The Phillies scouts and front office people are busier than ever. They have to scout both Roy Halladay, and Cliff Lee, and in between scouting sessions, they have to review stats, stats, and more stats to make sure that making a trade for one of the aces available in a trade, is worthwhile. Oh and did I mention that the general manager and all of his little helpers have to deal with J.P. Ricciardi, and his ridiculous demands!
Well, it seems that Ricciardi is finally coming around, and is finally starting to see the daylight, and the upside to listening to what the Phillies have to offer, instead of offering up the same deal, that they know the Phillies will never partake in.
Ricciardi wanted Kyle Drabek, J.A. Happ, and Dominic Brown. The Phillies wanted to give them J.A. Happ, Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald, and Michael Taylor.
The problem with that was, Ricciardi still wanted Drabek, Happ, and Brown.
The Phillies have publicly stated that they will not give up both Drabek and Happ in the same deal. So why would the Jays even waste their time sending back a counteroffer of Drabek, Happ, and Brown continually?
The Jays are expressing the power that they now have. They are so used to signing good players to ludicrous deals, and then being financially bound that they are drunk with the power of demanding any group of players that they want.
But, as the week goes on, they will find out that in the MLB, the trades that go through have to be agreed on by both teams, and that it is very difficult to reach actually reach a deal for a player that possess the talent of Roy Halladay.
But, after writing an article yesterday about the Phillies now chasing Cliff Lee, the Phils are now back in the race for Halladay. After both sides said that there was no ill will between the two, both sides started up negotiations again, and are now reportedly getting closer to a deal that would send Halladay to the Phillies.
Ricciardi is very unhappy with the Blue Jays lack of prospects in the farm system. They are lacking the multiple glorified prospects that many teams in the AL East already have, and will have for a very long time.
You see, the Blue Jays are just now figuring out that in order to create a dynasty such as the New York Yankees of the mid-late 90′s, you need to draft, and groom prospects without trading them away. You also need hold on to the prospects in order for them to ever play for your team and help you win a World Series title.
The Phillies have this variable in mind, and look at the roster of the World Series team last year. Ryan Howard. Jimmy Rollins. Chase Utley. Cole Hamels. All of the Phillies best players came out of the Phillies farm system, and thus, captured the attention of millions of people as they journeyed closer and closer to the World Series title.
So, as the trade deadline self-imposed by Ricciardi himself, approaches, you have to think that Ricciardi will start to panic, because, well, he has multiple other players that he wishes to rid himself of. Scott Rolen, Marco Scutaro, Scott Downs, Lyle Overbay, Alex Rios, and Vernon Wells all have the same thing in common. Ricciardi wants them out of a Toronto jersey, and fast, because they are eating up his cap space that he could make for the prospects that he gathers in the trade for Halladay.
With the discovery of this new idea on how to be successful in the MLB, Ricciardi cannot pass up on a chance to haul in four top prospects from one of the top farm systems in the league. Ricciardi could also increase the number of prospects included in the deal if he would involve another player such as Scutaro or Downs. Both are Phils needs, and would be welcomed in the trade with Halladay.
If you love soap operas, then you should stay tuned to the up and down roller coaster that is the Roy Halladay trade sweepstakes, but if you are a Phillies fan, like me, then you should probably just stay in your Phillies bat cave and just stick to reading this blog, and watching the Phils games until 4 pm on Friday. Ignore everything else, because in reality, the only thing that does matter right now, is the Philadelphia Phillies, and their quest to repeat as World Series Champions.
The Phillies also have their eye on another major league ace. That ace is the Cleveland Indians Cliff Lee. Lee could be had for far less than Halladay, but is far less experienced than Doc.
Lee is one year removed from that sensational year which landed him the AL Cy Young award with his 22-3 record, and a 2.54 ERA. Last year was Lee’s only season where he posted outstanding numbers. He was always a solid pitcher before, except for his 2007 season, where he was horrid.
The Phillies had a scout in Cleveland despite Lee’s shaky start to the season. In that start, Lee went 7 strong innings, gave up two earned runs, six hits, and struck out four batters.
Reports say that the Phillies are interested in trading away Carrasco, Donald and maybe pitcher Vance Worley for Lee. Of course, Carrasco and Donald would not be available if they were traded to Toronto for Doc, and the Phils would not then need Lee, but they are seemingly keeping their options open in the case that the Halladay negotiations do not work out.
If the Phillies would acquire Lee, he might not be the ace for the Phils. I could easily see the Phils keeping Hamels supplanted in that role, and having Lee as the #2 starter. Halladay would instantly be placed in the ace role, and have Hamels backing him up as the #2 wingman.
The downside to trading for Lee would be that Lee is left-handed, which would mean that the Phils would have four quality left-handed starting pitchers, and only three right-handed pitchers. That number could always decrease as well if the Phillies would option current starter Rodrigo Lopez.
The problem of a lopsided starting rotation is a minor one, and would be dealt with accordingly by good ‘ol Charlie Manuel. I’m sure the rotation would look something like this:
#1 Cole Hamels
#2 Cliff Lee
#3 Joe Blanton
#4 J.A. Happ
#5 Jamie Moyer
There would probably no way that Moyer slides all the way down to the 5 starter, but that is every Phils fans dream right now. The man has just lost his magic from last year.
With the phone lines very busy with conversations with both Toronto and Cleveland, Ruben Amaro would choose Halladay over Lee in a heartbeat, but is making a smart move by keeping trade discussions warm by negotiating with both. I am beside myself with joy in knowing that the probability of the Phils acquiring a top of the rotation starter is above 75% right now.
Bring on the play-offs. With both Hamels and Doc/Lee leading the way, I do not see any team out there that could match our well-roundedness that we would brag after the trade deadline.
Here is some more good news for you Phils fans! Brett Myers is eyeing a mid-August return, and he would return as a reliever for the rest of the season most likely. This news comes from Myers’ mouth himself, and is surprising at the least.
I was expecting Myers to be out the rest of the season, and probably the play-offs, but this news of a probable comeback comes with great timing. The Phils bullpen is more dep,eted by injuries than ever, and the Phillies are in desperate need of another reliever. Now I was thinking that the Phils would trade for one, which they still might, but the news of Myers comeback would probably ease the urgency a little bit.
Myers says that he is scheduled to run this Thursday, and that his goal is to pitch as a Phillies reliever within three weeks of the workout.
Thank goodness for Myers, because without relievers Chad Durbin, J.C. Romero, and Clay Condrey, the Phillies were running low on replacements.