Toronto Baseball Guys
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
  Time To Listen To Offers For Doc
Coming out of New York having played four tight games, and lost three of them, the Blue Jays are in essentially the same position as they were heading into the Big Apple: In fourth place, but above .500, and on the cusp of contention.

The problem is that every team they're chasing is, if not better, at least much healthier than the Jays, particularly when it comes to the pitching staff. With that in mind, and the July 30 trade deadline just three weeks away, it's prudent that J.P. Ricciardi at least be willing to listen to offers for Roy Halladay.

That's not to say the team should trade Halladay. Personally, I'm ready for the Jays to give Halladay the 7-year/$140 million extension to keep him in powder blue until he's 40. Sure, it's generally a bad idea to give anyone that kind of term or money, especially a pitcher, and there's a good shot that the deal will become an albatross before it's up. Still, there's something to be said for hanging on to the best pitcher you've ever developed and letting him shatter every club record, rather than simply allowing him to become the next Yankee free agent mercenary.

That said, if you're going to deal him, THIS is the time. With a year and a half remaining on his contract, and in the midst of another Cy Young-type season, Halladay will never command more value than he does right now. He turns any viable contender into an odds-on favourite.

Further, the Jays have no pressing need to deal Halladay, so they can sit back and wait a team to blow them away

And they'll have to be blown away. This is a GM defining sort of trade and Ricciardi will have to hit an absolute grand slam. David Cone for Marty Janzen and his orchestra simply won't cut it.

The blueprint for any potential Halladay trade has to be the Bartolo Colon-to-the-Expos deal brokered by Omar Minaya. That deal saw Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore and Brandon Phillips shipped to the Indians as the 'Spos tried to snag a playoff spot in their death throes.

While the Expos garnered a staff ace in Colon, the Indians picked up Phillips, a 30-30 middle infielder, who has been by far the biggest disappointment of the trade, Sizemore, a 30-30 Gold Glove centre fielder, and Cy Young winner Lee, who has posted a .630 winning percentage in his time with the Tribe.

That's the kind of swag the Jays will need to land to justify a Halladay trade. It's a trade that almost certainly won't happen, since the Jays still view themselves as contenders - particularly in 2010 - and it's much safer to not make a deal and just let Doc go on being Doc. But if Ricciardi can snag a couple of all-star calibre regulars and a solid #2/occasional ace starter, doesn't he at least have to consider it?
 
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