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In this morning's typically excellent and detailed Newberg Report -- the best baseball e-newsletter on the Internets -- friend of Batter's Box Jamey Newberg checks in on the Halladay Question. Here's what he had to say -- warning, it's quite long -- so give it a read and respond.

(Keep in mind, Jamey is a registered Bauxite, so he may well see what you write!)

There are issues involved with the hypothetical marriage between the Rangers and Roy Halladay that weren't factors when Texas traded Mark Teixeira two years ago, but there are a few things instructive about the 2007 trade that, in part, helped put the Rangers in the position that they're now in, able to compete with anyone in terms of loading up an impact package of young players to close a huge deal ...

Are we 2007 Atlanta?  Or are we the '07 Dodgers? And do we have to be either?

Before diving into that question, let's get two things out of the way, a couple issues that are not insignificant but that aren't really in need of too much analysis.

First, all circumstances considered, can the Rangers take on Halladay's contract?  He's owed about $7 million the rest of the way this season; that figure will be just under $5 million when the trade deadline arrives.  He’s set to make $15.75 million in 2010.  Of course, Vicente Padilla's $12 million salary comes off the books this winter, and Padilla, Hank Blalock, and Frank Catalanotto combined earn over $22 million that will be gone in 2010. 

Yes, the Rangers have a number of arbitration cases this winter, but practically speaking, Halladay's 2010 contract is not so much the question.  It's the balance of his 2009 salary.

Second issue to note, and dispose of: Would Halladay waive his no-trade clause to come to Texas?  Johan Santana wouldn't.  It's not so much a question of whether he thinks the team can win.  Halladay, age 32, obviously has another massive contract or two in him (maybe one if he were to agree to an immediate extension with his new team).  Though it's hard to imagine his stature as an established ace being threatened when that next contract comes up (as long as he's healthy), Rangers Ballpark has not been particularly kind to him.  The opposing .799 OPS is the highest mark against Halladay in any stadium in which he's pitched more than twice, as is the 6.14 ERA.  Is this where he'd want to be, since he has some control over that?

OK, let's assume Texas can manage a trade for Halladay financially, and that he’d accept a deal here.

Can the Rangers put together a strong enough package to land him?

Of course.

Should they?

Not as easy an answer.

There have been a dozen columns written in the last few days touching on the Rangers’ place in the Halladay sweepstakes.  Lots of interesting points have been made, a great many in common, but there were two in particular that took a opposite slants on a key issue:

Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News: “There is no need to start dumping prospects now.  Yes, everyone loves to talk about how loaded the Rangers’ farm system is.  It’s a good idea to keep it that way, at least for another year.  Remember that most prospects in baseball, no matter who’s [sic] system it is, eventually become suspects.”

Joe Sheehan of Baseball Prospectus: "At some point the Rangers will have to convert their prospect depth into major league players, and this is one way to do that.  They would probably have to deal one of Derek Holland or Neftali Feliz, but then they could pull from further down their list and create a stronger package than anything most teams could assemble."

It’s fairly self-evident, I would assume, that I’m a pretty big a proponent of minor league player development, but I gravitate toward Sheehan’s mindset on this issue.   In fact, I’d turn one of Cowlishaw’s points back on him: Yes, most prospects do become suspects.  That’s part of the reason why you don’t hesitate to trade some of them.  Better to trade a kid too early than too late. 

Stated another way: When Texas traded Ruben Mateo and Edwin Encarnacion to Cincinnati for the hugely disappointing Rob Bell, it hurt a lot more that the Rangers hadn’t moved Mateo sooner for something far more meaningful than it did to move Encarnacion before he’d established himself as a true prospect.

My point: If the deal is right, especially when you’ve got such a deep inventory of prospects with market value, you have to be willing to move some of them.  They won’t all make it, and even if they all somehow did, there wouldn’t be room for them all to make it here.

So for me, if the threshold question for some is whether it’s indeed time for  Step Five, my answer is yes, for the right player.  Roy Halladay is the right player.

OK.  Atlanta or the Dodgers?

Before launching into this, if you have a few minutes, give the first half of my June 18, 2008 report (title: "Why this could be a tough trading season for Texas") a glance.  The premise: Because you can’t trade draft picks in baseball, trade offers are rarely equivalent, and when a team with a top farm system like the Rangers is on the other end of the phone, particularly with a player like Halladay the one being shopped, the chances that a team would accept anything less than the top two or three kids in that system – even if competing teams would have trouble matching a package of the fourth, fifth, and sixth prospects – might be slim.

If this were the NFL or NBA, the price for a player like Halladay might be two first-round picks and two legitimate prospects.  But when only players are involved, it’s obviously all about which ones a seller can pry loose from a buyer, and when the commodity for sale is one of the game’s very best pitchers, the leverage sits with the seller.

Especially when what’s for sale is good for two pennant races rather than one.  If Toronto does shop Halladay aggressively this month, Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi will have taken a page right out of Jon Daniels’s July 2007 book.  As the Braves learned in July 2008, trading a year and two months of Teixeira was worth a huge amount more than trading two months of the slugger.

By all accounts, though a number of teams were in on Teixeira when the Rangers made it known that he was available, it came down to the Braves or Dodgers for various reasons, primary among which was the fact that those two NL clubs had the young players Texas most wanted.

We know what the Braves -- whose GM John Schuerholz was quietly about to semi-retire -- were willing to part with. 

The Dodgers reportedly offered first baseman James Loney, outfielder Andre Ethier, and right-handed reliever Jonathan Meloan.  Like Atlanta, they wanted a veteran reliever back, but while it was Ron Mahay that the Braves targeted, reports are that Los Angeles asked for Joaquin Benoit.

Apparently, Atlanta wouldn’t give up Class A righthander Tommy Hanson or Class A outfielder Jordan Schafer, despite the Rangers’ attempts to get one or both.

Los Angeles wouldn’t part with Class AA lefthander Clayton Kershaw.

It’s reasonable to assume that if the Dodgers had agreed to put Kershaw on the table, Teixeira would have been a Dodger, and Elvis Andrus and Feliz and friends would not be Rangers.

It’s not all that unusual for teams to get impact deals done even when making their top prospects untouchable.  The Mets got Santana without putting Mike Pelfrey or Fernando Martinez on the table.  The Cubs got Rich Harden without parting with Josh Vitters.  The Phillies kept Carlos Carrasco and Lou Marson when they traded for Joe Blanton. 

Now, it’s not always the case.  The Diamondbacks parted with their two top (and arguably four of their top six) trade-eligible prospects to get Dan Haren (though they were getting three years of Haren control).  The Brewers traded their top prospect to get C.C. Sabathia. 

And no, Harden and Blanton weren’t Halladay. 

But Santana was.

Arizona and Milwaukee got their guy by trading their best prospects.  The Mets didn’t have to – but had the benefit of Santana reducing Minnesota’s leverage by reportedly exercising his no-trade clause to kill talks with Texas, if not other teams as well.  The Cubs and Phillies got their veteran starters and held onto their top kids.  And so did the Braves in getting Teixeira, even though they still gave up a ton to get him.

The Dodgers, once you got past Kershaw, couldn’t come out on top.

That’s where the Rangers might be closer to the 2007 Braves, given the quantity of this organization’s very good prospects.  The big difference is that while Atlanta acted out of uncharacteristic desperation, given Schuerholz’s status, Texas won’t do that.

So can the Rangers propose a deal that the Jays would take over all others (and again, this assumes that the payroll implications and Halladay no-trade clause are cleared hurdles) without parting with the best this system has to offer?
Let’s look at what Toronto needs.  There are potential matches with Texas, unquestionably.  Looking a couple years down the road (when the Jays will conceivably be without Halladay whether they trade him or not), it seems to me that the identifiable holes are at catcher and every infield spot other than second base, and of course they will demand and get pitching in any Halladay deal as well.

I’m thinking this is what I would offer, not at the outset but when it came down to bottom line time:

  • a. either Neftali Feliz and Mitch Moreland . . . or Justin Smoak (or Chris Davis) and Blake Beavan (or Tommy Hunter)
  • b. Taylor Teagarden
  • c. Wilmer Font or Wilfredo Boscan or Guillermo Moscoso or Omar Poveda
  • d. Engel Beltre or Mike Bianucci or Jose Vallejo or Joaquin Arias or Marcus Lemon

And I want reliever Jason Frasor in the deal, too, to give me another right-hander for the final third of the game.  He’s under control through 2010.

Group A is the key.  For Halladay, I’d give up Feliz or Smoak, but not both.

Derek Holland and Martin Perez are untouchable, for me.  So is Joe Wieland, even though he’s not on the same tier.  And Andrus, of course, is off limits.

Yes, I want Halladay to extend his contract and be here for more than just a year and a third.  But that’s likely not going to happen as a pre-condition to the trade.  You take the chance that he helps this team win a division in 2009, and that in the winter he agrees to rip up the final year of his contract and replace it with four or five more.

One local writer suggests Texas could put Blalock and Padilla in the deal, after which Toronto could flip each of them elsewhere for tack-on prospects.  Makes great sense for the Rangers, but I don’t see it working.  Why would another team trade anything for Padilla when he was passed over on league-wide waivers recently?  I’m guessing that if Texas could have traded either Padilla or Blalock for any sort of prospect at any point this season, it would have already happened.

Boston will be in on Halladay, and that’s a fascinating thing.  At first blush, you’d assume Toronto wouldn’t want to put Halladay in a Red Sox uniform when the Jays will be chasing Boston every season, but at the same time they’d presumably be stripping the Sox of Clay Buchholz and maybe Lars Anderson or Josh Reddick and more, and maybe Ricciardi feels like he’d be closing the gap that way.  I think it would be crazy for the Jays to trade Halladay to Boston, but Ricciardi has done some confusing things in the past.  Regardless, it does make sense to keep the Sox involved, if for no other reason than to drive up what other teams have to offer.

The Yankees have said they’re not in on Halladay.  We’ll see.

The Phillies are said to be a favorite to go hard after Halladay, and they have a solid crop of top-tier prospects.  The Mets?  There will be interest, but can they compete when it comes to what they can offer?

Would you be OK trading Feliz, Moreland, Teagarden, Font, and Beltre for Halladay and Frasor?

Or Smoak, Beavan, Teagarden, Boscan, and Vallejo?

Is either package enough?

Objectively, maybe Toronto will believe it’s entitled to more.  Maybe the Jays insist on either Feliz or Holland plus either Andrus or Smoak. 

But the question will be whether another team can match Feliz or Smoak in the first place.  If Feliz or Smoak is Toronto’s “guy” – a player that Ricciardi has circled when surveying the systems of the interested clubs (cf., Kershaw for Texas in 2007, Hanley Ramirez for Florida after the 2005 season) – then maybe the Rangers have the leverage not to offer both since, arguably, no other club can trump a package that includes one of them plus Teagarden and three other legitimate prospects.

Toronto will surely start talks, if they ever get started, by asking for Feliz (or Holland) plus Smoak.  But the Rangers asked the Dodgers for Kershaw, and the Braves for Hanson and Schafer, and though Texas was told no by both, the club still made a deal with one of them. 

That, I think, would be a reasonable plan here.  If a Philadelphia offer, for instance – maybe Kyle Drabek or Jason Knapp, plus Dominic Brown and Jason Donald and Lou Marson – forced Texas to include Feliz and Smoak in order to stay in the hunt, then that’s when we back out.

There’s a point at which we’d be giving up too much, even for a pure number one like Halladay.  What I’m thinking is that, maybe, we are deep enough that we can survive the sweepstakes without having to meet what is sure to be Toronto’s initial demand.

Newberg Report: How Much is Too Much? | 53 comments | Create New Account
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Jim - Friday, July 10 2009 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#202488) #

Maybe the Jays insist on either Feliz or Holland plus either Andrus or Smoak. 

I don't think that Texas is legitimate for a couple of reasons (already can't meet payroll and Halladay won't want to go there), but this line is the issue.  I don't think JP will move him at the deadline for less then Felix or Holland plus Andrus or Smoak.  The offseason might cost less then that when the Jays have lost some leverage, but for this deal to happen in July this is going to be the price.

James W - Friday, July 10 2009 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#202490) #
Ditto what Jim said.   It's a good article, but neither of his offers do enough for me.  And as Jim said, Halladay won't want to go to Texas, and they can't afford him.
John Northey - Friday, July 10 2009 @ 01:35 PM EDT (#202491) #
Just ran into a link for a prospect list for Texas.  Who knows, stranger things have happened.  I remember back in the late 80's when the Expos won the Mark Langston sweepstakes in exchange for Randy Johnson, Brian Holman and Gene Harris.  We all know Johnson, Holman had 2 1/2 good years then was injured (111 ERA+ in his last year over 195 IP then done). Harris was just filler in the end.

I think if we get a future HOF'er at the start of his career I'll be happy :)
James W - Friday, July 10 2009 @ 01:45 PM EDT (#202493) #

I think if we get a future HOF'er at the start of his career I'll be happy :)

Then I say you hedge your bets, get Feliz and Smoak, and improve your odds of a HOFer from 1 in 1000 to...  2 in 1000?

Matthew E - Friday, July 10 2009 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#202494) #

Harris was just filler in the end.

Although as I recall he did have one useful year as a closer for... was it the Padres?

LouisvilleJayFan - Friday, July 10 2009 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#202495) #
Lars Anderson is so overrated. I really hope Halladay doesn't go to the Red Sox and I REALLY hope that Anderson isn't a key piece to the deal if he does.
Mick Doherty - Friday, July 10 2009 @ 02:18 PM EDT (#202496) #

Halladay won't want to go to Texas

I keep seeing this sentiment posted by Bauxites -- and Jamey actually asked me if this was verifiably true (giventhe no-trade clause) as he was drafting the above. I told him that I had not seen independent, non-speculative evidence of it and I personally believed Halladay'd love to go to a first-place team that at this point has to be at least co-favorite to go postseason this year -- and with him at the front of a an-already-solid rotation, would be a prohibitive favorite to do so.

So I ask you all -- and I mean this, I am not being sarcastic -- has Halladay said this? Can you post a link to something somewhere that the quote appears? Have you even heard it on the radio or on TV, again, in non-speculative tones from Halladay, not from a talk show host or color guy being speculative himself?

ayjackson - Friday, July 10 2009 @ 02:22 PM EDT (#202498) #

Feliz and Smoak, plus a couple of further off players.   Or Doc's a blue jay.

I don't buy the fact that payroll would be an issue.  It's the Rangers, not the Phoenix Coyotes.  The franchise is valuable and will be sold.  MLB will have no problem issuing loans against the eventual sale proceeds.  They're going to cover the Purke and Scheppers bonuses too, which will add up to what Doc's going to make the rest of the year.  Hell throw in Purke as a PTBNL, and we'll send a little cash to help things out.

Mick Doherty - Friday, July 10 2009 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#202499) #

Although as I recall he did have one useful year as a closer for... was it the Padres?

Got me curious, so I looked it up. Your memory is far better than mine! -- he had six of his 12 career wins and 23 of his 26 career saves for that 1993 SDP juggernaut.

jester00 - Friday, July 10 2009 @ 02:33 PM EDT (#202500) #
If salary is a concern for the Rangers this year, what if the Jays took back Blalock?  Would that ease the burden enough?  I believe he is a free agent after this year and we might get a pick back after he walks.  Not sure how strapped the Rangers are but as a Blue Jays fan if we could get Smoak, Feliz and two lower level prospects plus Blalock, I'd be all over it.  Throw in a releiver from our side as well to make it work.  If the Rangers were to get Halladay, with the shape the Angels rotation is in and the potential injury to Hunter, I'd say the division is theirs.
Mike Green - Friday, July 10 2009 @ 02:34 PM EDT (#202501) #
The Rangers in July 07 traded Teixeira, who frankly was a far less valuable player than Halladay and at the same contract stage, for much more.  No, thank you.

Jim - Friday, July 10 2009 @ 02:40 PM EDT (#202502) #

The Cubs are twice as valuable and have taken years to sell.  Hicks' finances are a complete mess, and I saw a note where Nolan Ryan was part of a group that was looking to buy the team  That's great but the trade deadline is in 3 weeks, it's a lot of moving parts that would need to come together.  MLB is going to fund over-slot bonuses?  I'll believe that when I see it. 

This is going to be an extremely complicated deal without the extra headache of a team that can't make payroll without league assistance.  That is only going to make it worse.

Isn't there a line from Halladay somewhere where he jokes about being 'cursed' in Texas?  He'll probably never say anything about any teams publicly.  If he does it only gives JP fewer teams to leverage off each other and increases his chances of staying and playing out the string.

For a deal to happen with Texas they need to:

A. Agree with Ricciardi on a package

B. Get Roy to waive his no-trade

C. Get MLB to lend them the money

How does that not make them a longshot? 

Gerry - Friday, July 10 2009 @ 02:50 PM EDT (#202503) #
You also have to consider the political ramifications of a deal.  The media will be all over the Jays on a trade and if Texas keep back too much of their good talent then the front office exposes itself to the "not only did they trade Halladay but they wus robbed too" cries from the media.
christaylor - Friday, July 10 2009 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#202504) #
Brunt had a good article on why you don't trade Halladay.

This has been debunked up the wazoo. Halladay isn't going anywhere, especially not Texas. If he does, I'll eat my hat.

In actual news, Marco Scutaro is +21 on the plus/minus system for 16 runs saved, which ranks 1st. Raise your hand if you saw that one coming. Amazing. He probably had this in him all these years, but as he was labelled a utility player and teams liked his versatility he never got a chance.

I hope the Jays will be able to keep him, but I hope they don't go long term or crazy on the money, that said, if he keeps this up, some other team probably will.
Pistol - Friday, July 10 2009 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#202505) #
If the Rangers want to trade for Halladay they can - it would just require a little more creativity.  If the Rangers traded Padilla in a deal the salaries switching sides are pretty close (and throw in someone else to balance it).  That'd make it cash neutral for 2009.  Texas would have to include more to dump Padilla, but if they wanted to they could.

Halladay hasn't said anything specific about any team.  I don't know that he'd be scared off by a hitter's park, however.  I think it's kind of funny that people still have these knee-jerk reactions about how a pitcher would react to that or how it might impact their FA value if they went there;  they act like teams have no idea about park effects, etc.  Maybe if it's the 80s, but come on, just about every team (if not all of them) understand this.

I think the bigger reason Halladay wouldn't go to Texas is if he thinks they just aren't good enough.  Sure, they're in first place, but is it real?  The Jays followers will tell you about hot starts.

If the Rangers want to do a deal they can.  Whether they want to is a different story, and to me, more of an issue than Halladay waiving the no-trade clause.  But I don't think the Jays can accept a package that simply includes minor leaguers.  At least one really good, low service time player needs to be coming back.  So Elvis will need to be in the building.
Mike Green - Friday, July 10 2009 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#202506) #
So Elvis will need to be in the building.

Bingo.  And Elvis of the 77 OPS+ is only a good start...Keeping Halladay is a perfectly acceptable option. 
Spifficus - Friday, July 10 2009 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#202507) #

Marco Scutaro is +21 on the plus/minus system for 16 runs saved

I'm going to be really curious to see what hit f/x and the defensive camera system mentioned yesterday tell us about a pitchers effect on fielding numbers. Was Halladay's cutter responsible for fluffing Hill and Hudson's numbers a bit? Are a gazillion lefty changeups giving easier than average opportunities to Scoot? I have no idea, but it'll be interesting to look at things like this in a few seasons when there's hopefully enough data.

metafour - Friday, July 10 2009 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#202509) #
"Brunt had a good article on why you don't trade Halladay.

This has been debunked up the wazoo. Halladay isn't going anywhere, especially not Texas. If he does, I'll eat my hat."

Oh no, the fans (theres fans in Toronto?) will be so mad they wont support the Blue Jays anymore.  Yawn.  Are these the same people that threatened to take action if the great Mats Sundin was traded? Yeah, those people quickly changed their minds once Sundin bolted and the Leafs got absolutely nothing for him.  We're bottom five in the league WITH Halladay in the lineup, really who gives a crap about appeasing what are essentially BANDWAGON fans.  You do whats best for the team, if you cant resign Halladay you trade him and outright state that...if idiots want to get mad then who cares, these people aren't real fans anyway and they'll be back as soon as the team starts winning again.

Mick Doherty - Friday, July 10 2009 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#202510) #

Keeping Halladay is a perfectly acceptable option. 

For the record, and I have said this a number of times, I personally hope Halladay retires a Jay (in about eight years, that is!) ...

As for the Rangers, I think we need to accept that this is well past "hot start" -- a first-place team that will have 50 or so wins at the All-Star break is for real ... and they are playing to their Pythagorean almost precisely, so it's not illusory. And more to the point, for the first time in 35 years, they're doing it more with pitching and defense than with the lumber, though that's been pretty good, if inconsistent, as well. (Now, if Josh Hamilton starts hitting ...)

I hear that David McDavid, a big Dallas car dealer who almost bought the Atlanta Falcons I think, is bidding against Ryan's group for the team. I would be shocked if there wasn't a transfer of ownership by the end of the year. That doesn't help in constructing a big deal at the deadline, but that's the current situation.

Jim - Friday, July 10 2009 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#202512) #
Rangers have a good team and the Angels have a million problems. I think they have a 50/50 shot even without Halladay.
Pistol - Friday, July 10 2009 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#202513) #
they are playing to their Pythagorean almost precisely, so it's not illusory

The Pythagorian just says whether the number of wins makes sense for the runs scored and runs allowed.  If players are playing above their head they're likely to come back down and bring Pythagorus with them (I'm not necessarily saying that's the case.... I'm not paying that close attention).
Mike Green - Friday, July 10 2009 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#202514) #
My opinion on Texas, to date.  The team has the poorest FIP in the league.  Their team GPA is exactly league average.  They're doing it two ways- very good team defence and an offence that is somewhat more efficient than average.  The defence down the middle of the diamond is good and young, and so assuming good health, that is likely to continue.  The offensive efficiency is not likely to continue at quite the same rate. Playing in the East, they'd be fighting out with the Jays for 4th place. Texas has just about the same run differential as Toronto, incidentally.
christaylor - Friday, July 10 2009 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#202515) #
"We're bottom five in the league WITH Halladay in the lineup,"

According to baseball prospectus, this team is one of the top 7 in the league. I think their assessment of the talent level of this team wins.
metafour - Friday, July 10 2009 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#202517) #
"According to baseball prospectus, this team is one of the top 7 in the league. I think their assessment of the talent level of this team wins."

I'm talking about attendance and the argument that we cant trade Halladay because it will turn fans off.  The "fans" aren't supporting the team anyway, so who gives a crap whether or not they get upset about Halladay being traded.  We're one of the five worst teams in the league in terms of home attendance, even the freaking Nationals are bringing in more fans.
Mick Doherty - Friday, July 10 2009 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#202518) #
I read the original "bottom five" comment as being about fan support, not talent. The Top 7/Bottom 5, in that case, are not mutually exclusive!
Spifficus - Friday, July 10 2009 @ 06:08 PM EDT (#202519) #

Toronto will surely start talks, if they ever get started, by asking for Feliz (or Holland) plus Smoak. But the Rangers asked the Dodgers for Kershaw, and the Braves for Hanson and Schafer, and though Texas was told no by both, the club still made a deal with one of them.

Loved Jamey's look at the Halladay issue, but I have to disagree with his reasoning for Feliz and Smoak being mutually exclusive. Hanson and Schafer were interesting prospects at the time, but they were the additional pieces in the 4 and 5 slots, not the headliner prospects that Salty, Andrus and Harrison... Or maybe one was going to replace Harrison, who almost didn't pass his medical if I recall.

For the Dodgers, Ethier and Loney were already in the majors, like Andrus and Holland. Ethier had put up an .800+ OPS for a year at that point I can't tell if they were looking to get Kershaw added to the package, or they were trying to replace one of the pieces for him. Either way, that'd be 2 of their best young players, and it still wasn't enough to get it done... And without another pitcher (or maybe Matt Kemp), I don't see how it could be.

In the end, 2 near-ready top-talent prospects (Smoak and Feliz as the most likely), plus 2-3 more interesting pieces (either lesser near-ready parts, or high upside lower level parts) should be enough to get something done.

brent - Friday, July 10 2009 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#202521) #

Russ Adams to San Diego on a minor league contract per mlbtraderumors. Good for Russ to go to the NL like everyone has been suggesting for 3+ years.

Marc Hulet - Friday, July 10 2009 @ 08:44 PM EDT (#202522) #

Here is an out of the box thought: Halladay, Wells, Tallet and Jeroloman (plus $10 million of the extra $15 mill that Wells compared to the player package coming back) to San Francisco for another bad contract: Barry Zito, Jonathan Sanchez, Tim Alderson, Brandon Crawford, and Roger Kieschnick.

Toronto gets two young arms, two promising bats and Zito comes off the books one year before Wells would... and also saves Halladay's 2010 salary and $5 million off of Wells.

San Francisco gets an outfield upgrade and offensive help, plus a killer rotation without giving up three of its four top prospects: Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey and Angel Villalona.

Spifficus - Friday, July 10 2009 @ 09:38 PM EDT (#202523) #

Here is an out of the box thought: Halladay, Wells, Tallet and Jeroloman (plus $10 million of the extra $15 mill that Wells compared to the player package coming back) to San Francisco for another bad contract: Barry Zito, Jonathan Sanchez, Tim Alderson, Brandon Crawford, and Roger Kieschnick.

I think it's significantly short on talent coming back.

First thing my brain did when I saw it was separate it into two separate deals: A) Wells + Tallet + Jeroloman + $10M for Zito and B) Halladay for Sanchez, Alderson, Crawford, Kieschnick.

On the first part, that's an averageish centerfielder, a 4th-5th starter and a c+ catcher prospect for a different 4th starter and $6M savings... Or be in the red $5M if his option vests. This really wouldn't work either monitarily or talent-wise.

On the other end of it, that's our ace for someone who has pitched their way out of the Giants rotation and profiles at best as a #3 guy due to shaky command, their 3rd-4th best prospect who profiles as another mid-rotation starter maybe a #2 because of his command, and 2 decently interesting tools college guys that are 22 in the Cal league (or should have been left there, in Crawford's case). The last 2 are ok (though my inclination would be toolsier and younger, real risk-reward guys), but the first two are short for the headliners... significantly in Sanchez' case.

Spifficus - Saturday, July 11 2009 @ 12:44 AM EDT (#202528) #

And of course, the guy I call a mid-rotation starter throws a No-No (would have been a perfect game but for a Panda error). He was just dominating with that curveball and mid-90's heat. What a game to watch! 'Gratz for Sanchez.

James W - Saturday, July 11 2009 @ 10:51 AM EDT (#202535) #

Uribe made the error, not Sandoval.  Don't besmirch the Kung Fu Panda!

On these "maybe we can dump Wells off on San Fran" ideas, they already have Aaron Rowand.  Unless you think Wells would move to a corner spot, why would they want him?

Spifficus - Saturday, July 11 2009 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#202538) #

Yeah, I had realized that a little after I posted it, but since it was about 2 in the morning by then I didn't bother to correct myself. I saw error to 3B, but didn't realize that Uribe had moved over, with Sandoval getting the rest of the night off. Not sure what was going on that I didn't notice what Krukow and Kuiper were saying about it.

Speaking of Sandoval, that HR was nuts!

Oh, and on the Wells/Zito bad contract flip off-the-cuff idea, yeah, I would be thinking he'd go to a corner. If he didn't want to go to a contending team because he didn't want to play in a corner, so be it.

TamRa - Saturday, July 11 2009 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#202539) #
Baseball America refers in passing on their list to an infielder named Jose Vallejo but the list linked above doesn't mention him.

I have no idea if he's a SS and what kind of player he might be.

To me, Texas has the players but I have no idea if they will make the move. I'd happily take Padilla back to give them salary relief this year (and I don't think they will be hurting next year in agreement with the OP) provided I get the players i want. IMO, our upper level pitching is in pretty good shape.

I think I'd ask for Smoak, Andrus and Teagarden (along with Padilla) and offer back Doc and either Frasor or League and be willing to include Tallet too if need be.

I might could swallow moving Doc in a circumstance like that.

TamRa - Saturday, July 11 2009 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#202540) #
Assuming the Jays were to deal Doc and then, logically, clear out all the pricey vets (Overbay, Downs, Rolen, Barajas, Frasor and Tallet maybe) it leaves me to wonder - don't we pretty much HAVE to see Hill shifted to 3B next year?

I don't see any available 3B prospects who look like players you'd count on out there (unless you count Wood but I prefer to think of him as a SS) and it can no longer be said Hill doesn't have the power for 3B.
(even though that sort of rot is mostly silly anyway)

jester00 - Saturday, July 11 2009 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#202541) #
I would do that deal with Texas as well, but I just don't see the Rangers giving up Andrus.  If that was the case then it would have to be Smoak, Feliz, Teagarden and Padilla.  Heck I would take Blalock back as well if it would get us Smoak, Feliz, Teagarden/Ramirez and maybe on more player (Beavan, Kiker, Moreland).  The best fits I see for a Halladay trade are the Rangers, Giants, Phillies and unfortuately the Yankees.  I would hate to trade Roy to the evil Empire, but the definitely have some great prospects.
TamRa - Saturday, July 11 2009 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#202542) #
I disagree about the Yankees prospects - the only guy who really intrigues me is that catcher. Otherwise, the Sox have more guys i want. but even if the Yanks had there one players and Texas' top 10 too I don't think I could approve a deal to put Doc in pinstripes.

My dream scenario, in a world where we have no choice but to trade Doc, is to dump Wells on the Giants or somebody (anyone really) and to deal doc for Colby Rasmus, Brett Wallace, and Pete Kozma.

Not only does it give me some players on the Jays I really like but it puts Doc on my second favorite team...
(not that the Cards are even going to remotely consider dealing Rasmus)

By the way, I'm not real impressed with the Phillies best prospects eiter, and i don't think the Giants will gut there system for more pitching when they have such good pitching. I would have to say the Angels have my attention too.

TamRa - Saturday, July 11 2009 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#202543) #
Here's a wild thought....

The Chicago Cubs are said to be exasperated with Zambrano, who seems to be a bit of a blockhead. They also have been trying to fix CF unsuccessfully.

So how would it work if we used Doc to bribe the Cubs into taking Wells for Zambrano?

Something like this: Doc + Wells +  for Zambrano + Vitters + ???

Tweak it any number of ways. The point is that Arny and Cito MIGHT be able to get Zambrano smoothed out and he'll make less a year over 10-12 than Wells will.

The flaw here is that you might not get the Cubs to add enough in the way of prospects to make you feel it's worth it (might not be able to even) but there was a buzz around the Cubs that they might just dump Zambrano so they shouldn't be able to turn around and consider him a big valuable chip.

Like I said...just brainstormin...

Thomas - Saturday, July 11 2009 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#202544) #
I read somewhere that the Cardinals have offered the Jays their pick of five prospects from their system for Halladay. I don't remember where I read the rumour or how legitimate it is, but it wasn't simply message board gossip. That being said, that list certainly doesn't include Rasmus and would basically boil down to Wallace, Ottavino, probably Kozma and a couple of other prospects like Bryan Anderson or Jamie Garcia or some lower-level prospects. It sounds impressive, but there's not many names there that really excite me aside from Wallace.
Jim - Saturday, July 11 2009 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#202546) #

And of course, the guy I call a mid-rotation starter throws a No-No

Don't worry that trade is ridiculously in San Fran's favor.

Yes, it was reported that someone in St. Louis' front office said that JP could circle their top 5 guys in the minor leagues.  It was a 'report' that someone in the 'front office' said that JP could circle 'the top 5 guys in their minor league system'.  I'm sure there is a way that it's literally true, but that's a lot way from it happening. 


greenfrog - Saturday, July 11 2009 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#202547) #
Would St. Louis throw in Shelby Miller? That might make things more interesting, although I'm not sure if he's signed yet. Or whether you're allowed to trade someone you just drafted.

I think JP basically has to demand Rasmus and Wallace, though. I think trading Doc for those two is about right (possibly with a couple of additional players moving one way or the other). If St. Louis has any other good prospects, I would almost send them Doc and Rios for Rasmus, Wallace, Miller, and one or two others. Now that would be a blockbuster.
Ron - Saturday, July 11 2009 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#202548) #

Or whether you're allowed to trade someone you just drafted.

Teams have to wait for a year before they can trade their most recent draft pics.

Jim - Saturday, July 11 2009 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#202550) #
It's actually tougher then that.  You can't trade them until a year after they 'sign'.  They can be a PTBNL until then.
Spifficus - Saturday, July 11 2009 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#202552) #
And if I recall, there's a 6 month limit on naming a PTBNL.
greenfrog - Saturday, July 11 2009 @ 08:27 PM EDT (#202553) #
I wonder if JP and old friend Billy Beane are having any informal conversations about how to get the best return for Doc. I hope so. Unlike Ricciardi, Beane has a lot of experience in trading star veteran pitchers (Hudson, Haren, Mulder) for prospects.
TamRa - Sunday, July 12 2009 @ 12:28 AM EDT (#202554) #
Would be cool if we could arrange a three way deal so we could get prospects from two different teams if we have to do this. Like for instance the Cards dealing Glaus to a team needing his bat for a good player they could add to a deal for Doc.

Hell I have to stop this, I'm getting to interested in the mechanics of a deal I don't want to happen!

Forkball - Sunday, July 12 2009 @ 02:27 PM EDT (#202562) #
I read somewhere that the Cardinals have offered the Jays their pick of five prospects from their system for Halladay

It was a quote in Olney's column last week, that was from a twitter of a St Louis beat writer (below).
No, if any team wants Halladay, they're going to have to be prepared to give up a lot. The Cardinals are serious about Halladay, and a club official told Joe Strauss what he perceives the price tag to be: "Asked about the price tag for Halladay, a club source said: 'Give Ricciardi all our minor-league rosters and let him circle any 5 names.'"
Mick Doherty - Sunday, July 12 2009 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#202564) #

Which, of course, is different than saying the Cardinals HAVE done that. It's someone saying that's what it would take.

Thomas - Sunday, July 12 2009 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#202572) #
Of course, and I don't think it's an unreasonable thing to say about a middle to lower-tier system like St. Louis's. I'm not sure it would be enough, as I don't like too many Cards prospects beyond Wallace, but I think that at least the Cardinals are in the right ballpark with that sort of talk.

As for Jamie's offer, I don't think that's enough. As good as Texas's system is, a proposal that has four players off limits (Andrus, Holland, Perez and one of Smoak or Feliz) isn't giving Toronto the front-tier talent necessary to land the best starter in the major leagues, as strong as some of Texas's supplementary names are compared to those in other systems.
Wildrose - Monday, July 13 2009 @ 10:32 AM EDT (#202580) #
Add another Jay to the trade rumor circuit.

… Blue Jays left-hander Scott Downs has attracted the attention of several major-league teams, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, who were interested before closer Jonathan Broxton damaged a nerve in his big toe. The Dodgers double-teamed the Blue Jays weekend series in Baltimore and have double-teamed recent starts by Halladay. … 
John Northey - Monday, July 13 2009 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#202581) #
I'd say if anyone on the roster who is over 30 gets some interest from another team the Jays have to look seriously at it.  Require top talent in return, especially if the guy is signed for 2010, and remember that all pitchers are a single twinge from having their career end.  In brackets for groups 1-3 I list their free agent compensation status [A=2 picks, B=1 pick, otherwise nothing].

#1: Free Agents after 2009
McDonald [not remotely close to B ranking], Scutaro [A], Barajas [B], Millar [not close], Dellucci [not close]

#2: Guys who have contracts through 2010 then become free agents
Rolen [A], Halladay [A], Overbay [almost B], Downs [A]

#3: Guys who are under team control through 2010 then free agency (ie: arbitration)
Frasor [near B], Chavez (if stays in majors) [not close],

#4: Guys who are until team control beyond 2010
Bautista, Tallet, Accardo, Camp, etc.

#5: Guys who are signed till 2014 (aka very hard to trade)
Wells, Rios (has a 2015 option as well), Hill (could be let go after 2011)

So group #1-3 should be very, very open to trades as they are guys who will only help this year and next.  Obviously, the longer the contract and the better the player quality the more you demand.  If he is likely to be a type A or B free agent then a top prospect is mandatory in exchange otherwise the Jays should just hold on (ie: Rolen [A], Downs [A], Scutaro [A], Barajas [B], Overbay [shy of B status] and Halladay [#1 A ranking]).

To see potential rankings go to
Wildrose - Monday, July 13 2009 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#202584) #
Good stuff John, Cotts has a new feature which gives you salary obligations in a spread sheet form.
Forkball - Monday, July 13 2009 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#202586) #
Scutaro [A]

This might be the best case scenario for the Jays (if he remains an 'A').  They can offer him arbitration knowing that there's just about no chance that a team will give up a pick to sign him and then they would get him on a one year deal.  If he wasn't an 'A' the team would probably have to offer 2 years to get him to stay.

There'd only be an issue if they got a young, major league SS in return for Halladay, but the chance of that seems pretty low.
John Northey - Monday, July 13 2009 @ 01:40 PM EDT (#202587) #
Now that is sweet.  An instant spreadsheet to show the Jays have $81 million committed for 8 players next year, 9 guys who are in arbitration, and the rest are guys the Jays set plus the free agent crew.

So, lets be conservative and assume a 10% raise for the arbitration crew other than first year in arb guys who we'll put a 50% raise on.  That puts it up to $90.4 million for 17 players plus Scutaro/Barajas or their replacements plus a batch of kids at under $500k each.  If all 8 slots are at $500k they are at $94.4 million.  If Scut/Bar are resigned then they are close to $100 million if not over.  Of note: this includes BJ Ryan in the calculations as the Jays still owe his salary.  Some adjustments would be needed as Ryan is paid 'just' $10 million, not $12 as listed on the site (they factor in bonus money which has already been paid) and Rolen's $4 million bonus in 2010 is paid by StL not Toronto. 

So, to keep the payroll at sub-$90 the Jays 'only' need to clear out one big salary (Rolen, Halladay, Rios, or Wells) or get Rogers to accept Ryan's $10 mil as a 2009 expense and not a 2010 one and they could potentially keep Scutaro and Barajas as well.  Now, jump the arbitration guys to a 100% increase (not unreasonable) and we get a $96.6 million base plus Scutaro/Barajas plus kids thus a minimum of $100 million plus those two.

So, who is in arbitration?  Brackets show current salary, didn't bother with guys pre-arbitration.
First year: McGowan, Janssen, Marcum - all on injuries, will be limited in raises one hopes
2nd year: League ($640k), Accardo ($900k) - neither too effective, both should be limited one hopes
3rd year: Bautista ($2.4), Frasor ($1.45), Tallet ($1.015), Camp ($750) - all could be expensive but all are replaceable

Of these guys the ones I'd worry about are Bautista (lots of playing time, could demand $3 mil), Frasor (doing well, $3 again), Tallet (starting now, $5).  I'd want to keep Marcum, Accardo, Frasor with the others being nice to have but not vital if a budget crunch is coming.

I think the big key is how Rogers views BJ Ryan's salary and what they want for payroll in 2010.  If they put Ryan into 2009's budget and open the books to $100 million then no problem with keeping what the Jays have and possibly adding something for $5-10 million.  If Ryan is put into 2010's books and they want a sub-$90 million payroll then a big contract has to go or say bye-bye to Bautista/Frasor/Tallet/Camp/Accardo/League/McGowan/Janssen/Marcum ($8.4 to $16.8 million replaced by rookies at $500k each or $4.5 million for a savings of $3.9-$12.3 million).

Me?  I'd say goodbye to the arbitration crew (outside of Marcum if healthy) and keep Rolen and Halladay unless someone comes up with a great offer.
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