How Much Is Too Much?

halladay 04.jpgThe Blue Jays want J.A. Happ, Kyle Drabek and Dominic Brown.

The Phillies reportedly offered Happ, Carlos Carrasco, Michael Taylor and Jason Donald.

Is Happ, Drabek and Brown too much to give up for Roy Halladay? Halladay is arguably the best pitcher in baseball, and the Phillies would be getting him for two Octobers instead of one. We’re not talking about a bottom-of-the-rotation pitcher here. We’re talking about Roy Freakin’ Halladay. Cy Young winner. Ace. Best of the best.

Two sources said Toronto’s demands are reasonable. So why won’t the Phillies pull the trigger?

They are keeping the future in mind, one source indicated. The Phillies’ rotation today includes Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, Jamie Moyer, Happ and Rodrigo Lopez/Pedro Martinez. If the Phillies get Halladay for Happ, Drabek and Brown, the rotation next season would include Hamels, Halladay and Moyer, who is 9-7 with a 5.65 ERA this season. Blanton, who is salary arbitration eligible, seems like a smart bet to return, although the Phillies already have $95.5 million committed to 11 players next season. Add Halladay into that mix and the payroll jumps to $110.75 million. It seems unlikely, but it is possible the Phillies could non-tender Blanton, who would get a raise from the $5.475 million he is making, if they feel they need to trim some salary to pay Halladay and the rest of the roster. So that’s one starter if Blanton is back, two if he isn’t.

The Phillies can handle one starter. Maybe even two with Halladay and Hamels atop the rotation. But the number jumps to potentially four starters in 2011. There is no guarantee Halladay re-signs with the Phillies. He could leave for the highest bidder. Moyer presumably won’t be back. Blanton will be a free agent after 2010, and he also could leave for the big payday. That leaves Hamels and four vacancies.

The Phillies are considering those things as they consider a package for Halladay. They want to keep Happ or Drabek so they’re a little better equipped next season and beyond.


Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi told FOX’s Ken Rosenthal that the chances of trading Halladay are “very slim.” Others agree. One source believes the chances of Halladay being traded are no better than 50-50. Another said he thinks it’s “unlikely” Halladay gets traded.

But one source said the Phillies’ counter offer, which said the Blue Jays rejected, is fair. He considers Happ a “poor man’s Andy Pettitte” and Taylor to be better than Brown. He also pointed out that entering this season many considered Carrasco to be the organization’s top pitching prospect. He also think Donald can be a good everyday player.

Of course, it only matters what Toronto thinks.


It also is unlikely the Cliff Lee is traded. One source said it could be easier for the Phillies to make a trade for Lee because the package would be bigger, meaning not Drabek or Brown involved.


Been hearing a lot about how the Phillies will have more money to spend next season because the Phillies are shedding the payroll of Adam Eaton ($9 million), Geoff Jenkins ($8 million) and Jim Thome ($3 million). Not exactly. The Phillies have 11 players who are signed through next season or beyond. Those 11 players make $78.25 million this season. But because of built-in raises they will make $95.5 million next season. There goes those savings from Eaton, Jenkins and Thome. And keep in mind, that $95.5 million doesn’t the $5 million club option for Pedro Feliz and salary arbitration figures for Blanton, Shane Victorino, Chad Durbin, Clay Condrey, etc.


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5 million for Pedro Feliz is an acceptable bargain. Shane will most probably sign a Werth type contract for 2-3 years for security (at least the Phillies should attempt to do so.). Durbin, Condrey, Ruiz, etal, are not going to get unacceptable raises in arby. There is no guarantee that the Phillies payroll would go up substantially with Halladay on board. What they need to do is identify and get some veterans for the bench to replace the likes of Bruntlett, Stairs and Mayberry. They failed last off-season with the likes of Cairo, Giles and Ozuna, but those players are out there. Marson should be the backup catcher at a minimum cost. The should try to fill the bottom of the bullpen with players like Bastardo. It’s not hard.
As far as the trade is concerned, I think a package with Drabek and Brown at the top would get it done, with a few second tier guys thrown in. That’s for them to figure out, but Drabek has to be in the deal. Maybe the package they already offered, with Drabek replacing Happ. If Toronto doesn’t go for that, they are not serious about trading him.

Great info Todd. As I'[ve been saying, I would pull the trigger on tradign Drabek without thinking twice. I would pull the trigger on trading Happ, after I thought twice. I would shoot myself before I traded them both. I don’t know of any team to make teh playoffs with 2 rookies in their starting rotation in April. Do we want that in 2011? next year? Offer Happ or Drabek, Taylor or Brown, and let them pick any 2 other prospects they want. If that’s not good enough, get Lee or someone else, or go with what we have. Hamels, Blanton and Happ as the top 3, and Pedro/Lopex/Moyer as the bottem 2. Who cares if we win every WS game 21-20??

f_i_j: Will you care about 2011 if they acquire Halladay and win 2, maybe even 3 straight World Series titles? I for one will still be high off that ride in 2011.

And I like the offer the Phillies made. I wouldn’t like it if I was Ricciardi but I like the fact that Amaro, Jr. tried to make the deal without both Happ and Drabek included. Is it low-balling…sure. But the Phillies appear to be the only real bidders in this game. J.P. is a dope. Trying to pull one over on him is a must.

phan52: I agree 100% on Feliz. The guy is an absolute joy to watch and even though his power #’s are down I like having that higher AVG. in the 7-hole. This team has enough pop that Petey can hit for average down there. And his glove, what more can we say? I also think his baserunning is underrated but I’d need to consult all those obscure sabermetric stats to see if he really is that good.

If there is no guarantee of keeping Halladay next year, this is a very tough call to make. They are putting all their eggs in one basket to get the guy for only 2-3 months…it’s a big risk. Well, only a few more days and we shall see…

BTW, stop by by blog and see the Phillies players posing with my stuffed J-Roll Smurf doll…it is hysterical! These guys have the best sense of humor! Love Photo Day…


It wouldn’t be lowballing if they replaced Happ with Drabek in the deal. I think that’s what Toronto was looking for anyway, if they are seriously in the market to trade him. Maybe part of the problem is Carrasco. His value has plummeted this season (he didn’t help himself in front of the scouts on Friday) and maybe we would need to offer another player in his place. I still think he has high end value; he has stuff along the lines of a player like Vincente Padilla, he just has to harness it.

I think the Jays initial offer was very reasonable. I like Happ, but like I said, he’s overrated, and will come back down to Earth. Amaro’s deal was a nice try at lowballing but J.P.’s not that dumb. In the end, I think they will settle somewhere in between, more towards the Jays end of those offers, very close to the deadline. Either that or Halladay will stay put. If Amaro tries his damndest and can’t get Ricciardi to budge, he should just take the Jays’ initial offer.

Joed, I, too would be thrilled to win 2 or 3 WS titles in a row, but I still don’t want to be where the Mutts are today in 2011. AS for next year, It’s a no brainer to bring back Feliz at $5 million. Shane will get a multi year deal (I hope). As for the Pen, Our core is Lidge, Madson, Romero. The rest is fluid. Phan has the right idea. We should have Taylor (if not traded) as 4th OF next year and Donald as Brunlett (if not traded). We’re in good shape.

Donald as Bruntlett. That should really have GMs salivating when he is offered in a trade proposal. If Donald projects to be nothing more than a bench player then why would Ricciardi want him in a deal (other than the fact he is an idiot)?

And I am not worried at all about the Phillies turning into the Mets. The Mets don’t get the team concept. They try to just spot one weakness each offseason and go out and throw money at the biggest name to fill said void. They have yet to put an entire team together under Minaya.

Besides the fact that the Mets are dysfunctional, they are also missing some pretty importnat pieces due to injury.

To give an idea of how the prospect situation can change, here is a list of the top 50 at midseason, according to Baseball America. An important note is that Carrasco, Donald and Marson were all on the list in the offseason and Michael Taylor, Kyle Drabek and Jason Knapp were not. Carrasco, Donald and Marson are nowhere to be found. There is absolutely no way of predicting how players will develop.

I am not saying that Donald projects only as a bench player, but rather that we only have room for him on the bench. He’s clearly not going to replace Utley or Rollins next year and hasn’t been playing 3B in AAA as would have made sense. (This I don’t understand as it is the one place in our inf we can use him within 1-2 years) he’ll definately be a better player then Brunlett when it comes to RHB off the bench

Yeah but f_i_j, the fact that there is no room for Donald also drives his trade value down. It’s not like the Phillies are looking to move a guy like the White Sox Beckham. Donald is not going to break into the lineup here and he’s had an underwhelming year.

phan52: Injuries have definitely hurt the Mets but I can’t believe they don’t have some semblance of a first baseman in their system. Their 1st base play has been wretched.

the philles stick to their guns
the need young pitching 2010
moyer will call it quits
halladay whont even come back
2010 the phillies
should get pen help another right haned bat
waive brunttlett

Joed, this is baseball. We can keep him in AAA for the next 100 years and no one can do anything about it. He’s our property. The fact that we don’t have a starters place for him doesn’t mean that someone else isn’t drooling over him. Look at Talylor. We can’t start him next year, but Toronto and many other clubs would love to have him in their lineups. Derosa was a bench player in Chicago but started this year for two different clubs.

Oh it’s baseball? I was unaware. Anyway, what you don’t seem to be getting is that if the Phillies call up Toronto and they think throwing in Donald is going to help with a deal it’s really not. It’s not because Toronto should realize that the Phillies are just trying to unload him because he is blocked by superior talent in the infield. His stock as a prospect has dropped. As phan pointed out, prospects get hot and cold. Donald is ice cold, as is Carrasco. You have to give Ricciardi the prospect flavor of the month and hope they don’t turn out to be a first ballot Hall of Famer and if they do then hope that Halladay continues to be the beast that he is and gets you another ring.

Halladay is still my primary target but if that can’t happen and Lee seems unlikely I wouldn’t mind the Phillies taking a look at Harang. I’ve always seem has a hard-luck guy who should always have a better record than he sports. His stuff is top-tier and if you get him the run support this offense has been generating there is no reason why he can’t give you a Blantonesque ’08 performance for the remainder of ’09.

I am sorry, but 2 world championships in 120+ years. What about future prognostication are the Phils adept at?

I would take a realistic chance at 3 outta 4 world championships and then live through the burning out of the sun before I would hold onto “can’t miss prospects” instead of getting the best pitcher on the planet.

If it was 6-12 months ago, the Jays would be asking for Carrasco, Donald, and Marson and the Phils would be balking. Prospects turn out to be never-weres far more than not!

F_I_J, we cant keep anyone in triple A for 100 years. Thats what happens in the RULE 5 DRAFT. LEARN BASEBALL IDIOT

Werth I think. He and Victorino were both at least once.

The flyin’ Hawaiian of course.

Werth I think. He and Victorino were both at least once.

What people keep forgetting about with Halladay is that if he should walk then the Phillies get 2 picks as compensation. Draft picks are there every year for the taking, a proven horse isn’t.

Quiz: Who in the Phillies starting lineup was twice a Rule 5 pick?

phylan is correct. Victorino was a Rule 5 pick from the Dodgers 40 man roster by the Padres. They sent him back and he was later picked by the Phillies. The Phillies also chose to send him back instead of keeping him on the ML roster but the Dodgers declined. The Phillies were then able to retain his contract and send him to the minors.
It goes to show that you never know about ‘prospects’.

Ryanetc yes, there is a rule 5 draft, but the team gts to designate players to be open to drafting. A team can’t choose anyone they want. You get to protect X players. In other words, if we wanted to we could keep a player in teh minors forever and the only thing that player can do is quit and go home.

As for hot prospects: if the Jays are in need of **** (which I am not sure they are) and we ahve a MLB ready one in Donald, he is valuable to them, though not to us. We can “throw” him in and it sweatens teh deal for teh Jays, without costing us anything as we have no use of him. Yes the Jays realize that he’s blocked, they also realize that they need ****. Trades are supposed to benifit BOTH teams. The sooner we all understand that the better our posts (and more relevent) they will be.

Question about prospects: Who were the 5 traded in the famed Von Hayes deal? Who was the prospect thrown in in the Jamie Moyer deal?

the stupid censor x’s out the abriviation for short stop, lol

As a resident of Jerusalem, that should be understandable.

excuse me Phan? Did I miss something here?

Google the abbreviation of shortstop and see what comes up.

go one Phan, what should be understandable since I live in Jerualem??

LMFAO–I take back what I was thinking. I never would have thought that that would be censored. And if we were having a conversatin about the Holocaust? Sometimes this censorship goes a bit too far.

actually the first entry on google is socisal security

no one knows the prospects involved in the Von hayes deal? nor the Moyer trade?

They weren’t all prospects. Manny Trillo was in the deal and the centerpiece from the Phillies end was Julio Franco. I’d have to look up the other three guys.

Manny, Franco, George Vuk, Jay Baller, and Fred er Jerry Willard. Franco outlasted all of them. BTW Von is now the Lancaster Barnstormers manager along with Rick Wise.

SO looking back, was the 5 for 1 a good deal? Franco turned out to be a pretty good player, but would you not have made the trade because of that? Same thing with the Halladay trade. We may give up some prospects who will turn out to be pretty good players, but does that make the deal less good for us now?

Clarification on RUle 5. As long as the player is on the 40 man roster he is safe. THat means each team can keep 15 prospects off the list. No limit on how many times you put someone on the 40 man roster and then remove him, or for how long he’s on the roster without being called up. In other words, I can keep Donalds in AAA for as long as I want.

ok but putting him on the 40 man now limits the options the player has. theres rules to limit teams stockpiling talent and leaving them in the minors. idk why they cant just get this trade done. they say theyre looking towards the future, but im almost 100% sure Savery, Knapp, and Carrasco are still waiting in the wings. that can replaced those pitchers in the future. and plus im also sure the phils can pick up a back end guy once the rotation turns over.

I’m really sick of the whole saga. Last year at this time everyone insisted that we needed Manny Ramirez to win the World Series. They were wrong. Seems like the team that lands the big fish at the trading deadline rarely (if ever) goes on to win the Series. The baseball Gods are funny that way. Anyway, just heard you on the air with Eskin, Todd. I hope you disinfected your phone after you hung up. That guy is so sleazy that his germs are able to travel fiber-optically.

You have to play your hand at some point!

Surprise, surprise. The Phillies are keeping the future in mind? Would this be like a, ahh (wait it is coming to me) (it is right on the tip of my tongue) a…a…a business decision or something?

Now the Phils are in Arizona, while the Jays are in Seattle. It’s not likely that a deal will be made before Wednesday, when Halladay makes his next scheduled start. After that, the Phils go up to San Fran and, by coincidence, the Jays play across the Bay in Oakland. This would seem to be the logical place for Halladay to join the Phils and Happ join the Jays. Of course, this is assuming a deal will be made before the trade deadline, which I’m becoming more and more sceptical about, as the hours go by…..

f-i-j………….The only name worth remembering in the Von Hayes deal is Julio Franco. If the Phillies had traded him for five Von Hayses, it might have been even. Another Rule 5 guy is Johan Santana. Closer to home, George Bell was taken by the Blue Jays from the Phillies under Rule 5.

Seems to me that too many ” go for it at ANY COST” fans are not looking seriously enough at the downside of this trade possibility.
While there is no guarantee that Drabek will be the Ace that the Phillies and MOST other teams scouts seem to think, there is also no guarantee that Halliday will pitch as effectively in the NL as he did in the AL. And even if he does, obtaining him does not guarantee a WS Championship. And here’s the kicker, many of the players that are on the short list for the Jays to be considered are guys that will likely to be needed in 2010 ( Drabek, Happ, Marson and possibly Taylor and Donald) . So Ruben has to balance things very carefully. Halliday is 32 yo and is no spring chicken.

Everyday their is a new – Different – Report on Lee and Martinez. No one really knows (other than the Indians or any other team that is shopping a player) what will happen.

Todd: When you’re subtracting 2010 salaries, don’t forget Brett Myers. I can’t see him coming back, so whatever he’s making will be gone as well.

dolfanman93, do you REALLY think the NL hitters who have never seen Halladay would have a chance against this guy who has dominated the Yankees, Redsox, and Rays for a decade?!

dolfanman93, you dont know what youre talking about. why would we need marson, taylor, or donald in 2010? Ruiz is fine, the OF is signed beyond 2010 and the team most likely will pick up Feliz’s option. none of those players mentioned besides Drabek are going to be needed in 2010.

and i dont even know if Drabek is going to be needed next year.

Hey Ryanhowardsbetterthanyou, Here’s what I’m talking about, Ruiz is only ONE catcher. Last time I checked, you need two catchers on a ML Roster unless you are a Big Paul Bako fan. And IF you are, good luck with that one. Yes you have Ibanez signed through 2011 BUT he will be 38 yo next year and his production will start going down. Father time beats everybody. Taylor will be needed as a 4th OF because Mayberry cannot stop striking out and Matt Stairs is almost as old as I am, will be gone. Taylor will be fazed in in 2011 if, as Smarter minds than YOU or ME believe, he is the 5 tool stud that ML Scouts say. And you DON’T know that the Phillies will pick up Feliz’s option. And even if they did, do you really think that Eric, I can’t hit if you tell me what’s coming ahead of time, Bruntlett will be back in 2010? So YES, they probably WILL be needed.

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