An Apple A Day?

Keeps the Doc away.

No, I’m not talking about that hot doctor I met at the emergency room today. If anything, I’d stop eating apples all together for that guy. Long story, let’s not go there.

 I’m talking about Roy “Doc” Halladay. The Toronto Blue Jays have already made it known that they’re willing to trade him, but obviously they want a pretty good offer for him. Rightfully so, after all, we are talking about The Doc.

Let’s look at the numbers, shall we?

In 2009, Roy Halladay won 17 games, had an ERA of 2.79, pitched 9 complete games, 239 innings, and had a career high of 208 strikeouts. If those numbers don’t make your mouth water, then you need to get that checked out. I have the perfect doctor to recommend to you.

It’s no wonder that the Blue Jays are asking for a lot in return for Doc. Any team would. If they weren’t in desperate need of players to fill the holes they have in their roster, and if they didn’t have a horrible farm system, they wouldn’t trade him. They do have holes in their roster, they do have a horrifyingly bad farm system, so they are definitely looking to trade him. Why wouldn’t they? They’re going to lose him next year anyway.

The Blue Jays are looking for quality, not quantity. One Blue Jays official said “We would rather have one above-average impact guy than eight ordinary guys”, when asked what they will be asking for in return for Roy Halladay.

So, what does this mean for the Yankees? The same thing it always means when an excellent players is suddenly available: should we go after him? If so, what kind of offer are we bringing to the table?

Let’s start out by weighing out the positives of getting Roy Halladay.

First of all, it’s always good to add a solid pitcher to our starting rotation. Sure, we won the World Series with our current 3-man rotation, but there is no doubt that a 4th solid starter would have made life a little easier. Secondly, just close your eyes and imagine a rotation of (in no particular order, and assuming Pettitte and Wang come back) Sabathia, Halladay, Wang, Pettitte and Burnett. If that doesn’t cause a party in your pants, I don’t know what will.

Also, we don’t know that Pettitte is coming back, so in the case of an Andy Pettitte retirement, Roy Halladay makes all the more sense. Not to mention that he’s been pretty much unhittable within our division. No other pitcher is as successful facing AL East opponents as Roy Halladay. That is always a major added bonus. Furthermore, signing him would mean keeping him out of Boston, and it is never a good thing to see a great pitcher go to your strongest division rivals.

Now, let’s look at what the Blue Jays want in return for Roy Halladay. To the Yankees, these are the negatives:

Halladay will be eligible for free agency after the 2010 season. He’s already made it known that he will not be signing a contract extension with the Toronto Blue Jays. So, by letting the Doc walk away after 2010, the Blue Jays will get two draft picks. Therefore, in order to trade him now, they will definitely be asking for some top prospects as they will be losing those two picks. Keeping in mind that they can’t ask for too much, because John Lackey is still available, they’ll still be asking for some quality players to add to their roster and weak farm.

So, to get Roy Halladay we’ll probably have to give up either Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes, and a top prospect. The names Cervelli, Montero, Romine, Betances, and Jackson come to mind as possibilities. I’m not a “Hot Stove” expert, but if I were a GM, that would be the bare minimum I’d ask for.

The Blue Jays’ farm system is pretty thin, so you know they’ll be asking for prospects. Another player they may be asking for is David Robertson. While Robertson is a Major League pitcher and they’re probably looking for prospects, he has the potential to be a dominant closer in the future. Any team would love to have him on board.

Now, here’s the part a lot of you may not agree with…

I don’t think we should go after Roy Halladay. If he was a free agent this off-season, then I’d be all for it, but we’ve worked too hard on our prospects to send them away. Our top prospects are vital for our future, and trading them away for someone we don’t really need would be sickening to me. Honestly, it would be a George Steinbrenner thing to do.

Chien-Ming Wang (if he returns) will be in the rotation next year. Will he be 19-Win Wang? Doubtful. He will more likely give us around 14 wins and an ERA of around 4 (+/- a few). To me, with our current rotation (with Andy), that’s good enough. So we really have no need for Halladay.

Also, we’d most definitely have to give up either Hughes or Joba for him. Really? Now that they’re finally starting to get into the groove of things, we should send one of them up to Toronto?

Forget about his postseason performance, Phil Hughes’ regular season domination in the setup role is precisely why we should hold onto him. Joba Chamberlain? Well, he’s Joba Chamberlain. We saw him return to excellence as a reliever. Hopefully our management have removed their heads from their rectums, and have learned to stop screwing around with Joba’s future. He is obviously best fit to be an amazing reliever, and I hope to see plenty more from him in that role.  

Folks, I don’t want to go back to the George Steinbrenner days of giving up our young, home-grown talent for the big stars of the moment. Free agency? Sure, why not? I wouldn’t mind seeing us go after Lackey. In true Yankee fashion, I’m going to say: it’s just money. If money can get us a good pitcher (arguably overrated, but would be better than our other options if Joba remains in the bullpen), then why the Hell not? Especially if Pettitte chooses to retire.

Trades? Right now, not so much.

With who we currently have on the roster, trading for Halladay will simply be a glamor acquisition. Kind of like trading your Aston Martin in for a Lamborghini, when you already have a Ferrari, Bentley, Porsche and Hummer in your garage.

So, right now, during this off-season, I say we should keep eating that apple a day.

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5 comments

  1. jstancil@unionky.edu

    I agree w/ you. I don’t think the Yanks need to try for Halladay. I like him, like him a lot, but the Yanks have a good rotation as it is and I believe it would set them back more than moving them forward if they trade for Doc.
    Like you said, if he was a free agent, then go after him. If I was Cashman, I’d wait until after 2010 when he’s on the market and put him in pinstripes.

  2. yankeemeg

    I totally agree with you. I mean I’d love to see Roy in pinstripes BUT I don’t think, especially at his age, he’s worth giving up top prospects for. Something tells me that we wont see any real action with Halladay until he files for FA after next season. I just hope we don’t see the same 3 ring circus like we did this past July.

  3. thefreak

    As easy as it is to say “Get Lackey” (which I agree with), you’ve got to weigh all options. PLUS what they are asking for. Halladay is not an old guy. So if they signed him, he’d be around for quite some time.

    As for giving up some talent…….. My opinion is that Joba belongs in the pen and should be Mariano’s successor as closer. Hughs is a starter. You can see that even after his performance in the pen. So if either have to go, getting rid of Hughs wouldn’t be the worst. If they sign Bay or Holliday for left field, then A-Jax departing wouldn’t be the worst as well. A-Jax may have speed and defensive skills, but he isn’t a “its is high, it is far, it is GONE” kind of guy. From what I hear, the yankee farm system is overloaded with catcher prospects. Goof ones too. I don’t think Jesus Montero should be thrown in the deal with his skills and power, but maybe there is someone else in the system they can substitute.

    sometimes you have to give up potential talent to get bonified talent.

    I’m just playing devils advocate here. I don’t want to see any of those guys go either. But I can understand if Cashman does it.

    Its just been posted that the Red Sox are turning up the heat on Halladay and hope to have something done before winter meetings (12/7). So this story may fizzle fast and we’ll move onto signing Lackey.

    http://evilempire.mlblogs.com/

  4. thesmoov1

    The last thing Ca$hMoney needs to do is trade for Harry Leroy — especially if we’re trading Joba or Hughes within the division. It’s the same situation as with Johan and the Twins two seasons ago: just let some other team fleece the Jays while letting our young pitchers develop.

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