Lee was a proven success for the Phillies, will Halladay be a success if he lands here?
The ink is still wet on this deal, and all the i’s haven’t been dotted and the t’s not crossed yet but could this be the worst trade for the Phillies in history? Von Hayes came to the Phillies with much ballyhoo back in December of 1982, he was traded for 5 players from the Phillies back then. The five players were: Manny Trillo, George Vukovich, Jay Baller, Julio Franco (yes the same Julio Franco that still played up to 2007), and Jerry Willard. To say Von Hayes wasn’t worth 5 players is an understatement. Hayes stayed with the Phillies until 1991, his numbers are extremely underwhelming and he is probably one of the biggest reasons the Phillies were flops throughout the mid to late 1980’s. It doesn’t end there, in 1991 the Phillies finally traded Von Hayes. Do you remember for who? Von went to the California Angels and two players went to the Phillies: Kyle Abbott and Ruben Amaro Jr. (yes the current Phillies GM, he did actually play in the MLB).
The Phillies went to great lengths to get Cliff Lee. When the Halladay circus had so many suitors that the Phillies just closed the door on Halladay back in July, a clear focused decision of obtaining Cliff Lee became the direction the Phillies chose to take. The Indians got a number of great prospects in the deal and shed the rest of Lee’s contract. The 4 players the Indians received for Lee and Ben Francisco were: Carlos Carrasco, Lou Marson, Jason Donald, (all sought after prospects) and pitcher Jason Knapp. Lee never looked better as a Phillie, and shot straight from the hip and said he would probably test free agency after his contract was up in 2010 from the Phillies right from the first day the Phillies got him.
So in just a few months, the decision is to now forget about that deal. Apparently according to reports in the press, to trade Lee off now to Seattle and somehow obtain Roy Halladay from Toronto? I don’t follow the logic or the amount of players now that the Phillies will have to send packing and this triangle deal involving both Seattle and Toronto, who are both teams former Phillies GM Pat Gillick has been cozy with over the years with. This whole alliance just reeks of somehow the Phillies possibly taking the ‘beat down’ in this trade. Not to mention published reports of now paying Halladay $20 millon per year when they could have had Lee’s services for one more year at $9 million and perhaps worked out a deal for him or trade him at this upcoming season’s trade deadline in July or August? Why this now, why all of this now?
Amaro is playing this like a ‘poker stars’ player on TV who is pushing all of his chips in and he’s got very little in his hand. The bullpen is still very much empty and at the end of this trade what you have is basically what you had in Cliff Lee only for a lot more money. What he’ll get in return for everyone that is involved in this deal cannot equal what he is getting or spending wildly to get one Ace pitcher, Roy Halladay. Here, according to published reports, is what getting Roy Halladay actually cost the Phillies if you can somehow discount the tremendous benefit that the Phillies enjoyed having Cliff Lee on the team for only 8 weeks of the regular season.
Players who left for Lee:
|Carlos Carrasco||coveted Phillies minor leaguer|
|Lou Marson||coveted Phillies minor league|
|Jason Donald||Top prospect Phils minor leaguer|
|Jason Knapp||Phillies minor leaguer|
| Players who may leave for Halladay:|
| Cliff Lee||Outstanding job last year for Phils|
| Kyle Drabek||Top Phillies prospect|
Does anyone see the trend here? You’ve practically given up your whole minor league star prospects for one pitcher for a three year contract in this deal. Of course the pitcher is Roy Halladay but as with any pitcher, he’ll have to go out there every five days or so and get a start. Will Halladay win 15 games next year in 2010? It seems like Amaro is betting he’ll win 25 or more the way he has thrown in all of the chips to get him.
The real winner here is Seattle. They came out of no where to land Cliff Lee and it’s because the Phillies allowed it. I wonder how much influence Pat Gillick has with the Mariners anymore? Gillick still lives in Seattle and it very much in touch with that ballclub. Gillick has gone on record saying it isn’t out of the question that he may return somewhere as 'Director of Baseball Operations' for a team. I think you can bet that team is Seattle. Gillick is currently employed as a ‘special advisor’ to the Phillies.
This has been one of the strangest moves in baseball in recent years, just the time that this deal is taking is saying a lot for it’s complexity and that there still may be a chance that none of it may happen. The jury is still out, nothing official has been announced but this deal just doesn’t seem to be favoring the Phillies at all except for getting Halladay and leaving everything else behind.