Results tagged ‘ Travis d'Arnaud ’

The Price for the Phillies Rotation

lee is back.jpg

Ruben Amaro Jr. said this week he expects Joe Blanton to remain with the Phillies this season, which means the guy the Phillies slated to be their No. 3 starter in 2010 is their No. 5 starter in 2011. It shows just how much has changed in a year. The Phillies shipped 13 prospects and committed more than $255 million in salaries to have Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels and Blanton in the same rotation at the same time.

I know the Phillies traded away Lee in Dec. 2009, which remains a regrettable trade. But if the Phillies had not traded for Lee the first time and had he not enjoyed his experience here, he would not have taken less money to sign with the Phillies in December. He would have signed with the Yankees or Rangers instead.

Here is a look at the prospects the Phillies traded to make this rotation:

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ROY HALLADAY

Catcher Travis d’Arnaud. MLB.com ranks him as the ninth-best catching prospect in baseball. Baseball America considers him the organization’s fourth-best prospect in its rankings. He certainly has the all-around skills to be a frontline catcher. In fact, including d’Arnaud in the Halladay deal gave the Phillies pause because of the dearth of catching depth in the organization and baseball.

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Halladay, Phillies Agree to Extension

It’s getting closer.

Roy Halladay could be putting on a Phillies uniform as early as tomorrow at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies and Halladay have agreed to a three-year contract extension worth $60 million or more, which would keep him in red pinstripes through the 2013 season, sources said. Halladay is taking his physical Tuesday and could be announced at a news conference Wednesday.

The Blue Jays would send Halladay and $6 million to the Phillies for prospects Kyle Drabek, Michael Taylor and Travis d’Arnaud. The Phillies also would send Cliff Lee to the Mariners for prospects Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies and J.C. Ramirez. ESPN.com reported that the Blue Jays will send Taylor to Oakland for Brett Wallace.

The Phillies got one of the best pitchers in baseball in Halladay. They also restocked their farm system by dealing Lee.

But that was not the only reason the Phillies traded Lee, who they acquired in July for four prospects. They also needed salary relief as their payroll approached $140 million. Lee will make $9 million next season. Add that to the $6 million the Blue Jays are sending to the Phillies for Halladay, who makes $15.75 million, and the Phillies’ payroll jumps only $750,000.

First baseman/outfielder Ross Gload also is taking his physical Tuesday. The Phillies agreed to a two-year contract with him last week.

Once the deals for Halladay, Lee and Gload are finalized, the Phillies are expected to continue their pursuit for bullpen help. Their top two targets are believed to be Fernando Rodney and John Smoltz.

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Roy, Cliff, Kyle and the Rest

Thumbnail image for halladay 04.jpgIf the Phillies and Roy Halladay can agree to a contract extension, here is what we believe could happen before the end of the week:

- 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.

OK, thoughts?

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?

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