The Toronto Blue Jays already got what they really needed when former general manager JP Ricciardi was fired after the season. We here at Umpbump had been arguing for the Jays to make a bold move — namely, trade Roy Halladay — for a long time; but every year, ol’ JP would insist that the Jays just needed a lucky break and they’d be postseason-bound. So we got inspired moves like swapping Troy Glaus for Scott Rolen. (Deft!)
Anyway, now that the Jays have their new GM, all they need to do now is finally pull the trigger on the Halladay trade. And for that, they’ll need a stiff drink.
Halladay is the aciest of aces — dominant and durable. It makes sense that Alex Anthopoulos would want to get the most for him that he possibly can, including both pitching and hitting. But at the same time, Doc only has a year left on his current deal and wants a contract extension in exchange for waiving his no trade clause. Currently, the Phillies, Angels, and — ulp — Yankees are the only three teams with a realistic shot of landing him, according to the latest reports. And according to those reports, the Jays are asking nearly as much for Halladay now as they were last summer under Ricciardi.
The Phillies are prepared to offer J.A. Happ, plus either Michael Taylor or Domonic Brown; another source said they wouldn’t rule out dealing Cole Hamels. According to Ken Rosenthal, the Angels offered Joe Saunders, Erick Aybar, and Peter Bourjos. And the Jays would want either Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain to be part of a deal with New York (they’ve also reportedly requested Jesus Montero). Ed Price of AOL’s FanHouse tweeted that the Jays preferred minor leaguers to major leaguers in a deal, however, which makes sense to me; they need to get as many young, high-ceiling players as possible in their system, since their timeline back to competitiveness is not short. Commentators have listed their long-term needs as outfielders, corner infielders, and a long-term solution at shortstop. Of course, as always, it never hurts to have pitching. That’s, um, sort of everything. And though he can pitch back-to-back shutouts, Halladay can’t actually solve all those problems himself.
JP was never satisfied with the offers he got for Halladay, so he never made a deal. But with the Jays in full rebuilding mode, Anthopoulos must do so, even if he never gets the perfect package in return. We’re not talking about true love, here — just baseball. And sometimes that means settling. So Alex Anthopoulos should pour himself a stiff one and let Doc ride off into the sunset.