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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Comments

I just listened to Zolecki on WIP and he said "35 percent" and that a deal will likely happen "before Christmas." Where did you hear 75 percent and that the deal could happen today?

Insane...if it really happens I'll be doing cartwheels in the office.

The package has to be more than just Happ + 1 I would think...The Angels offered better according to the reports.

I'm guessing a catching prospect like D'Arnaud would be thrown in as well, since the talk was the Jays were looking for a C as well.

Keeping up with the Yankees?

OMG OMG OMG!!!

OMG, indeed!

They should erect a statue of Ruben Amara, Jr. outside the Bank if this happens.

A rotation of Halladay, Lee, Hamels, and whomever else is a sick one, indeed.

75% chance TODAY seems pretty strong. I would have guessed 50% chance this month. Regardless, there aren't enough hours left in the day for a certain BLer to eat all of his words on this subject.

i heard 35% also did he call back in or something?

Of course I'd like to get Halladay, but color me nervous. This feels a little like the Mets approach over the last few years - lots of stars, but not much depth. I assume if we get Halladay, pen will be built internally. That makes me very very nervous. Even Lee and Doc aren't going 9 every night!

Not that I'm against trading for Halladay, but I'll play Devil's advocate. They trade Taylor & Happ for Halladay. Maybe they also trade away Blanton to save some money. But, to keep things simple, I'll assume he's still here & I'll assume that he & Moyer round out the starting rotation. Total payroll for 2010 is around $150M.

2010 ends. Werth, Lee, Halladay, Moyer, & Blanton are all FAs. That's $38M off the books for the first 4 guys, plus around $8M for Blanton. But, assume a good $8M to $10M increase in existing salary obligations, due to back-loaded contracts. Also assume that, having made huge increases in payroll over the last 2 years, the Phillies want to keep it around the same amount, or lower, in 2011.

Conclusion: you've just lost 4 of your 5 starting pitchers, including your 2 aces, plus one of your best bats. You've only got $36M to fill all 5 spots. Domonic Brown is still a year away & you've already traded away Michael Taylor. Drabek was good, but not great, at AAA during the season and he didn't look very good in his September call-up. Now what?

Are we willing to accept this very plausible scenario for an increased -- though still unlikely -- chance at winning another World Series?

I don't understand this deal. If it goes through as projected we have Halladay for one year and lose Happ and perhaps a future standout. If you are going to do that why not spend the money on a real 3rd baseman and a closer.
Don't get me wrong I am very happy about Polanco becuase I know when he gets up to hit he has a 40% chance of getting on but he is not a 3rd base man he is really the antidote for someone to get up and get on base. Something we did not have last year.

Does this mean we no longer trust our starting pitching or the possibility of Drabeck in the spring?

BAP: And what if passing on Halladay is the difference between winning another WS or not? And then in 2011 the replacements for Lee, Moyer & Blanton all suck?

You can see where this is going.


Wake me when and IF the trade happens.

Boy, JW, lots happening.

You may have set a record on the last thread for the least number of posts ever?

BTW, good luck to Pete Happy. I'm glad for him he found a starting spot at decent money. He was part of 2 pennant winning teams, and a WFC!!!

I won't miss his plate discipline, though.

Getting Doc would be AMAZING, but losing Blanton and Happ would leave them without any depth whatsoever.

Consider how many starting pitchers were needed last year:
1. Hamels
2. Myers
3. Blanton
4. Moyer
5. Park
6. Happ
7. Antonio Bastardo
8. Rodrigo Lopez
9. Andrew Carpenter
10. Pedro Martinez
11. Cliff Lee
12. Kyle Kendrick

A 2009 rotation of Halladay-Lee-Hamels-Moyer-Kendrick would leave only Kyle Drabek and Andrew Carpenter as replacements in case of injury or ineffectiveness. Plus, Drabek's innings still need to be monitored. I don't see how Ruben can pull this off and not have problems down the line.

The trade proposals as reported have the Angels making a far better offer, which suggests that either the reports are wrong or Halladay said he'll block a trade to LA, which I haven't seen reported anywhere.

Although scouts may rate him as the better prospect, I would be more inclined to trade Brown than Taylor, for 2 reasons. The first reason is that Taylor has actually posted big numbers 2 years in a row, & I tend to trust actual numbers more than scouts' abstract projections. The other, and more significant, reason is one alluded to in my 2:01 post: Taylor is much closer to being major league ready. That could be very important when Werth walks away after 2010.

bap - That's really a worst-case scenario...in all likelihood, Brown and Drabek will be ready for the bigs in 2011, filling two of those spots. So in reality you've got 36 mil to spend on 3 spots, which is completely reasonable. That amount of money lets you re-sign 1 of your aces and fill in the rotation around him and Hamels.

You're also forgetting that, regardless of whether or not the Phils trade for Halladay, a lot of those moves will still take place. Moyer, Blanton, Werth, and Lee will all hit FA and probably not return.

Even assuming worst-case scenario, and the chance that the Phils take a step back in 2011, another WFC is worth it. And then after 2011 you've got another round of money coming off the books, giving you more payroll flexibility.

Ideally, we'd be the Yankees and have a virtually unlimited payroll, but since that's not the case I'd rather take Halladay + uncertainty after 2010 then no Halladay + uncertainty after 2010.

clout: Well, you can play the "what if" game into infinitum and, if we do fail to win the WS next year, I'm not sure how it could ever be proven that NOT getting Halladay was the reason. My point is not that this trade shouldn't be made (in fact, I'd love to see it made). My point is simply that it would really be an all-in strategy. In the off chance that this trade does happen, it is 100% certain that, a year from now, some of the very same people who are now advocating that the trade be made will be taking Amaro to task for having mortgaged away the future on a one-year roll-of-the-dice.

i've seen a rumor on MLBTR that Halladay doesn't want to go to LA because he wants a team that trains in FL, and the Angels train in AZ. also, i've seen that Halladay wants an extension from whoever trades for him.

BAP - I agree on all fronts, moving Brown over Taylor, even the devil's advocacy, but as a fan, if Roy Halladay is staring you in the face, how can you not beg your team to make the move?

Imagine how fun 2010 would be. Or, at the very least, how interesting.

"The trade proposals as reported have the Angels making a far better offer, which suggests that either the reports are wrong or Halladay said he'll block a trade to LA, which I haven't seen reported anywhere."

It depends on what the Blue Jays want to do. The Angels offer (as I saw it reported) has more major league ready talent, but it will also cost more money (as the players are closer to free agency). The Phillies offer provides less immediate help, but the players would be cheaper for longer, and that might have value to a team like Toronto.

Folks, it's not "75%". JW has it correct: Zo's number was "35".

"in all likelihood, Brown and Drabek will be ready for the bigs in 2011, filling two of those spots."

Really? That strikes me as a rather dubious proposition. Brown has barely 150 plate appearances at AA & is still a pretty raw player. And Drabek has only 50 games of minor league experience and was merely good, but not great, in a half-season at AA last year. It is possible that he could be ready for the big leagues on opening day 2010. But ready to be a decent starting pitcher? That, I very much doubt.

Of course it's an "all in" strategy, which is why it hasn't happened already, and might never. But there's no point in pretending that we're going to be in contention forever. Advancing ages and spiraling salaries preclude any kind of dynasty.

bap, with that kind of money coming off of the books, they would try to keep Lee or Halladay.

My guess is one of them will sign an extension during the season. Why? I suppose it's because I think they, and their agents, know that they would be competing in the FA market against each other. Now, the Yanks gave bug bucks CC and Burnett, and may have room for one, but not both of them. What other big money clubs are there that are going to be looking to drop Burnett or Sabbathia type money on a SP? What other teams are going to have the wherewithal to do so.

In short, it's a limited market for the type of money the Lee's and Halladay's will be seeking, and with both of them on the market at the same time it might be a little dicey for the guy that doesn't sign first.

IF the Phils DO make the trade for Halladay, I (though not a betting man) would set the odds at 50/50 that one of them would sign an extension before the end of the season.

Halladay may REQUIRE it to OK the trade, and they've already had opening discussions with Lee and his people.

The reason they may have contacted Lee right now in the first place is that Halladay will want the extension to OK the trade. If that's the case, they may have gone to Lee and said something along these lines:

"Cliff, we'd really like to keep you beyond next season and want to work out an extension. We have an opportunity to trade for Halladay, and if we do we're going to have to extend him to do the trade. We can't keep both of you, and would really like to keep you in lieu of doing the trade[Lee is younger]. We want to have someone of your caliber past 2010, so is there any chance you'll consider an extension before we have to make a decision on Doc?"

Pure speculation, I know, but hey, that and any version thereof is a possibility.

Re: Angels. Getting Halladay would be good for them, but if they lose Lackey and include Saunders in the deal, that doesn't help them THAT much. They'll need to add more. Making that trade AND keeping Lackey would be major.

I'm sure the Phils wouldn't trade for Doc without inking him to an extension. If that were to happen, I wonder id Lee would be extended also. The reason why I say this is we've seen bad contracts for Wolf and Lyon. Both trades for Lee and Doc would end up being useless if neither one of them were extended.

DPatrone: interesting point. Haven't heard whether or not Doc would accept a trade w/out an extension.

bap - Really? That strikes me as a rather dubious proposition. Brown has barely 150 plate appearances at AA & is still a pretty raw player. And Drabek has only 50 games of minor league experience and was merely good, but not great, in a half-season at AA last year. It is possible that he could be ready for the big leagues on opening day 2010. But ready to be a decent starting pitcher? That, I very much doubt."

We're not talking about opening day 2010, we're talking about opening day 2011. With the timetable they've set for Drabek, it would be a major upset NOT to see him on the team in 2011. And even if Brown's not ready for a full-time gig in 2011 (which I doubt, considering LaMar's recent statements about pushing the prospects quickly), he would likely be at some point during the '11 season.

Either way you look at it, there's major uncertainty for this team after the 2010 season, and I'd rather they jump through the window before it shuts than hope it stays open a year longer.

If I was Roy Halladay I would block any trade that would have me pitching against Michael Taylor.

DomPatrone, that was my point exactly above.

IMHO, there is no way the Phils trade for Doc without either 1) getting an extension from Halladay, or 2) working out an extension with Lee.

I think they'd prefer Lee because he's younger.

If we trade Michael taylor I will be crushed...I am probably too invested in our minor league system, but I think it is a mistake...move Victorino/Blanton/Mayberry/Qberry and then bring up Taylor for RF and move Werth to CF.

awh: Here's my prediction: There will be no Halladay trade to any team unless that team has already worked out informally an extension with Halladay.

I can guarantee the BJs will not want a package of Victorino/Blanton, etc. Those are not cheap, young players they can control for several more years, they are veterans with escalating salaries who will hit the FA market in the next couple years. People need to drop that possibility out of their minds.

If it happens, it will be Happ + prospects.

Lee isn't much younger than Halladay and Doc had been consistent, longer.

Actually Todd said it was 35% but he also said it was 35% for the other teams so which made it even money choices between any front running teams (Yanks Angels, and I think he said Boston too)

Bed Beard: JW's initial header said 75 percent, but he was corrected by @Meechone and @ToddZolecki on Twitter. It was funny to watch.

That Dude: Moving Werth to CF works well for 2010, but what happens in 2011? I'd rather see Victorino signed to a long term deal. He will be a lot cheaper than Werth.

Lee is I think 3 yrs younger...

Chris,
Your right that they would prefer Happ...and I would give them Happ

I feel like I have read this conversation before?

Lee is about 15 months younger.

awh: I agree they'd use some of the $36M to try to lock up one of those 2 pitchers. It does seem, likely, though that they'd lose 1 of the 2 key starters, plus Werth.

$36M is not an insignificant amount of coin -- and there would probably be a little more than that, since there are probably some additional, lesser contracts coming off the books (Romero springs right to mind). I'm not suggesting the Phillies would be completely unable to field a competitive team after 2010. But they would definitely have to make some very difficult choices and there would be a real premium on finding players who are productive but inexpensive. That was one of Gillick's strengths, but I'm not sure it's one of Amaro's.

Weird that Halladay is rumored to be DEMANDING an extension, while Lee is rumored to be REJECTING an extension.

i'd think lee is more valuable than halladay on the open market, regardless of age, simply because of his playoff performance. teams will overpay for a guy that shows he can do it in october. of course, halladay may be just as good, but has never gotten the chance to show it.

i don't think that the jays would take either vic or blanton, but i don't think it's out of the question that either or both could be traded to another team for prospects.

Dude, Vic is under control for a couple of more years. Werth will, IMHO, be too expensive to re-sign, especially if he has another year like 2009. If he does that, IMO, he could get a contract in the $14-18MM range. Keep in mind what Holliday and Bay are asking for - 15+ - and remember that teams are also now using defensive metrics to evaluate players. Werth is a far superior defender to Bay of Holliday. He's in the top 3 at his position in MLB (Upton, Ethier). Trading Vic is about the shortest term solution they could engage in.

In the end, the Phils will be able to keep Lee or Halladay, not both. I guess Rube needs to gamble on which will be a better value in terms of a new contract.

clout, we agree on the Halladay extension.
So what that means is they would probably not have the money to extend Lee also.

That is why I was speculating about why, all of a sudden (it seems) at the Winter meetings, they being Lee and/ot his agent in to discuss an extension.

If Halladay wants one to OK a trade they'll say goodby to Lee after the season. The problem for the Phils is that they may really want to keep Lee, and would like to extend him in lieu of trading for Doc.

But I don't see where it makes sense to risk losing both of them at the end of 2010.

the reports I've read suggest that Halladay just isn't interested in the whole financial side of the game, and that he wants an extension to avoid pitching a lame duck season for someone in 2010 and then going through another offseason of constant rumors. which, if true, I respect the guy for.

Lee is rejecting? I thought I read that they Phils and Lee have had (very) preliminary talks about an extension...

awh: ia gree, but RyHo will be leaving then too and we will probably sign Werth of RyHo leaves, plus I don't think Vic will ever be as good as he was this yr and his value will never be higher.

BREAKING: chances of halladay move to 35.3%

That should say: "they BRING Lee and/OR his agent in".

Didn't Happ beat BJ's twice this year and I believe shut them out. I believe they want him a lot

Let's get into Halladay's brain. He wants to train in Florida. For years he's been butting heads with the Yankees and Red Sox. He must hate those two teams. He's probably indifferent about the Phillies, but they have been in the last two World Series, so that makes Philly a desirable place to be.

Cliff Lee is no dummy. If the Phils get Halladay and sign him to an extension, I believe that Lee will want to stick around and enjoy the ride, too

Dude, I'm not sure I agree on your assessment of Vic. He's posted very similar number 2 years in a row.

JR King - I think that's due to a couple of factors...Lee hasn't made nearly as much money in his career as Halladay, so he's going to look to maximize his value. You don't do that without hitting the FA market. Halladay, OTOH, has already made quite a bit of coin and is now looking for an opportunity to WIN, as he's never once been to the playoffs with the BJs. I think that gives him slightly more motivation to take a little less money for the opportunity to be on a contending team for the next several years...just to hazard a guess at their motivations.

i think ed wade has an unhealthy fascination with the phillies... he signed pedro, now he's signing majewski, and he's "stealing" lyon from us.

LF - from what I've read he's not "indifferent" about the Phils at all, they would be his first choice if he could go anywhere right now.

Their training facility is 15 minutes from his home in FL, meaning he could stay home with his family during Spring Training. They are consistent winners. And they have an easier path to the WS through the NL than the AL teams do.

ChrisinVT, Halladay said as much in July. he said going to a winning org was more important than maximizing dollars.

If both Halladay and Lee leave after 2010, you get 4 draft picks. Not the worst downside.

From Jayson Stark's piece on Halladay today:

"But geography might be a close second -- because when we asked where Halladay would most want to be, if he could pick any team and money wasn't an object, you might be surprised by the answer.

"If he could only pick one place? Oh, Philadelphia," the source said. "No question. He lives right near their spring training camp. It's an easy trip down to Florida to get home. They've got a great team. And it's not the pressure of New York -- not that pressure bothers him."

Beard: that is a VERy good point and I had forgotten about that.

Here's an old article in the Toronto Star about Halladay. Money doesn't seem to matter much to this guy:

http://www.thestar.com/comment/columnists/article/443398

As far as Beerleaguer's particular subset of interests go, trading the farm for Halladay would really be a best-case scenario. We'd have one more magical World Championship to enjoy together, and then a bunch of seasons after that of losing baseball to complain about together.

IF Lee is rejecting (and I haven't heard that either), then the trade for Halladay trade HAS to be made. Lee has said that he likes Phila. and wants to on a winner. It's not about the money (where have we heard THAT before). But it has been speculated that Lee wants CC Sab.-type $$ (160). That's difficult. Even Burnett (82) money is difficult.

4 things we know: 1. Halladay's home is 20 minutes from where the Phils train in Clearwater. 2. He wants out of Toronto. He wants to pitch in the post-season which he's never done. 4. He completely controls where he goes.

Can the Phils go "all-in" and extend both pitchers? Very difficult. Not impossible.

But looming is the fact that a lot would have been traded away for both pitchers. Keeping only one of them would be hard to take.

Lee and Halliday would be a lethal L/R combo at the tp of the rotation for one year. If Hamels comes back to form, Lee could walk and Halladay/Hamels might be almost as lethal. If we could get Doc w/o giving up Blanton then I say go for it.

Then get everybody together, get creative and work out the difficulties of the contract extensions. Send a meesage to baseball that the Phils are a team that MUST be dealt with.

Christmas Eve at the BAP house- a one act play:

(Setting: Living Room, Interior. The house is decorated and a young kid(s) sits on the floor writing while the dad sits in his computer chair scanning BeerLeaguer. The mother is sitting on the couch and watching the kid play.)

Mother: Did you get the plate of milk and cookies ready for Santa Claus?

Kid: Not yet. I'm making a card for him thanking him for the gifts and hope he likes the cookies.

BAP: You know Santa doesn't exist.

Kid (starts to tear up at the suggestion)

Mother (shocked and giving an angry glare at BAP): Don't listen to him sweetie. Santa exists and you've been a good kid this year so he will definitely visit.

BAP: Let me play Devil's Advocate here. Let's assume their was a real guy who delivered presents. Why would he live at one of the coldest places on Earth all year round. Also, why would he have reindeer when he could just fly with a plane? And I mean really, a guy who does nothing all year round but deliver gifts to kids one day a year? I find that impossible to believe and it's sillt for anyone else to do so.

(Kid runs out of room crying and swearing off Christmas for ever)

SCENE

TTI: Bravo!

Sorry about that JW. As I mentioned last thread, my friend text me that Zoleki said it was 75%. I didn't actually listen to it myself as I am at work. THen I had to go to a meeting, and I got all of your Tweets and felt badly. My apologies for throwing out a false number there.

I will still take 35% though.

Halladay wants an extension.

Also, I was commenting on the acceptance or arbitration earlier, not the offer. You have to offer a guy like Soriano.

TTI: Very amusing -- although I find it hard to see how looking at all sides of an issue constitutes being negative.

TTI, that's funny. BAP is not really that negative, is he? I could see clout telling the kid that Santa's trip might not be so good this year because Rudolph has the DITH look in many of his outings this year. MVPTommy tells the kid that the elves are too short to compete favorably this year. Santa's wife is named Heidi and she tells him that he's not going out at night on these long trips by himself anymore.

I think Lake Fred and Andy merged sometime around August, but that would mean they go by Lake Andy.

My report has the chance of Halladay being traded to the Phillies at 96%.

BAP: You are always Captain Comedown though. I honestly can't think of one post you've ever written that was fully positive. The post from 2:01 is the usual MO from you. A sentence that expresses something positive and then 4 paragraphs trying to bring everyone down.

Now granted there are guys that believe beyond the shadow of a doubt that Halladay to the Phillies is a done deal. But do you really think a majority of the people here who are level headed (clout, BB, MG, myself, awh, etc) need to be presented with the negative side of the scenario. We all understand that there is positive and negative in it and that right now at most it's less than a coin flip that he comes here.

For me, it's fun to believe this would happen because that's being a fan. Do I think it happens? Not really, but it's fun to imagine. Also, I remember where this team was at the beginning of this decade. A trash major league team with some talent bubbling in the minors. Even 5 years ago there was a decent MLB team but little talent in the minors.

Right now we have a team that has been to 2 straight World Series. They are in discussions to bring in their second ace in 6 months to the team and we'd still have a decent little farm system with Taylor and Drabek plus the lower levels.

You can't even give yourself one post of tossing that around in your head before playing "Devil's Advocate?

Let's see what Werth does in 2010 before we say he is unsignable because he will get a zillion dollars.

35%? I love those arbitrary BS numbers reports make up on potential odds for a hypothetical trade.

I call BS on the Halladay trade rumors. Reminds me way too much of past offseasons where the Phils were rumored to land a premier FA or make a huge trade only to come way with something else instead.

Biggest reason still is the money issue. Even if the Phils move Blanton, they are picking another $7M at least in a Halladay deal. Picking up Halladay likely requires the Phils to move another large salary and frankly which player on this team with a decent salary can they really move?

MG - maybe Roy is the one guy they are willing to blow their budget for. Create a lot of goodwill, and let a couple people walk next year to lower payroll back down?

I call BS on MG's post above. I think it's a parody of the BAP/TTI comments...

If they bust payroll to get Roy I could see then selling out even more games next season. Most of the non-sellouts came in April when it was still pretty cold, right? Could make it ok to bust payroll in that instance.

The Phils' ownership is supposedly willing to consider increasing the payroll for "special" players like Halladay.

However, I'm pretty sure that would make any mid-season acquisitions next to impossible.

Lots of good points being made today. The reason I see the Halladay deal not happening is BAP's all in theory. Emptying the cupboard for Doc would make us a favorite to win it all again, but after that there is a chance we go in the crapper for a few years. If that happens the money spigot could dry up for management. As Chris said, I find it hard to believe that Rube won't expand the payroll 5 or even 10 million to make us (practically) bullet proof.

"But do you really think a majority of the people here who are level headed (clout, BB, MG, myself, awh, etc) need to be presented with the negative side of the scenario."

Actually, yes I do. I think everyone understands, in very abstract terms, the downside of trading prospects for an expensive superstar on a one-year contract. I was attempting to take those abstractions and make them concrete, so that people (myself included) could really see a specific, and reasonably likely, picture of what we would be up against in 2010 if we made this trade. I apologize if you thinks that that picture wasn't sufficiently rosy to be printable on Beerleaguer.

Obviously that should have said "if you think," not "thinks."

Very much off topic, but this quote from Leyland on Polanco today tickled me:

"I like to use the expression, 'He's like an old shoe.' Every once in a while, you might want to get a new, shiny one, but that one is still comfortable. That's how I describe guys like him. Real comfortable."

There HAS to be a nickname in there somewhere...

Donc: The thing is though- we really wouldn't be all in. If Werth had to walk in 2011 there is every chance Taylor would be ready to come in which would drop that position by a few million.

You would have some contracts taking on some back loaded money but there would still be talent left with Hamels, Utley, Howard, Lidge, and Madson all under contract.

Plus I'm convinced one of the two (Lee or Halladay) would be extended beyond this year. Also, there is a possibility Drabek would be ready to contribute next year at some point.

There's a good chance we'd take a step back in 2011 but I don't think it'd be a huge step back. Basically we're not talking about a 65 win team. We're talking about maybe 80-85 and battling for a playoff spot. But I'd take a year of that and waiting for some cash to come off the books to reload in 2012- the last year of baseball.

Plus, if we bring in Halladay attendence would probably go up again and another playoff run would mean additional cash again. So there is every chance the gamble would pay for itself.

BAP: You're missing my point. You're being negative to combat the forces who are forever going to be positive. In every group of fans there are the percentage who are "rah rahs" that will be sunny and rosy about everything.

There is a group who is the "Downer" group that says they like a team but are forever trying to find the negative in things.

Then there is the third group- the group where I think myself and many of the other posters I mention occupy- which is - yeah it'd be great if this would happen and here's why. We allow ourselves that thought for some time. However, on the flip side we understand the consequences that may or may not come with the decisions.

Basically- you are shouting down teh first group, a group that will never be shouted down in their fandom. It's pointless to even waste your breath on them discussing anything financially termed.

i do find it humorous though that you think we are a bunch of slack-jawed yokels who can't figure out that there may be some risk involved in trading for Halladay. However, even your belief for 2011 and beyond is overly negative- but you don't want me pointing that out either

Seriously? Halladay talk is cheap, but the thought of him coming here is highly unlikely. Unless of course Rube is pulling an Andy Reid and keeping it very close to the vest as not to attract any more attention from possible NL suitors who don't want th ePhillies getting any stronger. I honestly would be shocked if this is anything more than a story that has taken on a life of its own since Zolecki reported the odds at 35%.

Heck, no matter what they do, the BP still needs lots of attention. In spite of what we are being told, Lidge still scares the hell out of me and the rest of the staff is shaky at best. Other than Mad Dog, without Park, the guys returning were not exactly close to the '08 version by any stretch.

But Halladay ending up here...now that would be a Christmas gift that would keep on giving.

Avid BL reader for over two years now (though seldom poster) and I have never found BAP to be overly negative.

Cynicism (as is humor) is IMO a strong indication of one's intelligence.

Just look at what clout, BAP, et. al. have done to our own MVP...

Every well-oiled operation (whether it be a presidential cabinet or an insighful Phillie's blog) needs a good, focused devil's advocate.

I must say, as much as the little nuggets (Gary Majewski, Carlos Monasterios, RJ Swindle etc) are the lifeblood of this place, nothing makes it hum like a good ole' Roy Halladay episode.

TTI: I didn't say you couldn't figure out there's risk involved. I said that it's worth outlining the specific details of that risk (i.e., how many vacancies would arise after 2010, how much money we'd have to fill those vacancies, & where our 3 key prospects might stand in terms of readiness). If you already had all of that specific information at your fingertips, then you have clearly spent more time looking into the issue than I have.

I didn't realize that weighing both sides of an issue would somehow be perceived as looking for the negative. In the future, I'll be more careful about only considering the positive in an issue.

@Deutche Phan --
The Hush Puppy?

And TTI, if it's a 'downer' you're looking to take on, methinks Mr. Patrone could use a little pep talk.

Just sayin'...

I like the "We are going to the WS" talk if the Phils acquire Halliday.

Guess what folks....the Phils went to the WS last year WITHOUT Halliday. They will be the heavy favorites to go back in 2010, even WITHOUT Halliday.

Guess what the achilles heal of this team was in 2009? It wasn't the lack of a "horse" like Halliday. It was the lack of a closer. It killed the team ALL YEAR. And it could again, if Rube doesn't go out and spend the money that he has left on a guy with a PROVEN track record of closing games.

Again, this deal will never happen anyway. Its all "smoke-screen" stuff, to help get others (like the Red Sox and Angels) truly invested in making this deal. The Phils went out and got their "ace" last July. Cliff Lee is the ace of this staff and the Phils should be doing EVERYTHING in their power to extend him; not bring in another expensive guy to go with him.

All this talk (and I think that is all it is) is just to help "motivate" Mr. Hamels get working in this offseason. If that is the case, its brilliance by the Phil FO.

I suppose any trade of this magnitude is unlikely, but it sure is fun to think about. And there are some really interesting dimensions to this whole thing.

First, even if the Phils aren't really in on Halladay, the rumor alone is likely to make Toronto's job a bit more difficult. Halladay can veto any trade, and if he believes the Phils have made an offer, he could simply say, I won't go to the Angles. And, hell, if for some reason he really does prefer the Phils, then he can veto other east coast teams too. Basically, with the possibility that he could stay east coast out there, Doc might be less inclined to sign off on a deal to the Angles.

Second, I agree that it will be difficult for the Phils to beat the Angles offer in terms of player talent (Joe Saunders, Erick Aybar, and Peter Bourjos is a strong offer). But Aybar and Saunders will be free agents after 2012, and the Jays seem to be building for 2012 and beyond. An offer from the Phils with slightly lesser talent but more years of team control might appeal to the Jays. Happ, Brown, one of our few remaining catchers, and another toolsy prospect?

Third, the Jays have said they'd trade intra-division, but that doesn't mean they want to. So again, if the Phils make competitive offers that are a tad less than the Sox and the Yanks, the Phils might still come out ahead.

It's still such a long shot, but there are reasons why both the Jays and Halladay might prefer the Phils as partners.

bap, I disagree. I can get even more negative than you can IF I CHOOSE TO. the REASON I don't is exactly that - I try to reason things through. That is, I try to be reasonable.

If you want to have a negativity contest, I'm game.

You, OTOH, seem to revel in the negative, bathing in it until the water is over your head. Then, when it nearly suffocates and drowns you, you deem it fit to try to flood this board with the darkest waters possible.

If Rube and Co. decide it's worth it to trade for Halladay, at this point he's earned enough of my confidence that I trust him to do it without compromising the team's competitiveness in future years.

The entire FO wants to stay competitive for the long haul, and I think they now realize, after the mass of sellouts the last two seasons, that Philadelphia will support this team like the big market that it is. If the 'Zen is sold out people will watch on TV and boost their revenues that way. When this team is ripping through the summer their merchandise sells like hotcakes. You're not here, but look how many more people wear the stuff around town. Can you imagine how many Halladay jerseys they'll sell? 2.5 million people at the parade showed them something - I think even they were surprised.

So lighten up, dude! The sun will be out tomorrow, the Phils will still be a contender - Doc or no Doc - and we've got another good season of very, very fun baseball to look forward to.

Lord am I sick of this Roy Halladay talk (almost as sick as everyone seems to be of BAP's predictable negativity). Either sign the guy or shut up about it.

The fact that Amaro isn't swatting this down definitively after it has been talked about SINCE JUNE makes me think he's trying to align the stars and make this happen. Doesn't mean he will, but I think he's going to try.

MG, I agree with your questioning 35%. I thought about it and realized there's supposedly three teams in the running. Each has a third of a chance. Round that to the nearest 5% and you're at 35%. Not very scientific. It's all bloviation to the Nth degree.

I assess the Phils chances at Halladay at 28.25% Where'd I get that number? I can't tell you. It's a secret. I got it from the Climate School of East Anglia University. It's highly reliable. Right.

Who's Andy? Why would I merge with Andy?

awh: I have no objection if people want to characterize me as generally negative/pessimistic. That's probably true. What can I say?

My objection is that TTI habitually takes posts that no reasonable person could possibly construe as negative, & he tortures the context and meaning into something negative, then criticizes me for being negative. Iceman, who just showed up to join in the fray, does the exact same thing. I believe they're the only two that do.

Top Ten reasons why I'd put Drabek in a Halladay deal instead of Happ:

1. Billy Champion
2. Ken Reynolds
3. Steve Arlin
4. Mike Martin
5. Roy Thomas
6. Scott Munninghoff
7. Brad Brink
8. Pat Combs
9. Tyler Green
10. Carlton Loewer

Happ is a proven commodity. Drabek, for all his obvious talent, is a crapshoot. If he turns into another Ferguson Jenkins, oh well. For Halladay IMHO it's worth the risk. He's no Larry jackson.

How about, if BAP says something incorrect *on the merits*, blast away.

BAP- your first post in this thread wasn't negative? Laying out a doomsday scenario for two years from now under the guise of playing 'devil's advocate' isn't negative? I'd like to know your definition of 'negative.'

Get HALLADAY! 2 WS Wins in 3 years!

I'll be a lone voice here but I really like J.A.Happ. There's something about him that equates solid to me for several years to come on a good hitting club. Can't they find other pitchers (like Blanton and other minor league pitching prospects except for Drabek) to trade away?

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