Yesterday, we learned that the Jays will listen to offers for Roy Halladay, who is pretty much the most bad-ass pitcher on the planet.
I think there are several compelling reasons why the Rays should trade for Halladay, and a couple reasons why they won’t.
Why they should:
1. According to J.P. Ricciardi, via WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford, he apparently wouldn’t hesitate to deal to an AL East competitor. So there’s no barrier there.
2. SI’s Jon Heyman hears that the Jays may want a top SS prospect for the Doc, and the Rays have no shortage os shortstops. There’s Jason Bartlett, Ben Zobrist and the organization’s top prospect, Tim Beckham. So who needs SS Reid Brignac? Why not include him in a deal to land Halladay?
3. Riccardi has insinuated that he wants a bigger package than the Rangers got for Mark Teixeira. That’s probably just posturing, but if any organization is deep enough to put together a comparable package, it’s the Rays. The Braves sent rookie catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and four minor-leaguers to Texas, including slick-fielding shortstop Elvis Andrus and three pitchers: right-hander Neftali Feliz, left-hander Matt Harrison and left-hander Beau Jones. Saltalamacchia and Andrus were rated as the Braves’ top prospects before they were dealt. The Rays could send Brignac and a couple of pitchers — maybe David Price and Jeff Niemann? That would be a pretty great haul, and one that few organizations could match.
4. Even if the Rays lost Price and Niemann, they could promote Wade Davis, who is ready for his shot at the big show having struck out 75 batters in 90 innings in triple-A Durham this season with a 2.90 ERA.
5. The Rays have the best run differential in the AL, yet they’re in third place, 5.5 games behind the first place Red Sox. Acquiring Halladay would help them make up ground in a hurry. Imagine a rotation that boasts Halladay, Shields, Kazmir and Garza. That’s just whacky.
6. The Rays are poised for a big second half. Pat Burrell, Jason Bartlett and Kazmir are back from the DL. BJ Upton’s shoulder is finally healthy. The time is now.
7. Halladay has $7MM left on his 2009 salary, and will make $15MM next season. That’s a lot of money, but the Rays can count on selling a lot of Halladay jerseys once the world’s best pitcher joins the team. Plus, think of all the money they’ll make selling playoff tickets!
Why they won’t:
1. Halladay probably wouldn’t waive his no-trade clause unless the Rays guaranteed him an extension. And the Rays, who are not a big market team, probably don’t want to make that kind of longterm investment.
2. Halladay, a groundball pitcher, must pine for the opportunity to escape Toronto’s turf. So he’d probably be less than excited about moving to the only other turf field in the majors (the Twins will go grass in 2010).
What do you think? Should the Rays trade for Halladay?