Report: Tigers could have had Halladay?

According to a report by Lynn Henning of the Detroit News, the Blue Jays wanted starter Rick Porcello, Ryan Perry and Casey Crosby from the Tigers in exchange for ace Roy Halladay but Detroit declined.

Porcello is a 20-year-old right-hander who is 9-7 with a 4.62 ERA and likely will draw votes for American League rookie of the year.

Perry, 22, another right-hander, was the Tigers’ first-round draft pick in 2008 and has pitched effectively out of the bullpen for manager Jim Leyland’s club. His ERA is 3.90, but 1.80 since his recent recall from the minors.

Crosby, 20, was the Tigers’ fifth-round draft pick in 2007 and is regarded as perhaps its top minor league prospect. He is a left-hander who pitches at Class A West Michigan, where he is 8-3 with a 2.92 ERA.

Let’s operate under the assumption that this report is true. Why wouldn’t the Tigers pull the trigger on a deal like this? I understand that Porcello, Perry and Crosby would have been quite a steep price to pay, but the Tigers have a solid pitching rotation and adding an arm like Halladay would have given them an opportunity to compete for a World Series.

The postseason is all about who can compile the best four-man rotation and Detroit could have had a quartet of Halladay, Justin Verlander, Edwin Jackson and Armando Galarraga. Granted, Galarraga would have been a weak link, but Tiger opponents would still have had to deal with a top three of Halladay, Verlander and Jackson in a seven-game series. That rotation, coupled with a solid lineup, could have potentially lifted the Tigers back to the World Series for the second time in four years. (That’s not to say that the Tigers can’t compete for a World Series without Halladay, but you get the point.)

With baseball transforming back into a young man’s game, I respect that the Tigers want to hang onto their youth. But Halladay is damn near a guarantee, which can’t be said for the three prospects Detroit would have had to give up. Plus, with Halladay not set to become a free agent until after the 2010 season, if the Tigers weren’t satisfied with the trade, they could have flipped the “Doc” next year and got prospects (not those prospects, but prospects) back.

I just don’t understand why the Tigers wouldn’t take a chance and pull the trigger on a deal like this. It could have been the difference from winning the AL Central and winning the AL Pennant.

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