Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Roy Halladay Finally Gets Traded In 4-Way, Eleventy Billion Player Deal That Apparently No One Understands

You know that moment when you’re stuck in a big thunderstorm and it lets up for a little bit, and you think to yourself, “This is probably the best chance I got” and make a break for it?

We’re at that point in the Roy Halladay trade, a blockbuster the likes of which hasn’t been seen in baseball for several years.

Here’s how the deal works out from the Jays’ perspective: they give up their franchise player and $6 million to Philadelphia for prospects Kyle Drabek, Michael Taylor and Travis d’Arnaud. The Jays then flip Taylor to Oakland for another prospect, Brett Wallace.

The Phillies then turn around and ship Cliff Lee to Seattle for a few prospects, including Canadian hurler Phillippe Aumont.

The names that aren’t Halladay or Lee have changed every couple hours, so this may not be the deal that ends up happening. But that’s not what this story is about.

This story is about two things: the Toronto Blue Jays losing something they could count on having the last 11-or-so seasons: Roy Halladay pitching every five days, which is a full-length article in itself.

But the second thing is about the American media and notoriously loopy Philly fans not understanding just what the Phillies are getting in Halladay.

Just look at some of these headlines:

“Lee-Halladay deal doesn’t feel right in Philly”

“Halladay/Lee: Makes No Sense At All”

Are you kidding me? I mean, Jays fans were used to Doc’s relative anonymity south of the border, which was all well and good when he was still a Jay. But ask people who actually know baseball, like Joe Torre, or Derek Jeter, or anyone who’s had to face Roy Halladay on a regular basis: he is THE best pitcher in the game. Better than Johan Santana. Better than Cliff Lee. Better than C.C. Sabathia. And the Phillies are locking him up to a long-term contract extension at an affordable price.

Add in that there was no progress with Lee on signing a similar extension, and that the Phillies managed to get top prospects back for Lee, cushioning the blow to the farm system of losing Drabek and Taylor, and this should be seen as a huge win for Ruben Amaro and the Phillies brass.

So far, that’s not how it appears, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that after Halladay makes two or three starts with Philadelphia and absolutely carves up the opposition, that you won’t be hearing from these morons again.

Make no mistake: Roy Halladay pitching in the National League is a scary proposition. The Yankees, Red Sox and Rays are uncorking champagne bottles at the news that Halladay is out of their division.

I would be shocked if Doc didn’t add another Cy Young or two to his resume in Philly, because he just so happens to have the best offense in the NL behind him, which should provide him with those extra wins that may have robbed him of further hardware during his time in Toronto.

So farewell, good Doctor, and I wish you nothing but the best. You deserve this perhaps more than any player in Major League Baseball.

Oh, and Phillies fans; you’re welcome. This should make up for 1993.

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