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Tuesday, December 15, 2009


have to say, yesterday I was excited but now that all these names are being thrown out there regarding who we have to give up, I am not going to be a fan of this move if true.

Why would you give up the core of our minor league system for Halladay when we already have Lee?

I think my brain is jiggling around in my head now with all this talk because at this point I can't think clearly anymore. I am just going to wait and see the final trade pieces then go from there.

The unkown is always the kicker isn't it? Personally I'm fine with getting prospects for Lee and trading other prospects for a locked up Halladay. But maybe something morei interesting could happen.

Just get fair value for Lee. Counting on Ruben to be shrewd here.

About Lee and his wanting big bucks and lotta years to extend (supposedly): I can see why this makes him tradeable. OTOH, if Jamie Moyer earns $8 mil. this year, surely Lee is worth twice the price of Moyer, isn't he? He's probably worth the $20 mil. he reportedly wants, frankly, looking at what Wolf's making. (Although my son keeps saying Lee's not as good as CC to make that kind of money.)

So we need to get something back for this guy who carried us to Game 6 of the WS last year. Something substantial, of real value. Or else we need not to give up 3 highly regarded prospects to get Halladay.

Last night, Reynolds and Mitch thought it was a win-win for all sides - with Lee to M's for prospects they flipped to BJ's, and that's it - although Harold said he doubted we'd be able to do it w/o giving up a prospect. "A" prospect, not "several"/3.

OK with giving up the 3 to get Halladay, but not giving up Lee for anything less than stellar prospects. Shop him around.

And I'll still hate to lose him, but at least make it fair, Rube.

"Call me Ishmael"

I think Ruben and crew fell in love with Halladay and never took their eyes off the prize. So much for scribes suggesting that Toronto would have to back off their demands for talent in a trade. If the Jays walk away with Drabek, Taylor, D'Arnaud and maybe Happ or Blanton I would say they got a steal. Clearly they want players who are on the cusp of the majors otherwise the Phils could swap one of the pitchers coming from the Mariners for Drabek's spot in the trade. If the Phillies are playing for 2010, keeping Lee would have been the best bet. If they are playing for longer term, signing Halladay is fine but they have decimated their farm system. Consider we gave up 4 MLs for Lee, now add 3 more for Halladay (yes, we will get a couple from the Mariners in return apparently). Baseball America won't be calling our farm system 4th best again for many years. And who the heck is going to catch in the farm system???

I am at a loss for why Lee is traded for prospects and Blanton tendered a contract. If it comes down to Lee plus compensation picks or Blanton plus prospects Lee brings, I want the first option. The compensation picks they get for Lee and Werth after 2010 should have been enough to start rebuilding the system.

Even intelligent people can be blinded by their desires. Still, I find it a little hard to believe that Ruben would actually want Halladay badly enough to gut the farm in less than 1 year and be content to give up Lee for 2 lesser prospects (as compared with our prospects).

Grass is greener.

The problem I have with bringing up the 4-for-2 Lee 2009 package, and lumping that with the prospects lost here, is that each situation is leveraged differently. In 09, the Phils were bidding against a different group of teams for the right to have an ace pitcher for the stretch run. Here, it seems the financial landscape has changed, so, too, have the demands.

My biggest issue is that we don't NEED to trade Lee right now...we have till April to move him for prospects if we so desired. This 3 way deal is completely unneccesary and we are getting hosed as a result.

Is there any way to walk away from an arbitration award for a pitcher? I've read in the past that you could do this, but I don't know if that's still true. If it is, couldn't they just keep Lee and walk away from whatever Blanton's arbitration number is? Maybe come into the arbitration hearing with a ridiculously low number so that the arbitrator is forced to pick the higher number and then simply walk away? Wouldn't that solve the payroll issue, and then the draft picks from Lee/Werth (who I'm assuming would both be Type A's) rebuild the farm system, all while saving roughly the same amount of money this year?

Happ and Blanton may not be essential components for knocking off the Yankees, but the surely are if they want the opportunity to do so. They will combine for many, many victories during the season. I still don't get the logic of trading 2 starters for 1. Moyer and KK are much too unknown factors in a 5-man rotation.

NEPP - Why do I get the feeling Gillick's in RAJ's ear, telling him to trade Lee to the M's? I don't see the logical reason to do that part of the deal're telling me there aren't any other teams that would offer a better package for an ace CY-winning pitcher with a salary of only 9 mil this year?

Seems to me that there is more than just a salary dump at work here. Rather than let Lee go at the end of the year with little compensation, you trade him now and get some good prospects in return.

The Phils made it to the WFC with Lee last year, so there is every reason to believe that replacing him with a very slightly better pitcher will land the Phils in the WFC again this year.

Sure - Lee plus Hallady would have been incredible, but characterizing this simply as a salary dump seems a bit simplistic.

As I said last night- you can't individually analyze the pieces because the pieces are meant to all fit together.

Lee is not truly a salary dump. The Phillies know they have to give up a bunch of prospects to get the workhorse ace they covet AND will sign here long-term. Had Lee's agent said last week, "Lee would take a discount to sign here long-term, let's talk a deal," none of this is happening right now.

Halladay still wants to come here and apparently is willing to sign a short term deal that does not cripple the franchise and gives them great value. Amaro is interested in the window extending beyond 2010.

Also, let's assume we pay the price for Halladay (a better pitcher in every way than Lee) and keep Cliff around. That would mean- we are gutting the farm system and maybe getting two compensation picks in 2011. It would be 3 or 4 years before those guys help us at the earliest.

Now we are paying the price for Halladay and getting back some guys who hopefully can soften the blow. Let's assume we are giving up A grade prospects and getting back B/B- prospects. Yes it's a dropoff in that area, but the upgrade from Lee to Halladay makes up for it at the major league level.

I will say this- whether you like the deal or not- Amaro has some guts to pull this off. He isn't content to just sit tight and I can appreciate that.

The Phils are apparently also getting Mariners pitching prospect Juan Ramirez in the deal, which makes it a little more palatable. That gives us the M's top two pitching prospects and an OF prospect that the Phils feel is comparable to Taylor (albeit with different skill sets).

With a night to sleep on it, I'm not as disappointed, particularly if Ramirez is in the deal. Nonetheless, it's a big let down.

NEPP: You are right on. My palms have been sweating more and more since last night. First it was Taylor, then Brown, then Drabek AND Taylor, then Drabek and Brown, now Drabek-Taylor-D', that is alot to give regardless of having Halladay for 4 years.

I would almost rather keep Lee for now. Then worst case scenario just let Lee walk after next year and go after Beckett or Webb.

TTI - "Now we are paying the price for Halladay and getting back some guys who hopefully can soften the blow. Let's assume we are giving up A grade prospects and getting back B/B- prospects. Yes it's a dropoff in that area, but the upgrade from Lee to Halladay makes up for it at the major league level."

Does it really? The Phils didn't lose to the Yanks because their #1 wasn't good enough, they lost because their #2,3,4 and Bullpen weren't good enough. This trade hurts the farm system without addressing those areas...which is totally contradictory to everyone's claims that RAJ is doing this for the long-term health of the franchise.

it's pretty impressive, if the rumors are true, that Amaro managed to lose two deals despite dealing from a position of strength in both of them: Lee being an extremely valuable commodity as a cheap ace and Halladay having the Phillies at the top of his very short list of acceptable teams.

This just in from MLBTR....

(amongst other pieces of the trade)
"The Mariners get Cliff Lee from the Phils and they could be getting more"

uhh.. what? from US?

You can't even factor in the midseason Lee trade. That means nothing now. We traded those four for a shot at the World Series and it was a good trade. Now a situation has risen where we can trade for and lock up Halladay. I agree, if there's a team willing to make us a better offer for Lee or even better Blanton, let's hear it. Otherwise, I'm fine trading Lee's final year for prospects that will replace the ones we're giving up. Except we are a bit short of catchers now aren't we? That's for another day.

I don't see the point in moving Lee at all if these are in fact separate deals. It looks like we could have them both if we wanted. I'd feel a lot better about emptying the farm for one year of Lee and Halladay together.

Pat Gillick made this trade, alas the Mariners, Blue Jays and Phillies!!

Pretty sure he had his fingerprints on all of those organizations before correct??

JW...You bring up a great point, the Phillies can still back out of the Mariners deal, and hope that they can move Blanton for a bag of balls....Maybe they can dig DEEP into their pockets and use the money from the Danny Tartabull and Mike Jackson deals several years ago haha.

Hadn't thought about the real possibility that another team comes along with a sweeter offer for Lee. Today is going to be really interesting.

In Rube I trust!

(Although I gotta say I'm intrigued by the heavy fastball of 6-7 closer prospect Phillippe Aumont...)

I agree with that. He's got injury concerns/is young/etc., but there's talent there.

****"The Mariners get Cliff Lee from the Phils and they could be getting more"

uhh.. what? from US?

We're giving up Utley too...but getting back Lopez to play while Utley is a slight upgrade over Lopez, Lopez is still a legit 2B.

Right? That's the equivalent of all the other crap that's been spouted.

Unless Halladay wins 30 games and starts 3 times in each playoff series, this is a hosejob.

Also, regarding Tyson Gillies. I know NEPP is railing against the league he played in as being filled with "Coors on steroids," stadiums but, as BAP mentioned, that wouldn't necessarily help a batting average line or anything like that.

It should also be pointed out he played some there in 2008 and didn't have the huge numbers that NEPP thinks that league would indicate.

Gillies hit a bunch of triples, and stole 44 bases in the league. We'd have to see how he does in Double A this year before making any huge pronouncements though.

What a difference from the days of Paul Abbott, Turk Wendell, and Ugy Urbina. We are discussing good problems because of the strength of the Phils farm system, a 140 million budget, and a locked up core of winners.

Even with the kumbaya positive outlook, I just don't get trading Lee for the prospects. Why not make the Toronto trade with our prospects, extend Halladay, keep Lee, and try to trade Blanton before Spring Training. If they can't keep Blanton, then increase the budget this year and amortize his costs over the next few years. Better yet, get the cigar dude to buck up.

Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Blanton, Happ with our core intact. Holy smokes! Halladay and Lee are good for fifteen holds and saves if they provide the same amount of complete games as last year. More importantly in the playoffs, this gives a great shot to grab another WFC.

Bottom line, my humble two cents is to trade prospects for Halladay and keep Lee. I applaud the aggressiveness and just hope Rueben is not a rube. This is one hell of a hot stove....

****stole 44 bases in the league.****

And was caught 19 times.

TTI, Amaro has guts? I thought the prevailing BL wisdom is that RAJ had some kind of syndrom that involved marbles?

It seems to me the big problem people have with the deal is the inclusion of Drabek.

Another way to look at it:

Will Roy Halladay give the Phillies more or less than Kyle Drabek would have through 2013?

The only advantage Drabek might offer - ass-u-ming he could pitch as well as Doc, is that he would be much less expensive.

Still, I would have like to have seen Halladay/Lee/Hamels at the top of the rotation.

It may take that to compete with the Braves and their rotation, wspwcially if they can upgrade their offense.

Amaro is interested in the window extending beyond 2010.

this is something I've been thinking about last night. since obviously I'm going to be a Phillies fan in 2015 and 2020 ad infinitum, it's in my best interests for the franchise to look beyond the short term.

however, I think Amaro has to realize that not all windows are equal. very few teams ever have the situation the Phillies have: All-Star talents at 6 positions, two MVPs, and a once-in-a-generation talent in Utley who could be a HOF candidate by the end of his career (and even if he doesn't play for long enough to get that far, he's already had a Hall-worthy peak).

when you have a chance like that, I think you need to be extremely aggressive, because even smart drafting and effective trading and all that good GM stuff can't guarantee that you'll come up with players like Utley, Howard, Victorino, Werth, and Hamels all peaking at the same time. I think it's likely that even if Amaro manages to extend the Phillies' window, the next one or two seasons are still going to be the best shot at another World Series in the near future.

He's still a kid, NEPP. If it was Quinten Berry, we'd be hearing "Wait until Davy Lopes gets a shot at him!!!"

Also, regarding Tyson Gillies. I know NEPP is railing against the league he played in as being filled with "Coors on steroids," stadiums but, as BAP mentioned, that wouldn't necessarily help a batting average line or anything like that.

Gillies also had a .381 BABIP. and he was only one of three players on his team and ten players in the league to hit better than .340. the league batting line was .270/.341/.417; Gillies .916 OPS was only 19th in the league.

****He's still a kid, NEPP. If it was Quinten Berry, we'd be hearing "Wait until Davy Lopes gets a shot at him!!!"****

Its not that he's not a prospect, but losing Taylor really hurts. Taylor was basically penciled into RF for 2011...and Brown coming along in 2012.

Also, if DomPatrone is right and Lee indeed called Amaro and asked NOT to be traded because he wanted to pitch with Halladay, I wonder what Amaro told him?

I could speculate, but I'm sure it went something along the lines of "YOU forced our hand here, Cliff. If you had been willing to work out an extension we would probably not done this deal, but you pretty much made it necessary. Goo luck in Seattle!"

This has to be a pretty big comedown for Lee.

He was probably expecting to finish the year in Philly with another trip to the postseason to pad his FA credentials.

Now, he's stuck in a smaller media market on a team that is trying desperately to contend, but may not make the playoffs.

Plus, they view him as a one-year rental and may work him until his arm falls off. Their goal, and rightfully so, is to work out an extension with King Felix.

Chris: Halladay is absolutely a better pitcher than Lee. there is no argument against that statement.

Also, I'm concerned with the Phillies getting to the playoffs first, and not hypothetically who we might play in a World Series.

Third, would it really make it easier for someone if we were trading Drabek or Taylor for a bullpen guy. I have a feeling that would just lead to posts of, "Why trade Drabek for "x" while "y" was available on the free agent market?"

Lastly, I've said before systained success should be the goal. Halladay gives you that at the major league level becasue he wants to sign here beyond this year. From all accounts, Lee did not. Say Lee walks after 2011. That means there is a very good chance we are down 3/5 of our starting rotation from 2010 with Blanton and Moyer probably going as well. Also, let's say Hamels gives you this season the same thing he did last year. That means we lose 3/5 of our guys and Hamels is the guy at the top who seems less like a sure thing.

With Halladay we assure that we have Halladay/Hamels/Happ in 2011, plus there is insurance in case Hamels doesn't rise back up again.

I like Taylor and Drabek like many of us do and it will hurt to give them up. But if we can get back some guys who are slightly less but can still help in 2011,12 or 13, and not wait until 2015 or 16 for guys to develop I can talk myself into that. Another fact is, Joe Blanton was not going to bring back prospects that helped soften the blow of losing Drabek and Taylor. Again- if you grade our guys at "A", Blanton might only bring back "C" guys. Lee gets you more back in return than Blanton would.

And again, we don't know for sure who is moving where. If the Phillies find a way to pry Morrow from Seattle this deal looks considerably better.

I don't get it. Just trade Blanton for a bag of balls and keep Lee. Someone will take a durable starter at that price if they don't have to trade prospects. They save $7M which almost covers Lee's $9M. This team, after reaching two straight world series has to be able to cover $2M. It's rounding error for chrissakes. Recoup 2 draft picks after Lee leaves for free agency, or if it all goes to hell trade him in July for more. This trade is effectively two separate deals, and the second one (Lee to the M's) just doesn't stand up to logic. Makes me think Blanton or Happ is moving instead of Lee, particularly since Lee hasn't heard a thing and both Blanton and Happ have taken physicals. Who knows...wait and see.

Twitter: 8:58am: The negotiations are complete, according to's Buster Olney.


To me, this deal continues to get worse. Just some questions to chew on.

1. Why can't we wait until after the season to try and sign Halladay to a FA contract? We would only give up our first round pick, and if all goes well Drabek and Taylor will be with the team? If Halladay wants to be in Philly so bad why wouldn't he sign the contract a year from now?

2. If we move Cliff Lee, and then trade for Halladay, we will effectively be paying double for him. Drabek, Taylor, and Travis d'Arnaud probably would of got this deal done last summer, but now we need to move Cliff Lee in order to make this happen? Drabek, Taylor, Travis d'Arnaud, Knapp, Donald, Marson, Carassco - wow, that is a kings ransom.

3. RAJ has said 140 is their budget, but they would be willing to be flexible for "the right guy". Are Halladay and Lee not the right guys?

4. Captain Amaro had to have his white whale, and it will be his undoing.

Prospects can be busts, and nobodys can turn into stars, but as of today I would label this trade a big fat F.

ae: Was the high BABIP attributed in some way to his speed, which is said to grade out to an 80.

Gillies is supposed to be a real CF prospect and would likely be the fastest guy in our system.

"Taylor was basically penciled into RF for 2011" By you and I and fellow BLers. By Amaro? Looks not to be the case. It'll take more creativity and he wants to be paid, but maybe they want to keep Werth here.

****Gillies is supposed to be a real CF prospect and would likely be the fastest guy in our system.****

Faster than Gose? (also an 80 on the scouting scale for speed)

****It'll take more creativity and he wants to be paid, but maybe they want to keep Werth here. ****

How in the world would that even be feasible budget wise? When we're paying Roy $20 million, Howard $19 million, Utley $15 million, Rollins $12 million, Hamels, $10+ million, etc etc.

NEPP: Again- I like Taylor and Drabek and it is gonna hurt to give them up. Gillies has potential and is basically on the same age path as Taylor.

If he has a similar type year in Double A he is going to look like a legit center field and leadoff option which the Phillies farm system needs.

Taylor is a beast, but him and Brown were sort of the same type of player. So unfortunately one is expendable if need be.

"Another fact is, Joe Blanton was not going to bring back prospects that helped soften the blow of losing Drabek and Taylor. Again- if you grade our guys at "A", Blanton might only bring back "C" guys. Lee gets you more back in return than Blanton would."

But you'd have Lee pitching for you still and when he leaves as a FA you get two #1s.

"Recoup 2 draft picks after Lee leaves for free agency"

Keep in mind that a future draft pick << a prospect who has shown signs of success at the High-A / AA levels.

The later into round 1 you go, the less the chance of success of a draft pick is.

Wow...I'll post it again: I am IN NO WAY arguing that Lee is equal to or better than Halladay. Halladay is the better pitcher. But (unless the wheels completely fall off) this team is going to the playoffs regardless of whether Lee or Halladay is the ace. It's what happens in the playoffs that really counts, and this move does next to nothing to make the team better in the playoffs while hurting the long-term viability of the franchise by dumping the only high-end advanced pitching prospect in the system, along with your 2nd best position player prospect and best catching prospect...It just doesn't leave me with a great feeling.

"How in the world would that even be feasible budget wise? When we're paying Roy $20 million, Howard $19 million, Utley $15 million, Rollins $12 million, Hamels, $10+ million, etc etc."

Trade Gload, Castro and your top 3 prospects for $20 million dollars.

****Taylor is a beast, but him and Brown were sort of the same type of player. So unfortunately one is expendable if need be.****

Though we do have a known need for 2 corner OFs in the next 2 seasons...

IF Gillies pans out at AA (the hardest jump by far in the minors), we could potentially move Vic back to RF eventually but that's a HUGE IF right now. Both Taylor and Brown already made that leap and made it very well. To me, Gillies is no different than Gose...a great Single A CF prospect.

Not sure I will like this deal if we give up Brown or Drabek. We already have Lee for this year, and why give up now what we would not give up then when we already have Lee in hand? if we are concerned about long term, keep Lee for this year, and go get Halladay as a FA after the season and keep all our prospects and get a first rounder for whoever signs Lee. I don't think Halladay signs long term anywhere else before this season.

"How in the world would that even be feasible budget wise? When we're paying Roy $20 million, Howard $19 million, Utley $15 million, Rollins $12 million, Hamels, $10+ million, etc etc."

Moyer, Lee, Blanton would be coming off the books after the 2010 season, Rollins, Ibanez, Lidge after the 2011 season (and there are others I'm forgetting)...There will be a lot of payroll flexibility over the next couple offseasons, the real question is what they do with it. Werth could fit into the payroll structure if they are creative, even with the Halladay deal...But I'm not sure what this team is doing at this point.

Bay Slugga:

1.) Would you really want to gamble on getting into a bidding war for someone? It is very conceivable the Phillies would win, but trading for him now guarantees you win.

2.) These are two seperate deals. We traded Knapp, Carrasco, Marson, and Donald for Lee and Francisco. In between there the Phillies attempted to sign Lee long term and he expressed an interest to test free agency. So the Phillies went to the Blue Jays and were asked to give up some good prospects to get Halladay. From there they decided to use Lee to get back some good prospects as opposed to waiting for the two compensation picks and gambling on them.

Lol at anyone who thinks the Phils would have had a shot at Halladay as a FA on the open market.

I wonder what the BoSox would have offered for Lee prior to the Lackey signing...

I wonder what the Dodgers would offer or the Angels or any other team that needs an Ace.

How many times has this deal been "finalized", "completed" or "confirmed"?

For all of you saying: "Just go get Halladay as a free agent."

That's easier said then done. Who's to say the Yankees or Red Sox aren't back on the market for a starter next off-season... or the Mets get desperate... and one of them offers Halladay a 6-year, $150M deal.

This trade was the only way to get Halladay in a cost-controlled way at a length the Phils were comfortable with.

I have lots of qualms with this deal due to the players involved... but it's hard to argue that there was another way to get Halladay that was easy.

The problem with waiting is next year Halladay can negotiate with anyone. Toronto won't trade within the division now, so it's a no go with the Yankees or Red Sox. Next year, though, think of the bidding war.

According to the latest, we'll end up with Aumont and Ramirez as the pitchers coming back to us. Which begs the question.. are these guys any good?

"Keep in mind that a future draft pick << a prospect who has shown signs of success at the High-A / AA levels."

I fully recognize this fact, but I'm willing to accept that trade-off for a full season of Lee on a team in its prime with Hamels and Halladay. I also recognize that I'm not a General Manager...

I think my biggest problem at this point is why this deal wasn't made LAST season, if Rube is so willing to part with the farm now. We wouldn't have had to part with carrasco, knapp, etc. last year and sure, never would have ended up with Lee, but we would have gotten Halladay, which is what we're after NOW, isn't it?

Buster Olney tweets:

"One veteran talent evaluator's take: Only clear winner in the deal is Seattle. Prospects sent to Philly iffy, Blue Jays got OK haul."

NEPP: I understand all that in regards to Taylor and Brown. However, you could also say that by the time Ibanez is gone there will be a bunch of space on the payroll.

I'm not in love with the deal but I'm not as actively against it as some. And like I said, if you look at the big picture puzzle surrounding it I can see why they are doing it.

It comes down to money. Hard to say a team with a $140 mil payroll is being cheap, but that's what it is. For the same prospects, the Phils could get Halliday and keep Lee, just for the one year. Have a fantastic shot of winning it again. But that would send their payroll north of $150.

Its tough to match the AL in offensie power because of the DH. So we have to beat them with pitching. Boston will have the best rotation with Lacky, Becket, Burnett and Dice K. Halliday, Lee, Hamels and Blanton would have topped that.

Here's some info on the three prospects including the ranking as determined by this particular site as of August. Take it for what it's worth...

6. Juan Carlos Ramirez, RHSP
08/16/88 (21)
A+ High Desert

Watching Ramirez on the mound, you may feel like you’re looking at a couple of Seattle’s top pitching prospects of the last 6-7 years. His build and smooth throwing motion may remind you of Rafael Soriano while his mannerisms point to Felix Hernandez. While Ramirez gets top billing among Mariner pitchers on this list, he’s got a long way to go before he dominates big league hitters like Rafy and the King. Ramirez’ fastball has touched the mid 90s but sits closer to 91-92. Many believe there is more velocity tucked away in there, and I tend to agree. Based on his size and motion there is no reason that he can’t sit 93-94 consistently as he continues to fill out and mature physically. Ramirez repeats his delivery well for someone his age and has improved his command since debuting in the States in 2007. While his walk rates have spiked back up this season, I believe that has more to do with him nibbling more in arguably the most hitter friendly environment in affiliated baseball than a regression of skills. Ramirez’s secondary stuff needs work. His slider and changeup are well below average at this point. There have been reports in the past of a promising curveball, but based on the reports it’s unclear whether it’s something he still has in his arsenal. High Desert is a tough place for any pitcher, and it has certainly hurt his overall stat line. But a 3.66 road FIP hints that he’s handling the Cal League and should be ready for AA in 2010. Ramirez will not be a fast riser without dramatic improvement, but his ceiling as of now appears to be as a good middle of the rotation starter or a shut down reliever.

10. Phillippe Aumont, RHRP
01/07/89 (20)
AA West Tenn

The 2007 first rounder has some of the best pure stuff in the entire system. He has so-so command of a four seamer in the mid-upper 90s, a low-mid 90s two seamer with a ton of movement down and in to righties, and since raising his arm slot has come up with devastating two plane curveball. His mechanics are ugly and he has trouble repeating them, and may have lead to a degenerative hip condition that should keep him out of the starting rotation for the duration of his career. He’d be in the top five as a starter, but now that he’s clearly a reliever his stock falls. He’s still the number one relief prospect, and has the stuff and makeup to be a shut down closer. Aumont will pitch against some advanced competition in the Arizona Fall League, and should debut sometime in 2010. However, it wouldn’t be that surprising to to see him get a September callup this season if a spot on the 40-man roster opens up. The Mariners can use any extra arms, and it would benefit him to work with M’s pitching coach Rick Adair before heading off the the AFL.

23. Tyson Gillies, CF
10/31/88 (20)
A+ High Desert

Gillies is one of the Mariners’ most exciting prospects for one reason: his wheels. Gillies is the fastest runner in the system, and one of the fastest in affiliated baseball. I’ve seen his speed graded at an 80 on the 20-80 scale, and 80 grades are unheard of. His offensive game revolves around his speed, as he bunts and chops the ball into the ground more often than not. The physical tools are there to hit for a bit of power, and he’s started to drive the ball into the gaps a little more often, but I’d imagine he’ll stick to small ball until it fails him. Gillies has a good idea of the strikezone and draws a fair amount of walks. He has trouble making contact at times. Gillies is legally deaf, which makes it hard for him to get great jumps in the outfield at times, but his great speed more than makes up for it. He has above average range at all three outfield positions and one of the best outfield arms in the system, if not the best. Gillies can steal bases on raw speed, and his success rate should improve as he learns some technique. Gillies just about has the skills to be a big league fourth outfielder right now, and it’s safe to say he’ll be a full time big leaguer at some point. If he wants to be a starter he’ll have to learn to make more consistent and more solid contact. Some members of the Mariners player development department see him as a Curtis Granderson-type player.

TTI: I would be OK with this deal if Lee wasn't being moved. Go for it 2010.

As far as waiting until next year to go after Halladay in free agency, maybe Halladay didn't want to wait. Didn't want to spend another year of his career pitching for a non-contender. Maybe that's the reason he's agreeing to an extension more favorable to the Phillies than the contract he could command from another team for 2011 & beyond.

I get the point about getting something back for Lee that's further along than the draft picks we'd get for him in a year (and if he goes to the Yankees, for example, those draft picks will be further down the line than if he went to the Pirates - and you know he's going to a team like the Yankees/Angels/Sox).

And as far as giving up less for Halladay now than last summer - I think we are, as I'm still thinking (admittedly, I might be wrong) that the Jays wanted not only Drabek, but Happ. Even if they'd have done the deal w/o Happ+Drabek last summer, we're still getting $$, which wasn't being offered last summer.

I also get the point about BJ's wanting ML-ready talent, which would be the reason they'd prefer to give us $$ as opposed to taking fewer prospects.

And I get the point about all this stemming from Lee's alleged rejection of a contract extension deemed reasonable by the Phils (that is, shorter term like the supposed Halladay deal, when Lee supposedly wants CC terms as far as length of contract, and more than $20mil. per year - Isn't that the rumor?).

Phils rejected steep price of Halladay last summer, getting Lee instead. Lee not wanting to commit to staying means Phils rethink the Halladay trade, get the cash as well as the pitcher, give up "only" prospects (not a ML pitcher) and get the security for a few more seasons than Lee was willing to give, plus get a better pitcher.

So I wouldn't grade this an F. But not an A, either. Still considering whether it's a B or C.

Halladay extension confirmed? I hear its in the 10 year, one billion range...

I'm not sure there will be a crazy bidding war for Halladay, not when Lee, Webb, Beckett, and Vazquez will all probably be available as well, along with some other great SPs potentially available due to arbitration/long term signability issues.

I think everyone's moved past the days when teams offered huge 6-year contracts to 33-year old SPs...Sabathia got that deal because he was only 28 and the Yanks had to pay extra to get him because he didn't want pitch in NY.

But Buster, Phils got a top 3 starter

youknowsit: Because if you make this deal last season then you gutted our best prospects and got nothing in back. With the Lee deal we sent some nice B level prospects to get him. Now we know we need to send some of our A guys to get Halladay so you need to get something back in return.

The big factor in this move was the inability to get Lee to commit to a deal now. Had he done so this isn't happening

ChrisinVT: If you don't think that Roy Halladay, one of the best pitchers in the game right now and one of the best of the decade... wouldn't be subject to a bidding war... you're fooling yourself.

Too bad we couldn't get Seattle to take back Jamie Moyer instead.... :) I'd even give Raul and Jamie back if we could keep LEe. :)

CJ: Seattle has to be wondering how in the world they woke up this morning with Cliff Lee for 3 decent, but not great, prospects. Pretty amazing. Sometimes just right place, right time I guess.

While I don't think this trade is as awful as some do, it's still pretty bad. It just reeks of not having been planned out. It's like "ok, we can get Halladay, let's do whatever it takes to get him and not think through what we're actually doing." If you're gonna sell the farm to get Halladay, then go all in and find a way to keep Lee too. If not, and you just had to deal Lee to make the money work (which is a whole nother story), then Amaro could've done a MUCH better job of making the prospects closer to even.

Cliff Lee for 1 year at 9 million dollars is a HUGELY valuable asset, especially for a team like the M's, where those marginal wins he provides could be a playoff spot. They should've gotten more for him. Why not call the Angels? Hell, why not call the Red Sox and ask them if instead of spending 82 million on John Lackey they wanted to send a couple top prospects for Lee?

Look, I'm glad we have Halladay for the next 4 years. That's cool. Every other part of the deal is questionable, at best.

Sources need to stop calling this a 3-way trade. Thats like saying I had a threesome cos I slept with two different girls a week apart.

Boo. Liked this much more last night.

and give up a top 5-7 starter.

who would have thought getting roy halladay would be this bittersweet... this looks to be a disaster

So we're getting Seattle's #6, #10, & #23 prospects in their organization, while giving up our #2, #3, & #4. Oh, BTW, our organization is universally held to be deeper, better, and more ready (at the top) than the Mariners.

Sounds about right.

Oh yea, and we are giving up Lee. Forgot that one. But hey, we're getting $6 million back.

Why do I feel like a Marlins fan this morning?

I just got the news: I'm going to the Mariners as part of the Halladay deal. The M's wanted some fanbase thrown in as part of the trade — they could definitely use it — and I've been tapped.

I think a change of scenery will help my numbers. The 4 p.m. East Coast games instead of 10 p.m. West Coast games should boost my Watching-to-Falling-Asleep-on-the-Couch ratio (W/FAC). Also it's a smaller division, so you should definitely see an increase in my Memorizing the Names of the Other Teams' 40-Man Rosters (MNOT40) stats.

I don't like to blow my own horn, but if I were running a fantasy fanbase, I would definitely pick me up in the early rounds of the draft.

I strongly disagree with the contention that the California League is just a hitters' league for HR, not for AVG. That's absurd. Especially at High Desert. Compare averages with the other high A leagues and teams.

I was aghast at the deal last night, posting that Seattle must add another player for it to make sense at all. The addition of Ramirez, IMHO, is a big improvement. I like him more than the other M's prospects. Here's my take on the latest report of the deal:

Phillies get Roy Halladay, Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies and Juan Ramirez. Mariners get Cliff Lee. Blue Jays get Kyle Drabek, Michael Taylor and Travis D'Arnaud.

Halladay is head and shoulders better than Lee despite what posters here say. The most meaningful stats tell you that, not to mention every baseball writer or insider. I'd rank the prospects like this: Ramirez, Aumont, Gillies.

Let's go worst to first: Gillies, 21, is a 25th round pick (how many of them make it?) whose offense took a huge leap when he played a full season in one of the best hitter's leagues in the minors. He's got great speed (although not yet a good base-stealer as NEPP noted) and a great glove and shows some signs of plate judgment. Reading will be a wonderful test for him. I don't think he'll hit enough to be an everyday player in The Show, but could make it as a 4th-5th OF.

Phillipe Aumont, 21 next month, is a classic tools pitcher: Looks great on the mound, 6-7, 220, with a 94 mph "heavy" fastball. Moved to the bullpen for health reasons: Has a degenerative hip and was sidelined with elbow problems. Has little command of his secondary pitches. Pitched well in California League and wouldn't suprise me to see him pitch better in pitcher-friendly Reading. Could end up a decent setup man if he masters a secondary pitch.

Ramirez, also 21, throws harder than Aumont, having been clocked at 97 mph. He too is struggling to command his secondary pitches, but his slider is said to be a potential plus pitch. Because he's a starter, his numbers were worse than Aumont's at hitter-happy High Desert, but his H/A split showed solid road numbers. I think his ceiling and value is higher than any of the 3, particularly if he can remain as a starter. Can't wait to see him in a full season at Reading.

I'll be shocked if Drabek, Taylor and d'Arnaud don't all reach the majors. I think there's a fair chance Taylor will be a star, although Brown's ceiling is higher. Drabek most likely settles in as a #2 or #3 starter and d'Arnaud as a solid defensive catcher who might not hit enough to play everyday.

This group is of a higher quality than the Donald, Marson, Knapp, Carrasco package, but we are getting back more value than Lee. We get one of the best pitchers in baseball for 4 years plus a trio of OK prospects, one of whom will probably have an impact down the road.

Lee wasn't going to sign an extension before testing free agency and there was no way the Phillies would outbid the Yankees or Red Sox despite what posters here think.

This is clearly a "The Future is Now" type trade aimed at winning the division a 4th straight year. Viewed in that context, it looks like a good trade. We'll know for sure in 5 years or so, but it's worth the gamble. The window is closing.

Bay Slugga: That's fine, and I would totally understand that school of thought. Even thinking of having Hamels/Halladay/Lee at the top of the rotation is enticing.

However, that also means you had better win in 2010 or you've traded almost all your top 10 prospects and received nothign back in return except for 2 picks that may or may not work out.

Why is there no repercussion for Heyman when he reports a story, then contradicts it 10 minutes later. Do his bosses not care that he has no idea what he's talking about?

9:00 extension agreed upon
9:10 still working about the details
9:30 Phillies contact Blue Jays about possibly acquiring Halladay

"...I'm willing to accept that trade-off for a full season of Lee on a team in its prime with Hamels and Halladay. I also recognize that I'm not a General Manager..."

Fair 'nuff. I'm not as inclined to go as "All In" as you are. I am also not a GM. :)

Lee walks after this year. That's what this trade is all about. The Phillies were told he's going to listen to Free Agent offers, and he's going to be the preeminent free agent in the 2010-2011 offseason. Which means a Santana/Sabathia deal for this guy, and a bidding war between the Angels, Yankees, Mets, and any other interested parties. This bidding war in 2010-2011 is one in which the Phillies simply cannot compete.

They were going to lose Lee. It's that simple. So they trade him now for prospects to replenish what they lose to Toronto. In effect, Aumont and Gillies offset the loss of Drabek and Taylor. So we're really losing Arnaud in sum, and gaining a better pitcher than Lee in return. With Hamels and Happ, the front three for the Phillies for 2010 and 2011 is Halladay, Hamels, and Happ. That's a pretty good position to be in, and you keep Brown, who probably is slated to fill Werth's position when he leaves.

Now, could they make this trade for Halladay and still keep Lee? No. It pushes their payroll over the limit, and that's a hard ceiling guys. They can't go over 140/145 million, period. Even if it guarantees the World Series. It's that simple. They are close to maxed out. So they quite literally cannot afford both ace pitchers at the same time. Having Halladay and Lee in the same rotation is a pipe dream for that reason alone.

Further, having both pitchers at their salaries in 2010 likely requires the Phillies to cut payroll for the 2011 season. In which case, both are lost for compensatory draft picks, along with an important member of the core offense, such as Werth, Rollins, or both. So after 2010, the ride is over. The team is dismantled. Forget about the playoffs for the next 3 years. That's the price of Lee and Halladay in the same place at the same time. One more shot, then its curtains for this team. They're done.

Now, on the other hand, an ace pitcher is locked up for 4 years, alongside Hamels and Happ for 2, and we give up a Single A catching prospect in effect. That means we're competitive in the NL East with a very good chance to get into the playoffs for the next 2/3 years, instead of just one. For that reason alone, this is a good move.

This deal is not at all about beating the Yankees in 2010. If every single thing goes right next season, Halladay still can't do any more for us in the posteason than Lee did last year. This deal is about contending in 2011 and 2012 as well. In that sense, its a good move, but it certainly isn't very exciting in the short term, and I don't think the marginal upgrade of Halladay over Lee does a single thing to improve the Phils' chances of winning it all in 2010.

"ChrisinVT: If you don't think that Roy Halladay, one of the best pitchers in the game right now and one of the best of the decade... wouldn't be subject to a bidding war... you're fooling yourself."

I said a CRAZY bidding war. Would he have several teams chasing him? Definitely, but it would be the same teams who are always in on the most expensive FAs (Yanks, Sox, Angels) and that's pretty much it due to the price. Then you include the fact that he's 33...He's not getting a 6-year 150 million dollar deal. It's just not happening. Would he get 5/120? Maybe, but again you'd be paying 25 mil per for his worst years. I'd guess that 4/100 would be closer...Baseball people don't do Kevin Brown/Mike Hampton contracts anymore. When a YOUNG, premium FA hits the market, the Yanks will open up the checkbook and he'll get huge money and years(like Sabathia and Texeira), but not for older players. And not with a ton of other lesser, but comparable, options available instead.

I wonder whether Ruben has shopped Lee around to other teams. I would think so.

"****stole 44 bases in the league.****

And was caught 19 times."

Two words: Davey Lopes

aumont and gillies do not offset the loss of drabek and taylor.. quit saying that, its not true. Drabek and taylor are top 30 prospects in baseball.

"In effect, Aumont and Gillies offset the loss of Drabek and Taylor"

Ughh.. just because you're losing a pitcher and an OF, and getting back a pitcher and a OF, does not mean its even stevens...cmon now. I realize they're just prospects, but there are different levels here. At least be realistic

Clout: Thanks for your post of 10:40am. Your insight and perspective were great.

I have gone from thinking trade (if it is what it is supposed to be) is "horrible" to thinking "eh."

[no sarcasm, clout, I really did enjoy your post]

Trading Lee is only about dumping salary, and nothing else. Really, don't convince yourself it is anything else.

That being said it seems the organization had to chose lee for a year or halladay for 4, they made the right decision there. I wish they just manned up and kept both, considering they did raise ticket prices...

And with the Phils sniffing around Halladay for a couple weeks (months, actually), I doubt that Epstein didn't check in with Amaro about Lee.

I think most BLers would be fine with losing Drabek/Taylor/D'Arnaud for a Halladay extension... and they understand that dumping Lee's contract is a necessity. But how are there not 25 other GM's right now on Rube's phone offering more than Manny Moe and Jack?

i was hoping we would have received someone like brandon morrow in lieu of one of those prospects...

i dont dislike the deal like a lot of BL'ers do...that said, i dont love it either...regardless of who they gave up, the bottom line is that they got maybe the best pitcher in baseball...lee was awesome for the phils...but hes not roy halladay...and now we have him for four years

And Ramirez.

It's not that they make up for it, no. But because they're getting good, not great, prospects in return, it offsets the loss. Yes, it's a downgrade, obviously. But it's not like a gaping hole suddenly exists in the system. You guys are acting like it does.

Clout: Agree mostly with your assessment, although I think there's a chance the Phillies will move Aumont back to starting. Agree that Gillies and Ramirez at Reading will be a really nice test. If one or both of them succeed there, that will really help my assessment of the deal.

That said, if it's a "win now at all costs" deal, Amaro should have found a way to keep Lee. It was 9 million dollars he had to find a way to save. Dump Blanton for something, anything. Or just convince ownership that 9 million was worth being the best team in baseball and hands-down WS favorite.

I don't often criticize ownership spending, because frankly they've been really good the last few years. But this rubs me the wrong way.

I'm still hoping that the the following happens:

John Middleton: What's this I hear about us dumping Lee for cash?

David Montgomery: Well, I told Rube that we can only spend $140 million next year.

John Middleton: You chickensh!t!!! I'll pay for him myself!!!

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