Blog Entry

Doc and more help for the pen?

Posted on: July 21, 2009 7:36 pm
 

CBSSports.com and ESPN are both reporting that Blue Jays' GM J.P. Ricciardi has set a deadline of July 28th for teams to trade for Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay, saying that at his point, it's unlikely they'll trade him.  He also said that the deal would be so complicated, it wouldn't be able to get done in a couple of days. 

This appears to be a move to ratchet up the pressure on the teams bidding for Halladay's services (including the Phillies).  While there might or might not have been serious negotiations between Toronto and other teams, it's clear that there have been talks over the past month about what it would take for a team to acquire Halladay.  Halladay is under contract through the end of next season, which means that the Blue Jays could still deal him this offseason or next summer, but it makes sense for them to trade him now, as his value will never be higher.  While they had a nice run early on this season, they do play in the best division in baseball, and with the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays already ahead of them, and the Orioles with a lot of young talent in the high minors or breaking into the majors, aren't the Blue Jays better served moving their 32-year-old ace who can only go every 5 days for prospects to help them compete?

So what does this mean for the Phillies?  It's time for Ruben Amaro and the rest of the front office to decide how serious they are about getting Doc, and making a serious offer if they want him.  Phillies president Dave Montgomery said on 950 the other day that "money is not an option" when it comes to tweaking the roster, a welcome sign for people who feared that the team would settle for adding Pedro Martinez.  While the Phillies can win the division without Doc, having a 1-2 punch of Halladay and Hamels at the top of the rotation come October would be a huge boost for the Phillies' chances of defending their World Series title.

A welcome bit of good news that would also help in their title defense is that Brett Myers could return as early as August.  Myers, whose season was feared over after hip surgery in early June, is ahead of schedule and could return and pitch out of the bullpen.  MLB.com is reporting that the Phillies also sent scouts to check out D-Backs closer Chad Qualls.  With Qualls under contract through 2010, MLB.com is saying that Arizona could expect to get good prospects in a trade.  If the Phillies do acquire Halladay, with the prospects that they'll be giving up to get him, does it really make sense to give up more to acquire another reliever?  With the potential return of Myers (who closed in 2007) to the bullpen, what does the possible addition of ANOTHER closer say about the team's confidence in Brad Lidge?

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