd inning. The guy is sick and would put us over the top!! We need to get him.

All of the negative talk about Halladay could've also been said about Ibanez. i.e. being old/worn down and playing in a small market city will make it tough to play here. No chance. The guy is a workhorse and wants to win. He will push everyone to do more!

On another note, why is no one mentioning Rod Lopez as contending for a spot in the rotation? He has done well in the few games he has pitched for us and would be a better bet down the stretch than "first time through the league J Happ."

If someone told you during spring training that we could get Roy Halladay for J Happ, Drabek and Brown - what would you say?

I'd prefer not to trade either Brown or Taylor, but it's unrealistic to think the Jays would make a trade without getting one of them. Just think the ceiling is so high on both. We wouldn't be where we are today without superstar homegrown position talent like Rollins, Utley and Howard that do what they do over 162 games. I think Taylor and Brown have a shot to be those caliber players. I look around the minors and guys like Brown and Taylor are total rarities, so parting with them is not to be taken lightly.

If we're gonna judge Halladay by the half inning, guess we shouldn't mention the 2 runs he's given up so far in the 3rd?

To me, this is too much. I would rather take our chances or trade for a not quite as good pitcher and give up less.

Plus, in a world of close playoff games, I think that I agree with everyone who says the biggest obstacle to repeating, by far, is Brad Lidge. If it is October, and he is our closer, and still has a 7 ERA, our chances to repeat seem to be about nil.

On the other hand, if we have a reliable closer, and Cole is pitching well, I think our top four is capable of bringing us back to the promise land.

Carrasco just gave up 3 run in the 3rd.


To JW: I agree completely on Brown and Taylor...they could both be corner OFs at CBP for 10 year if we keep them. Its tough to let go of talent like that in the minors.

Iceman - The "Happ being a key to the rotation right now" is the flimiest and by far the weakest reason not to trade him. If anything that is the reason you move him now in order to maximize your chances to win this year

How is a rotation of Halladay-Hamels-Blanton-Moyer/Pedro not clearly superior to a playoff rotation of Hamels-Blanton-Happ-Moyer/Pedro?

i kind of think happ has to go. as somebody already said, his value will never be higher. i, for one, think TOR is just starting out high and realistically expects to get either drabek or happ, not both. i'd rather trade happ. halladay/hamels/blanton/moyer/lopez or pedro seems fairly solid, especially considering pedro could turn into a pleasant surprise (not likely but here's hoping) with playoff experience.

also, does everybody just think we have no shot at extending halladay if we do trade for him? i think it's at least a possibility that we'll keep him for longer than the 1.33 years left on his deal.

I'd give up Happ if it meant keeping Drabek or Drabek if it mean keeping Happ. You can't give up both.

Carrasco is again showing why he will not be a legit option...he implodes every time he gets men on base.

3 BB, 3 ER so far. ERA over 5.

My other thought is this: Purely from a fan's perspective, trading for Doc puts me back on the edge. Basically, I look at this season, and I am pretty happy. We have a good team, a chance to improve it with prospects, and we have talent that will be coming up within the next year or two to keep the team going as players age. Basically, while I would be upset if they lost, I would think "OK, we still have next year... and the year after... and the year after." But if they lose, as Brad Lidge blows two saves, and we run into a hot pitcher, or whatever, all of a sudden, the 'disaster' feeling in the pit of my stomach is back.

Maybe that doesn't make sense, and maybe you cannot go by that in your baseball decisions. And, I would probably be a crappy GM. But, right now, I am envisioning watching a good, homegrown Phils team for years and years. If we do this type of win now trade, we have raised the stakes enough that we will have to send beat cops back to the Ben Franklin Bridge should we not win it all.

The one thing the Phils have done well - through luck or otherwise - is hang on to the precious few gems the system has produced. You can be sure Rube lays awake tonight worrying about trading away the next Beltran or Winfield.

They just said on MLB, that Halliday had trouble beating Tampa last year. They were a playoff team. He is struggling against them tonight.

And he is slow to the plate. Which isn't good against a team like the Dodgers, who have some good speed.

Just some interesting info.

I'd go for the trade and try and repeat. You repeat and you go from a "maybe they got lucky" to a "historic dynasty type team"...aka Big Red Machine.

I am not a "Happ-hater" far from it but remember when the same writers were saying that KK was "grity" and "a bulldog" because he was stranding a bunch of runners on base in '07?

Happ looks like a capable MLB starter but he is a fly-ball pitcher who gives up his share of HRs in a HR-friendly park, doesn't K a bunch of hitters (less than 5 K/9 as a starter and closer to 4.5 K/9 which is pretty pedestrian), and still is really heavily reliant upon his fastball.

He can clearly be successful but I have a feeling that NL teams are going to be more much successful next year against Happ after they have seen him 2-3 times and their advance scouts can provide some better advice on how to approach him.

game is going to restart at 8:10

I was struck by the fact that only 3 pitchers have won WS games for teams to which they were traded that year. It's like the baseball gods don't like that type of thing or whatever.

MG- I'm not saying it's necessarily a deal-breaker. I'm saying there is a significant difference between a Halladay-Hamels-Happ-Blanton playoff rotation and a Halladay-Hamels-Blanton-??? playoff rotation. Giving up Happ makes the depth an even trade-off with a bunch of wild-cards in the waiting for the 4th and 5th spots. Keeping Happ gives us a solid 1-4 in the playoffs allowing us to move the question marks to long relief and/or using them in case of an injury.

Again, I'm not saying Happ is a complete deal-breaker. But I am saying that asking for Drabek and Happ is basically sacrificing the future AND the luxury of having a solid 1-4 in the present. It should be either one or the other- both should not be a requirement.

denny - You really think the Rays are going to beat out the Yanks/Red Sox this year? I don't.

Halladay Splits:


16-5, 2.90 ERA

Red Sox

13-12, 4.30 ERA


11-9, 3.73 ERA


17-9, 3.03 ERA

So there is a bit of support for the "he has trouble with playoff teams as his numbers against the Rays/BoSox aren't the greatest. His NL numbers are great though.

Iceman - Okay I understand why you are saving now. Yeah it would be giving up alot.

I wouldn't be sad at all to see Happ go if he brings back somebody like Halladay but the Phils are going to have a bunch of question marks in their rotation next year if they don't make a trade in a crappy FA market for starter this coming offseason.

If the Phils don't make a move now, they likely are going to have to make a trade during the offseason to acquire that veteran starter to replace Myers.

Happ is going to stay in the game also

Hey Denny, NEPP, BAP...where do you guys get your in-game info for the minors, like tonight's LV game with Carrasco pitching?

****doesn't K a bunch of hitters (less than 5 K/9 as a starter and closer to 4.5 K/9 which is pretty pedestrian),****

Um, which stats are you looking at MG? Happ's career k/9 ratio is 6.7 and his 2009 k/9 is 6.2

Everybody is talking about Holliday and Pujols etc, etc, etc but Carpenter is the guy who is going to sink or swim the Cards this year in the postseason.

If he is healthy (and who really knows if that will be the case by Oct), he is the one starter I wouldn't want the Phils to see in a short series. Filthy stuff when healthy and he was "been there, done that" mentality which helps too.

I simply use for the boxscores...

The Toronto announcing team make TMac-Wheels seem worthy of the Ford C. Frick.

Thanks looks like Carrasco has only given up 2 hits through 4, but one of them (the triple) came after he walked his only three batters of the game. It does seem like he cruises then implodes in one inning a lot...

NEPP - Ugh mouth error. His K/9 this year in 11 starts is 6.0 K/9. That's pretty solid.

Heres hoping Pineiro is a bit tight from the rain delay and throws a couple mistake pitches.

I can dream.

MG- yeah, I think you and I are actually of like minds here. I have always been 100% in the 'Get Doc no matter what the cost camp' for reasons you've already mentioned. I would not be upset at all about Happ leaving if he were the centerpiece for the deal. Happ + Carrasco + Brown would be absolutely fine with me. But if Drabek AND Happ AND Brown is Riccardi's final offer...he seems to be preying on the 'win-now' mentality and knows he has Rube over a barrel. No WAY should it take that much.

And yet if I were Rube, I would still have a very, very tough time saying no.

I know everyone hates that proposal, and Rube won't do this, but let's not get too crazy here. I think Brown's in the trade, but they won't get both Happ and Drabek here. I think you're seeing this thing work itself out. I think by Monday, this thing will be white hot, and we'll be close to a deal.

I can't remember which scout said it but someone mentioned that his entry music should be "Firestarter" was not a compliment.

They criticize Happ by saying he only throws fastballs but he throws like 4 different fastballs so its slightly an unfair criticism.

Iceman, in what alternate reality does Riccardi have Amaro over a barrel? I think thats a bit overstating it.

gotta like piniero's mustache.

I think Brown and Donald are locks for a deal. Donald has been mentioned too many times and they need a stopgap SS after Scutaro leaves this off-season. Its a matter of the remaining prospect/prospects in the deal.

Knight- I didn't word that right. I should have said if Rube has the same mentality I (and many other fans) have, he definitely has him over a barrel. But that's why Rube is paid the big bucks, and I'm sitting here drinking Yuengling spending a Friday night with my laptop.

In other words, I don't think he'll do this deal. Or he won't pull the trigger on it until the last minute if he does.

We're over a barrel when we have salaries to dump, and over a barrel when other teams have salaries to dump. It's our lot in life.

I swear, the Phillies look like a AAAA team against sinkerballers. It's painful.

"They criticize Happ by saying he only throws fastballs but he throws like 4 different fastballs so its slightly an unfair criticism."

He has started mixing his off-speed pitches much more, in his last few starts. He threw a ton of changes and sliders against Florida.

His cutter/fastball is his best pitch, so he should throw it the most. The best pitch in baseball is a well placed fastball.

Carrasco has actually pitched pretty well, after that one bad inning. 5 IP, with just 2 hits given up (both in the 2nd) and 4 K's. I wonder what the Toronto folks think?

Taylor with a hit, a SB and a run scored. Marson must have gotten thrown out at 1st on a hit to the OF. Because he got a RBI, but is shown as being thrown out at 1B.

And Werth has seen the most pitches per AB in major league baseball. He's come a LONG way since the days when he was up there looking for the first strike he could get and hack.

I think we should force JP to include Rolen, and then send Scott to single-A to rot for the rest of his career. I'm not bitter or anything.

Michael Taylor is now a .300 hitter at the AAA level. Fantastic progression for this young man.

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