Halladay in Town

The Phillies are trying to orchestrate a complicated three-team trade that would get them Roy Halladay.

But that trade would come at a price: Cliff Lee.

Sources told MLB.com that the Phillies, Blue Jays and Mariners are involved in discussions to send Halladay to the Phillies, Lee to the Mariners and prospects to the Blue Jays from both teams. One source said that no deal has been finalized.

A source said Halladay and his agent arrived in Philadelphia today to take a physical and talk about a contract extension. The Phillies would want Halladay to sign an extension to make the deal. If the Phillies and Halladay can’t come to an agreement, it is unlikely the Phillies would make the trade.

Lee’s agent, Darek Braunecker, said he has not heard from the Phillies or other teams regarding a deal.

“Unfortunately, some of this stuff is out of our control,” he said. “But obviously when there is smoke there is fire.”

It is believed the Phillies are considering trading Lee because they don’t think they can sign him to an extension before he becomes a free agent after next season, and because the prospects they could get in return for him would soften the blow to their farm system. Braunecker said he had talks with the Phillies last week at the Winter Meetings about a contract extension. There were reports that the Phillies specifically requested Braunecker to fly to Indianapolis for a meeting, but he said that was inaccurate.

“It’s been very preliminary dialogue,” he said. “I wouldn’t characterize our discussions at this point as negotiations. But I think it’s inaccurate to say whatever dialogue we’ve had to this point as being anything other than positive and constructive.”

Lee told The Cleveland Plain-Dealer in August that when the Indians decided not to talk about an extension in Spring Training 2009 that it made little sense for him to talk about one after the 2009 season when he was so close to free agency.

“It doesn’t make sense to do it one year out when I just watched what CC (Sabathia) did,” said Lee, referring to Sabathia’s seven-year, $161 million contract.

Braunecker said Lee’s comments pertained exclusively to negotiations with the Cleveland Indians, and not the Phillies.

“We had taken a position at the end of Spring Training with the Indians that Cliff was going to play out the remainder of his contract and enter the free agent market,” Braunecker said. “We’ve never had any of those conversations with the Phillies of any sort. That was exclusive to the situation with Cleveland.”

One source familiar with the negotiations said the Mariners at least would include right-hander Phillipe Aumont in the trade. Baseball America ranked Aumont as the organization’s No. 3 prospect. He went 2-6 with a 3.88 ERA in 44 relief appearances with Double-A West Tenn and Single-A High Desert.

It is unclear who else the Phillies and Mariners might include in the trade, but the Phillies had made right-hander Kyle Drabek and outfielder Domonic Brown untouchable in the past.


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I’m just going to preempt the morons in all the other comments sections who are saying “NOOOO! Don’t trade Lee!” or “Are you crazy? What’s the net gain here???” Obviously if Ruben’s considering trading Lee it’s because he’s not going to be able to sign him long-term. So the trade becomes Lee for one-year plus maybe a low-level prospect in exchange for Halladay for 4 or 5 years. Can you say no-brainer? Git her done Ruben!

Getting Halladay a salary dump? They wouldn’t trade for Halladay if they weren’t signing him to an extension. And Heyman hasn’t taken that part back. And I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t trade Lee if they thought they could sign him to an extension. But the Phils are capped somewhere around $140M, so Halladay’s salary has to come from somewhere…

Let’s hope that the rumor about Lee going to Seattle is overblown. It sounds as if something’s fishy with it, because Heyman first reported it, then immediately took it back.

If they sign Halladay to an extension and Lee had to leave because he wouldn’t sign a deal, I understand. If it is just a salary dump, it’s unfortunate.

So who are we suppposed to be getting from Seatle for Lee? Who is supposed to be going north for Halladay? Does anyone know any of the details? Any guesses as to who the M’s can part with?

I like the possibility, but am afraid of having to give up Happ or Blanton in the deal. I like having a rotation of Ace, Hamels, Blanton and Happ + ??. I’m not thrilled with one of Ace, Hameles, Happ/Blanton and two ??’s

ReclinerGM already has their quick take on the trade up…


All in, baby! Do it! The extension is the key.

I cringe at the thought of us losing any of our top prospects (Brown, Taylor, and Drabek) for the sake of a contract extension.

teaimbiber: you wouldn’t trade a top prospect and 1 year of Lee for 4-5 years of Halladay? I’d bet that Ruben kept Brown/Taylor/Drabek out of this deal, but I wouldn’t be pissed if he gave up Brown or Taylor.

Lee won’t sign an extension and Halladay will. It’s a no-brainer if the deal sends Lee to a third party for prospects, to be passed on to Toronto.

Allegedly the two prospects coming to Philly are Tyson Gillies and Juan Ramirez. Allegedly.

I’m hearing that Taylor and D’Arnaud would be part of the deal ,with the Phillies keeping some of the prospects from Seattle.
Lee to Seattle, Halladay and two Seattle prospects to Philly, Aumont (pitcher from Seattle), Taylor and D’arnaud to Toronto.

I told you so. Amaro had to do it because Lee will be a Yankee, Red Sock or Angel next year. It didn’t turn out the way I thought it would but one ace is better than none. I can’t believe that they’re talking about Blanton and Happ going too. After Halliday and Hamels, who is going to pitch? One more time…..told you so.

Rob Maadi of the AP reports that another possibility is a two team deal, where the Phillies give up Happ, Blanton and Dominic Brown and get Halladay. Now, that is a deal in line with a win now philosophy.

The three team deal where we’d lose Lee and a top tier prospect in return for Halladay and a contract extension scares me. If we do that deal, our starting pitching remains best case scenario, at status quo. We’re left to continue hoping Hamels returns to MVP form so that he can be our ace/#2.

JA, Joe, and Dominic, need a ride?

It seems obvious that the ONLY reason that the Phillies would include Lee in a trade for Halladay is because Lee’s agent is a greedaholic and the Phils want to continue their efforts to win now by trading for a guy, who WILL sign here longer term ( at a reasonable salary). But , I too would rather have Lee, IF all things were equal. However, all things are not equal so Rueben is trying to make the best deal he can to keep the window to win NOW open without mortgaging the future, totally. Instead of over-reacting by calling others ” morons” (like a prior fan did), I think it best to wait and see what actually transpires and which players are involved. I, for one, would rather trade Brown and keep Taylor as they are both the same type of 5 tool corner OF and the Phillies need a RIGHT handed bat more than another LEFT handed one.

After seeing Taylor play, I’d want to see him in Philly this year.

There’s a lot of speculation and not many details, and zach seems to be talking to himself🙂 but the way it was being reported on ESPN radio was that the prospects are all going to Toronto and all the Phils are getting is Halladay (which is plenty) and signing him through 2013 with a club option for another year.
All of this presumably because Cliff Lee wanted to test the free agent market and the Phils wouldn’t want to risk losing him and not getting Halladay – and ending up with nothing. It’s a bold stroke by Amaro and I’d have to trust his judgement because he hasn’t been wrong yet.

I like having the stud righthander to lead the staff, and it’s unfortunate that they couldn’t cough-up the money to keep Lee. That would be a killer rotation. I think I’d be on the phone to the gang of owners asking if they had an extra 2 million they could pitch in to keep Lee for 2010 and blow the doors off the place. What an awesome staff that would be.
But Halladay is the more consistent pitcher and if the choice is Lee or Halladay, I’d say they’re making the right choice.

muleman, the day Lee cited CC Sabathia’s deal it was pretty obvious that he was going to test the market. Getting Halladay in his place with an extension is a stroke of genius (if it happens).
I agree that it would be awesome to have both for 2010 but I really believe the ‘gang of owners’ have told Ruben ‘no’, after he was unable to get decent compensation in an attempted trade of Blanton to cut the payroll. That was his only chance but he wouldn’t just give Blanton away.

This thing is changing by the minute. Toronto is supposedly paying 6 million of Halladay’s salary and now Drabek is in the deal. This is starting to look like a huge salary dump for 2010 to pay for some bullpen help. Would all of this be necessary if they hadn’t saddled themselves with that ridiculous Moyer contract?

phan: I’d heard about Toronto paying part of the salary, which seems to be the lynchpin. The Drabek part is new, and I’d say that I’m not a big fan of that right now.

The suggestion about asking the gang for $2 mil each was kind of tongue-in-cheek, but demonstrates the confinements that the Phils place on themselves. Rather than make an attempt to be a dynastic team, they choose to let dollars decide their roster. That’s prudent, but it’s hardly competitive.
I was never optimistic about keeping both Lee and Halladay (or even Lee and Happ) but I exist in a perfect baseball world where decisions are made based on the best available talent and not how many dollars something costs.

Not a realistic viewpoint, I admit.

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