Roy, Cliff, Kyle and the Rest
– The Blue Jays will send Halladay and a reported $6 million to the Phillies.
– The Phillies will send Cliff Lee to the Mariners, and a package to the Blue Jays that sources said includes right-hander Kyle Drabek, outfielder Michael Taylor and catcher Travis d’Arnaud.
– The Mariners will send at least two prospects to the Phillies. One of them is expected to be right-hander Phillippe Aumont.
Here are two things that Phillies fans should like: Halladay is a stud, a step above almost everybody in baseball. Lee pitched great in the postseason, but Halladay’s body of work pitching in the American League East is second to none. Halladay also will be in a Phillies uniform beyond 2010. The Phillies clearly felt Lee would not have been. So you guarantee yourself a stud pitcher atop your rotation for a few more years, rather than losing Lee after the season.
But they also could have kept both. If the Mariners are not sending prospects to Toronto, it means these are two totally separate trades. Essentially, the Phillies did not have to trade Lee to acquire Halladay. Of course, there is the issue of payroll. Lee is making $9 million next season, so this provides the Phillies salary relief. But Joe Blanton could make $7 million or more next season. I can’t imagine the Phillies are trading Lee over Blanton to save themselves roughly $2 million. No, it looks to me like the Phillies want Seattle’s prospects to restock their farm system. But is it worth it? Having Halladay and Lee in the same rotation is no guarantee of a World Series championship, but it sure puts them in excellent position to try.
So go for broke next year knowing the farm system is depleted, or upgrade the rotation with Halladay and hope the prospects from the Mariners soften the blow of losing Drabek, Taylor and d’Arnaud down the road?