Debbie Downer Says Halladay Unlikely
Absolutely. But sources said today the chances of the Phillies trading for Halladay this off-season are unlikely. Ruben Amaro Jr. would not address those rumors, but asked about the possibility of trading Cole Hamels, Amaro chuckled.
“Hamels is one of our starters next year,” he said. “And we view the combination of Hamels and (Cliff) Lee as strong a top of the rotation as anybody’s in the league.”
The Phillies believe Hamels will rebound in 2010, and if he does rebound they believe they will have one of the best 1-2 punches in the National League. And because the Phillies believe that, Amaro reiterated that his priorities this off-season are finding a third baseman — Adrian Beltre, Miguel Tejada, Placido Polanco and Mark DeRosa are possibilities — and upgrading the bullpen.
There are reasons why a Halladay trade would be difficult. The Blue Jays wanted right-hander Kyle Drabek, left-hander J.A. Happ and outfielders Domonic Brown and Anthony Gose for Halladay before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. The Phillies balked, kept their top prospects and sent four other prospects to the Cleveland Indians for Lee and outfielder Ben Francisco. The Phillies were unwilling to part with their top talent for two potential postseasons with Halladay. They would be less likely to trade top talent for one potential postseason with him.
Putting together an attractive package for Halladay likely would mean gutting the farm system, when the four prospects sent to Cleveland are considered. There are a lot of pieces that need to fit to make a trade like this. Now, if the Blue Jays come to the Phillies with a reduced asking price then maybe things change, but until then it remains unlikely.