Phillies land Halladay, trade Lee to Mariners in blockbuster deal

According to a report by SI.com, the Phillies have agreed to a trade that will send Roy Halladay to Philadelphia and Cliff Lee to the Mariners.

The Phillies are in agreement on a three-team trade with the Mariners and Blue Jays to acquire star pitcher Roy Halladay, SI.com has learned. All indications are that Cliff Lee will likely be heading from Philadelphia to Seattle in the trade.

Sources say Halladay will agree to a contract extension to complete the deal. It’s expected to be a formality, and though terms are not yet clear, it’s expected to be worked out in the next couple days. Halladay wanted to be in Philadelphia, as the Phillies train in Clearwater, Fla., not far from his offseason home.

The Phillies are giving up prospects to Toronto to get Halladay, but it isn’t known yet which players are in the deal. Philadelphia, which would also get prospects from Seattle, is trying to keep its payroll at around $140 million.

At first glance, I’m shocked that the Phillies traded Lee away in order to complete this deal. He was dominating in the postseason, posting a perfect 4-0 record and a 1.56 ERA in five starts. But both he and Halladay are in their last year of their contracts and if Philadelphia can only pay for one, they might as well go with the guy that they can lock up long term – especially if that player is Halladay. There was no guarantee that Lee would re-sign with Philadelphia.

With their pitching staff now set (Lee and Felix Hernandez form one hell of a 1-2 combo), the Mariners must be gearing up to make a run and I wouldn’t be surprised if they wound up signing Jason Bay sometime this offseason to boost their offense.


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Report: Halladay, agent check into Philly hotel

According to a report by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Roy Halladay and his agent have checked into a Philadelphia hotel.

Could a trade between the Phillies and Jays be imminent?

It is not known if a trade sending Halladay to the Phillies is imminent, but if Halladay and the Phils are negotiating–as is indicated by the pitcher’s presence in Philadelphia–that would suggest that the Phils and Blue Jays are far enough along in talks for Halladay to discuss a potential contract extension with the Phils. Halladay has one year remaining on his contract before becoming a free agent.

The Phils have long been linked to Halladay, and were actively involved in trade talks last July, before the team acquired lefthander Cliff Lee from Cleveland.

Allow me to get ahead of myself for a moment: Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels…NL hitters everywhere just crapped themselves.


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Report: Angels make offer to Blue Jays for Roy Halladay

According to a report by the Toronto Sun, the Angels have offered starting pitcher Joe Saunders, shortstop Erick Aybar and outfielder Peter Bourjos to the Blue Jays for ace Roy Halladay.

For the second day in succession the Angels are the lead team in the chase for Halladay, a year away from free agency.

And unless someone steps up with a better offer could the Angels wind up with Halladay? Will Halladay report to a west coast team which has spring training in Arizona?

“Let me ask you this,” said one major league executive, “do you think that the Angels would be running through hoops, having one conversation after another with the Jays and not know whether Halladay would report to Los Angeles?”
Good point.

The Angels are also in on free agents John Lackey, Jason Bay and Matt Holliday.

For the past three seasons, the Angels have made the postseason and have yet to even sniff a World Series appearance (although last year they did push the Yankees to a Game 7 in the ALDS). Thus, it would make sense that they’re trying to load up in efforts to match the Yankees and contend for a title next season.

As the article points out, the question now becomes whether or not Halladay would want to join a club that holds their spring training in Arizona instead of Florida. It has become public knowledge that Halladay wants to go to a team that trains in Florida, because his home is in Tampa.

That said, if Halladay truly wants to play for a contender, this might be his best and most realistic shot.


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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.

Ricciardi: ‘Slim chance Halladay gets traded.’

Blue Jays’ GM J.P. Ricciardi indicates that there’s a very slim chance that a trade involving ace Roy Halladay will happen.

“We’ve said that we would listen, but that we would have to be motivated and ‘wowed,'” Ricciardi said. “Right now we haven’t been. I’ve said all along my gut tells me I won’t be. I still stand by that.”

Ricciardi said his Tuesday deadline for moving Halladay is “not etched in stone,” and stopped short of saying that he might end the discussions before Friday’s deadline for completing trades without waivers.

“If we get to the last week and haven’t really made any progress with anybody, I’m not going to say it’s 100 percent certain, but I would have to pretty much think it’s not going to get done,” Ricciardi said.

Some rival executives are skeptical that the Jays will trade Halladay. Others believe that Ricciardi is merely posturing in an attempt to receive better offers, with one calling it a “game of chicken.”

I maintain the notion that Ricciardi was never going to trade Halladay this year unless he was so blown away by an offer that he couldn’t pass it up. Halladay isn’t a free agent until after the 2010 season, so Ricciardi could have used this past month as a demo for next year and to gauge what he could potentially get for the ace. Plus, he probably didn’t want to risk alienating the Toronto fans, which were fooled by the club’s hot play in April and May.

If he can get an absolutely haul for Halladay by Friday’s deadline, then Ricciardi will pull the trigger. But an offer for anything less than multiple top prospects and the “Doc” isn’t going anywhere.

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