Analysis of the Roy Halladay trade

Wow. I think that was probably everyone’s first reaction when the news broke yesterday. The Halladay rumors have been buzzing for over a year, and it finally came to fruition. This deal, as I mentioned in the comments of the other post, is very complex on a number of levels, and is going to require a lot of different angles to be addressed. So I’m going to attempt to do that, looking at it from both the player and salary standpoint, and why it does or doesn’t make sense. I’m sure everyone already has their mind made up, so you can probably skip over my analysis and just post your “We got Halladay, who cares what we gave up” or “This is the worst trade ever” comments and then sit back and watch the reaction. But if you’re bored, give my take a read and see what you think. Check below the fold for more…

I want to go over the players that are moving one by one in detail, especially the Mariners prospects, and then I’ll get to the other details of the deal. As it has been reported, the deal looks like this, in terms of which players are going to which teams;

To Philadelphia: Roy Halladay, $6M cash, Phillippe Aumont (RHP), Juan Carlos Ramirez (RHP), Tyson Gillies (OF)
To Seattle: Cliff Lee
To Toronto: Kyle Drabek (RHP), Michael Taylor (OF), Travis D’Arnaud (C)

Roy Halladay – I shouldn’t really have to get into the details on Halladay. He’s been one of the 5 best pitchers in baseball over the last 6-7 years, he consistently ranks near the top of the league leaderboard in innings pitched, complete games, fewest walks per 9, and groundballs generated. If you designed a pitcher to pitch in Citizens Bank Park, it would be Halladay, as he’s able to keep the ball on the ground, he doesn’t issue free passes, and when he needs the strikeout, he can get it. Actually, that’s pretty much the ideal pitcher for any park. People have commented on his age, the mileage on his arm, etc etc, but to me those things are very minor. Halladay isn’t a max effort strikeout pitcher. He throws a TON of cutters, something in the range of 40% of all of his pitches, and it allows him to roll up tons of low pitch, stress free innings. He’s been durable for the last 4 seasons after dealing with injuries in 2004 and 2005, and there is nothing at all to indicate he’s any more at risk than any other pitcher in baseball. Maybe its wishcasting, but with his profile, I don’t expect him to decline any time soon, and like Mariano Rivera, who also relies heavily on a cutter, there’s no reason to expect him to be any less effective as he ages into his mid-late 30’s. I’ll address the contract issue later.

Phillppe Aumont, RHP – Aumont was the 11th overall pick in the 2007 draft out of Canada. Leading up to the draft, he was praised for his wonderful arm strength, but was considered extremely raw, with scouts noting that he had inconsistent mechanics and a low arm slot that might need to be altered. The Mariners babied him in 2008, having him throw only 55 innings in Low A, and he also had some elbow soreness, which forced them to shut him down early. Standing 6’7, he’s able to generate a ton of sink on his fastball, also helped by his delivery, as he throws slightly across his body and from a lower arm angle. This delivery could have been one of the causes of his elbow soreness, and apparently the Mariners were worried about his long term role as a starter, as they moved him to the bullpen in 2009, a curious move at the time. Some of the talking heads are trying to spin Aumont as the equivalent of Drabek, but I don’t really buy that at all. Drabek still looks like a front of the rotation starter, Aumont now looks like an 8th inning reliever, maybe a closer, and you know the whole value of starter v reliever, so I won’t go any further. Aumont does have massive arm strength and sometimes shows a good looping curveball, but he’s still a project, and it would benefit the Phillies to not rush him to the majors to pitch in the 7th inning.

Juan Carlos Ramirez, RHP – I actually like Ramirez more than Aumont, mainly based on his also plus arm strength but his more fine tuned delivery. Like Aumont, he gets nice tailing movement on his fastball and couples it with a hard slider and a rudimentary changeup. Ramirez, signed out of Nicaragua, dominated the Midwest League in 2008, striking out 113 and walking only 38 in 124 IP. He was moved up to the Cal League this year, and the results weren’t good. As I detailed before, High Desert is one of the best hitting parks in all of baseball, minors or majors, and it appears to have gotten into his head. His numbers suffered mightily at home, and while his road ERA was much better, his peripherals really weren’t. This is one of those cases where you have to look at it, give him a pass for 1 season, and see what happens in a more sane pitching environment. I didn’t read anything indicating he was hurt, or that his stuff had regressed, so I’m chalking it up to simply a bad year in a bad environment. Before 2009, Keith Law indicated that Ramirez had #2 starter upside, which sounds a lot closer to Kyle Drabek than Aumont does.

Tyson Gillies, OF – Gillies was a draft and follow of the Mariners in the 2006 draft, and so far he’s shown steady progress. His 2007 debut was fairly uneventful, though he did post a .358 OB% in 109 PA’s. In 2008, he posted a .421 OB% across shortseason ball and High A, an aggressive promotion for a 19 year old. The Mariners sent him back to High A to start 2009, and he completed his breakout, posting a .341/.430/.486 line. Like Ramirez, his home games were played at a pure launching pad, but his game isn’t built on power at all, so its not really something to get worked up over. His road line was .332/.411/.422 compared to .330/.431/.511 at home. So really, if you just get the road OPS over a full season, it still illustrates his strengths. He was a feel good story at the Futures Game this year, as they detailed that he is legally deaf, 30% in one ear and 60% in the other, but that it hasn’t impacted his baseball career. His game is built on his speed, as he’s one of the fastest guys in the minors. He was 45 out of 65 this year, which isn’t great percentage-wise, but he has the tools needed, he just needs instruction. He also has a great feel for the strike zone and understands this his speed is his calling card, both on offense and defense. In many ways, he’s a more advanced version of Quintin Berry. He’s not going to hit for power, so his game is tied to his ability to get on base and run as well as providing defensive value. He turned 21 in October, so its likely that he’ll move to AA in 2010, and he’ll be young for the league, so he’s got prospect value for sure.

Now for what the Phillies gave up.

Cliff Lee – Again, this doesn’t require a ton of words. Lee’s career has been well documented. He started off well, then ran into injury/mechanics trouble in 2007, was sent to the minors, missed the playoffs, then won the Cy Young in 2008 before being traded to the Phillies in 2009 and going on to postseason fame. Lee is set to become a free agent after 2010, and is playing out the final year of his contract, which is a $9M option.

Kyle Drabek – The Phillies best pitching prospect, who I’ve written plenty about. You can read lots of info on Drabek here if you’re not a regular to this site or you’re a Blue Jays fan who has found this place for the first time. I had him as the #2 prospect in our system, and he’s probably going to end up in the Top 15-20 in all of the minors on most prospect lists this winter.

Michael Taylor – Taylor is the more advanced of the Phillies elite outfield prospects (over Domonic Brown), and was knocking on the big league door. You can read about Taylor here. Taylor has been a fascinating case study over the last few seasons. He was terrible in his half season debut, then took off in 2008. Still, most scouts were doubting him after his 2008 breakout and questioning whether it was real, or whether he was just dominating younger competition. He put up a ridiculously good 2009 at AA/AAA, yet still it seems that people are doubting him, and it seems like his biggest doubters are in the Phillies front office, as they seemed to have no trouble trading him the first chance they got. And in a funny twist, it appears the Blue Jays are going to immediately trade him to Oakland for 3B prospect Brett Wallace.

Travis D’Arnaud – D’Arnaud became the Phillies top catching prospect when Lou Marson was dealt in the Cliff Lee deal, if he wasn’t already the top catching prospect at the time. For more on him, you can check here. He posted a solid full season debut in 2009 at Lakewood, and the scouting reports back up the numbers. Tons of doubles, some of which will likely turn into home runs, good defense, good receiving skills overall, and would have likely been the Phillies starting catcher in 3 years. The Blue Jays apparently really wanted him in the 2007 draft, but the Phillies picked him one spot ahead of Toronto. Looks like they got their man now.

Ok, so there are the players involved, if that is truly it. Now, let’s get to some specifics. I’m going to use bullet points to make it easier to read

* This deal is predicated as much on money as it is talent. Halladay is one of the 5 best pitchers in baseball, which makes Lee one of the 15 best pitchers in baseball. Both were entering the final year of their contracts and set for free agency in 2010. Halladay is about 15 months older than Lee, but has been in the majors longer and has a much deeper track record of success. Halladay was set to make $15.75M in 2010, while Lee was set to make $9M in 2010. After talking to Lee’s agent at the Winter Meetings, the Phillies came to the conclusion that he could not be retained long term. Lee said how he liked Philadelphia, but he wanted to test the free agent market and receive the maximum amount of money he could, whether that be from the Phillies, the Yankees, or whoever. You can’t begrudge him that, because unlike Halladay, he’s never received a huge payday, and at 31 going on 32, this window is probably going to be his one big paycheck. He stressed it wasn’t personal, it was business. Fair enough.

* The Phillies operate under a budget. I know most people have already formulated the “they are so cheap!” argument and they’re going to run with it, no matter what the facts say. The facts say that the Phillies opening day payroll is going to be right around $140M. Which will put them in the top 5-6 teams in all of baseball. The Phillies have one of the best offenses in the league, and they’re paying well for it to guys like Utley, Howard, and Ibanez. Rollins, Werth, and soon Victorino, will all be paid nice sums of money. Its easy to say that Cliff Lee only makes $9M in 2010, and that the Phillies could have afforded it for one year. I made that argument elsewhere. But it simply creates the “well, we did it last year, why not this year” problem. And as much as we don’t want to believe it, the Phillies are a business, and a business is trying to make money. There are limits. The Phillies were at/over their limit.

* This trade was made in the way it was because the Phillies wanted to retain one of Lee or Halladay after 2010, and they knew they couldn’t retain Lee for anything they were comfortable with. Lee wasn’t going to take a 3 year deal with options because he had no attachment to the Phillies. Halladay, on the other hand, has a home right near the Phillies spring training complex, and he expressed his desire to play for the Phillies this summer. He wanted to be here, and the Phillies wanted him. However, if he were to play out 2010 on another team, the Phillies would have faced a bidding war with that team, plus other big spending teams like the Red Sox and Yankees, if he didn’t land on one of those teams already, and while the Phillies are in the top 5 in payroll, they can’t outspend Boston or New York. So by acquiring Halladay now, they were able to get an extension worked out.

* That extension is the best bargain in the deal for the Phillies. The Phillies, as its been noted before, are very against offering more than 3 years guaranteed to pitchers. They gave Cole Hamels three years right as he was coming off a dominant postseason and presumably entering the prime of his career. They understand the risk of long term deals, and you can browse through the 5 and 6 year contracts given to pitchers and probably count on 2 hands the number of deals that have been beneficial for the team that gave them. Pitchers get hurt, and outside of the very elite, they are subject to lots of luck/things out of their control in any given season. Again look no further than Hamels, who posted peripherals very similar to his 2008 numbers in 2009, yet saw his ERA rise dramatically, and appear to be not the same pitcher. No one really expected that. Anyway, the Halladay extension, a 3 years and 60M, will pay him less than he’d have received per year on the open market, and it keeps the deal under the 5 or 6 guaranteed years that Cliff Lee is going to want. It also contains vesting options, which the Phillies will have no problem exercising if Halladay is healthy. This represents a big win for the Phillies.

* However, thats not the whole story. One of the allures of adding Halladay was keeping Lee, and creating a three headed juggernaut in Halladay, Lee and Hamels. Of course we know this isn’t happening now. Halladay does represent an upgrade over Lee. It might not be a huge upgrade, like going from Cliff Lee to Kyle Kendrick, but its still an upgrade, and that’s not meant as a slight to Lee, we’re just talking about arguably the best pitcher in baseball over the last 5 years. Now the rotation is probably going to be Halladay – Hamels – Blanton – Happ – Moyer. That doesn’t look all that promising, to be perfectly honest. A good rotation, and two great pitchers at the top, but I think we’re going to have serious problems at 4 and 5. I see very little chance in Happ repeating his 2009. His peripherals were not good, and he was lucky on balls in play, especially with runners on base. He won’t be able to sustain an 80% strand right going forward unless he’s able to miss more bats. Still, if the Phillies make the playoffs, Halladay is a huge trump card being able to pitch on short rest.

* So back to the payroll. The Phillies are getting a reported $6M in this deal from Toronto. This covers the difference between Halladay ($15.75) and Lee ($9) in 2010. So basically they are a wash in terms of money for the 2010 season, then Halladay’s extension kicks in.

* Now the prospects. The Phillies are giving up a lot more than they are receiving in terms of prospects. I’m not a fan of Aumont, as I detailed above. I presume the Phillies will keep him in the bullpen and might even rush him to the majors in 2010, which seems like a really risky/shortsighted move. Ramirez is definitely an intriguing prospect. He’s been young for his league, he has a clean arm action/delivery, and a very good fastball. His slider is behind Drabek’s curveball, but I think the difference between those two isn’t all that huge. Ramirez has more question marks, but Drabek also has a major arm surgery. Gillies is an interesting guy. To be honest, I didn’t really see anything interesting in him when I did my preliminary research, but the more I look at the numbers and the more scouting reports I read, the more optimistic I am. I still think hes less valuable than Taylor, maybe by a wide margin, but the margin between Taylor and Gillies isn’t as wide as the margin between Drabek and Aumont. Losing D’Arnaud stings. The Phillies now basically only have 1 catching prospect in the minors, and that is Sebastian Valle. Who hasn’t succeeded at A ball yet. That’s a huge concern. Ruiz is great and all, but he turns 31 in January, and the Phillies have no real succession plan now.

* This deal has almost as many unknowns and things that don’t really make sense

A. Why did the Phillies trade Lee to Seattle for the package they did? Was there not more available for Lee from other teams? Originally, reports indicated that Seattle had guys that the Blue Jays wanted, so the Phillies would make a deal with Seattle, get prospects to send to the Blue Jays, and maybe only send one of Taylor, Brown or Drabek. Instead we dealt with Seattle and kept the prospects. Is that the best offer we could have gotten for Lee? Presumably Amaro made phone calls on this, but I just find it hard to believe.

B. If the Phillies were willing to trade Drabek and Taylor for 1 year of Halladay plus the right to negotiate with him, why weren’t they willing to trade Drabek, Taylor, Happ and Gose for him last July, get 1.5 years out of him, have the right to negotiate with him long term, and then keep Carrasco, Knapp, Donald and Marson?

C. Is Ruben Amaro terrified of the arbitration process? Last winter he appeared confused on the Jamie Moyer situation. Moyer, 46 at the time, didn’t appear to have any other team willing to give him a 2 year deal. Had the Phillies offered him arbitration, they’d have been locked in to giving him a 1 year deal worth anywhere between 6 and 10M. If a team wanted to give him 2 years and he wanted to accept, the Phillies would have received draft picks. Instead, the Phillies gave him a 2 year deal, and the second year of that deal is now valued around $8M. Think that $8M could have come in handy now? That $8M basically meant we had to sell our prospects for $6M in cash from Toronto and dump Cliff Lee for 3 prospects from Seattle. He also decided not to offer arbitration this year to Chan Ho Park. Park could have netted an offer from another team to start, and if he did choose that route, the Phillies would have received a pick. Instead, he let him go for nothing. Next winter, with Jayson Werth staring down the barrel of free agency, will Amaro choose to not offer arbitration for fear of having to pay him $13M for 1 year? When you trade away huge chunks of prospects for major league help, you need to offset those losses in the draft. The Phillies didn’t have a first round pick this year, and they didn’t flex their muscle to sign unsignable players. Grabbing Brody Colvin was nice, but they let Andrew Susac (a catcher) and Jake Stewart (a 5 tool outfielder) go to college. Those two guys would certainly have lessened the blow to the system. Will he realize this and be aggressive in the 2010 draft? I sure hope so.

* People are going to write that the deal ultimately was;

Carrasco + Knapp + Donald + Marson + Drabek + Taylor + D’Arnaud for 3 months of Cliff Lee + Ben Francisco + 4 years of Roy Halladay + Aumont + Ramirez + Gillies.

And while that is technically true, I think you have to treat this as 3 separate deals. The Cliff Lee deal was wildly celebrated, both here and all throughout Phillies fandom. Everyone thought that the deal favored the Phillies, with many calling it a steal. And looking back, it was. You can’t say the Phillies made the World Series because of Cliff Lee. You also can’t say they wouldn’t have made it without him, because baseball doesn’t work like that. But he was obviously a huge part of getting there, and once they got to the playoffs, Lee was magnificent. The deal actually ended up being

Carrasco + Knapp + Donald + Marson for 3 months of Cliff Lee + Ben Francisco + Aumont + Ramirez + Gilles.

When you look at that, the Phillies still probably come out on top. For as many faults as I believe he has, Aumont has more value than Carrasco right now. Ramirez and Knapp have similar value. Knapp has better raw stuff, but Ramirez has better mechanics/no arm surgeries. Gillies is probably more valuable than Marson and Donald right now, mainly because he’s younger and he projects to be an average regular, possibly more. Marson might still be a starting catcher in the big leagues, but he looks like a tweener right now, and Donald is a utility guy more than likely. The 3 months of Cliff Lee obviously helped the Phillies win a pennant. So there’s little room to complain. Also, the Phillies will have Francisco on relatively cheap terms for the next 4 seasons. Then you have

Drabek + Taylor + D’Arnaud for Halladay

Obviously this is the tough one to swallow. Everyone who visits here regularly understands how valuable Drabek and Taylor are, but this type of thing requires perspective. Drabek looks like a solid #2 starter, maybe even a #1 starter, and he’s probably only a year away from being ready to jump into a big league rotation. Taylor is close to MLB ready, and if Werth left in 2010, Taylor seemed like an easy replacement. But neither guy figured to be in the Phillies plans in 2010. While Drabek’s value as a prospect could still increase, especially if he dominated at AAA in 2010, Taylor’s value would begin to atrophy if he was stuck in AAA because the Phillies didn’t have room for him. It might not have happened in 2010, but if they didn’t have a spot for him in 2011, then he’d start to lose value, especially since he turns 24 in a few days. D’Arnaud, while our best catching prospect, just finished his first full season. He had a ways to go, and he wasn’t a slam dunk. Roy Halladay is a slam dunk.

And I already know what the responses will be. “Why didn’t they just wait to sign Halladay next winter, and we could have kept our prospects”…again, this is charting into the unknown. You have no idea if the Phillies could have gotten Halladay next winter. And if they couldn’t, they’d have been left without a true #1 starter, as they wouldn’t have gotten Lee or Josh Beckett (also potentially a FA) for 3 years. So the Phillies paid a price, a hefty price, to assure themselves of having at least 1 ace beyond 2010. If Drabek and Taylor go on to have all star seasons after all star seasons, the trade will always sting. But if the Phillies get back to the World Series in 2010, with Halladay winning 4 or 5 games and hoisting the trophy, all will be forgiven.

* Now we have to look forward and figure out where this leaves the organization. The current core of the big league club is in its prime and is very expensive. After 2010, they potentially lose Jayson Werth. Rollins will have his option exercised, and everyone else returns. After 2011, Ibanez, Howard and Victorino are free agents, and Hamels will need to be addressed. In fact, after that 2011 season is where things are going to get really complicated. Most of the team (sans Halladay, Lidge and Utley) will be free agents. The Phillies will need to fill a ton of roster spots, and they just got done trading most of their upper level talent in the minors. Domonic Brown is still here, and now Aumont, Gillies and Ramirez, but that’s really it. The cast of guys in shortseason ball and A ball in 2009 are going to be huge after 2011. The Phillies better have made the proper analysis of their own players here and have confidence that Gose, Cosart, May, Valle and others will be ready.

* I’m writing the top 30 prospects feature of a Phillies magazine that will come out this winter, and with this trade I’m going to have to do a bit of re-organizing. I had Drabek ranked #2, Taylor #3, and D’Arnaud #4, with Domonic Brown #1 and Trevor May #5. Looking at my list, and including the guys from Seattle, I’d say our Top 10 looks something like this

01. Brown
02. Gillies
03. May
04. Santana
05. Gose
06. Cosart
07. Colvin
08. Aumont
09. Singleton
10. Valle

Not horrible at all, but you can tell we’ve lost a ton of talent. I might be underselling Aumont in a big way, but I just don’t really like the stuff I’ve read and seen. Obviously there is upside, but I see a lot of risks and red flags, and I’m just not a fan.

Really, this whole thing kind of feels “meh”. We got Halladay, one of the best pitchers in baseball, and we have him for at least 4 years, possibly 6. Theres a ton of value there. But we also really didn’t improve our chances in 2010 by a substantial amount. The team still has holes, there are still issues, and the Braves look like a really tough team on paper. Amaro didn’t completely rape the system, because he got back 3 interesting prospects, but we lost 2 of our 3 best prospects, and none of the guys we got back have the same combination of upside, probability, and proximity to the big leagues. The Phillies assured themselves of having an ace beyond 2010 to go with Hamels, but spots 3, 4 and 5 are still big question marks.

You’re going to read lots of articles where guys put a value on draft picks and the prospects traded. Its something to consider, but its a really fluid situation. Michael Taylor might be worth, say, $7M over the next 7 years, or he might be worth $70M, or he might be worth $2M. It depends on how the Blue Jays handle his service time, and how well he produces in the majors. Same with Drabek and D’Arnaud. If these guys become stars, then they are worth a lot more. The same goes for the prospects coming to the Phillies from Seattle. If Ramirez turns into a star and has 6 productive big league seasons in the majors, he’s going to be worth $50M, at least, to the Phillies. Its impossible to call a winner and a loser in this deal right now, because the prospects represent the great unknown. So don’t get too caught up in that. You recognize the risk of trading elite prospects and those guys becoming stars. But you also acknowledge that it is, in fact, a risk.

If we’ve learned one thing, its that Ruben Amaro locks into a guy and does whatever he needs to do to get him. In this case, we are fortunate that he locked onto one of the best pitchers in baseball. He paid a hefty price, but he got the guy he wanted. Its going to be interesting to see how it plays out.

254 thoughts on “Analysis of the Roy Halladay trade

  1. I tried to leave this comment in the last thread, but by the time it was done, the thread was closed, so here it goes:

    I got a question for all you Phillippe Aumont haters out there: have you seen him pitch? If not, I suggest you watch a video before you continue to diss the best arm in the Phillies system. Even if we somehow kept Drabek, I’d rate Aumont’s stuff a tad better. I absolutely hate losing Drabek’s spike curveball, because its a dominant pitch that will likely strikeout a thousand major league batters, but Aumont’s power curve is a plus pitch, and the rest of his repertoire is clearly better. Both of his fastballs just explode through the strike zone: his mid to high 90s four seamer, rises and moves laterally, tailing away from left handed hitters and his two seamer(mid to low 90s) darts downward with heavy sink. He uses his large frame to hide the ball well, which makes him difficult to pick up.

    Phillippe Aumont is 6’7″ 230 and still physically maturing at the age of 20. By all accounts, he’s a hard worker and tough SOB, who has had nothing handed to him. He sometimes lets his emotions get the better of him, which led to him injuring his non-throwing hand when he punched a locker. His hip injury is NOT a degenerative condition as many have suggested. The Mariners moved him to the bullpen because they thought his nasty demeanor and unhittable(.177 BAA) stuff made him well suited for that role. The Phillies could leave him in the pen for now, just to fast track him to the big leagues, but make no mistake: Phillippe Aumont has top of the rotation potential.

    Come to think of it, Aumont’s body, demeanor and power repertoire resemble the other pitcher on his way to Philly. Under Doc’s tutelage, maybe Aumont can mature into another ace. The potential is there, and more importantly, he seems to have the passion for the game that cannot be taught.

  2. Penny wise and pound foolish. If $9 million is the difference between winning a world championship and not, you spend the $9 million.

  3. Aumont is not a better prospect than Drabek. He’s already been moved to the bullpen, which is where scouts think he profiles best long term. His secondary offers are behind Drabek’s, and the only thing he has is slightly more arm strength with lesser quality mechanics.

  4. Excellent breakdown, best one I have seen so far. The hardest thing to do is value another team’s prospects fairly when comparing them to guys we have become really attached to.

    The one factor that is still to be determined is if this increases the likelihood of keeping Werth longterm over Victorino. Losing Taylor (likely a RF) and gaining Gillies (likely a CF), would seem to indicate that could be the plan, but who knows.

  5. well thought out. don’t like it at all though.

    we bought high into halladay when the blue jays had their backs against the wall.

    and we sold low on cliff lee for 3 ‘average’ prospects..

  6. PP: Tremendously thorough analysis. I really wish the Phils could have found a way to avoid trading Drabek, but it looks like it just wasn’t happening.

    Aumont and Ramirez will be the keys to whether this was a wash or a good trade.

    Wondering if Jays seriously considered Happ over Drabek?

  7. One point you didn’t mention is that a major sticking point in the summer is that the Jays refused to allow teams to negotiate an extension. It’s quite possible that Amaro was willing to give up that prospect package in July if he could guarantee that extension. It’s just speculation now, obviously, but that was a big part of this deal, and I imagine it was a sticking point back then.

    As for Cliff Lee to the Mariners, it all comes down to Aumont. Seems to be a love/hate prospect, and it’s still not clear what they’re planning to do with him.

  8. Good article.

    Remember, the offseason is early. I wouldn’t be surprised if we get another starting pitcher or make a few other plays.

  9. Great analysis – hits all the financial plusses and minuses really well.

    I think I am a little more skeptical of the new prospect than you are. I actually like Aumont the best of the three even if he was babied last year. He has top end stuff and is hopefully our future closer.

    Gillies I am torn on. I think his stats are hugely inflated last year. All his power was at home. But even the .833 road OPS is inflated. Remember that he was playing in the minor league with the most offense last year. If he finished the year at Clearwater with an OPS in the .780-.800 range he would still be a good prospect, but not a top prospect. His lack of power makes me think he is more of a Bourn type and he needs to get better utilizing his speed on the bases. I love his patience. But I love Taylor’s power much more.

    Ramirez could turn out to be better than Aumont but he is not there yet. It is hard to evaluate anyone’s stats in the California league, but his peripherals did slip some even on the road. He has a big arm, but he is probably behind where Carrasco was a few years ago. Remember Carrasco is only 22. Ramirez will be 22 next year in AA.

    If I had to bet I would probably bet on Carrasco having the better major league career at this stage. He probably needs another 100 AAA innings, but he has plenty of time to still reach his #2/#3 starter ceiling.

  10. Good breakdown. I’m glad you’ve come around a bit on the Seattle prospects. I like the thought of Gillies leading off for the Phillies for most of the next decade, though of course projecting him there is premature. I have no personal opinion about Aumont, except that you seem lower on him than the consensus seems to be. Though your logic seems sound.

    My own biggest reservation about the deal is at odds with almost everyone – the extension for Halladay, though below market, is going to seriously constrain the Phillies in 2011 through 2013.

    Question – does Wallace project as being able to stay at 3rd in the majors? If so (there was a comment to the contrary in the other thread), then I kind of wish we had done that one ourselves.

  11. Fantastic analysis, easily the best I’ve read of this deal (including my own 😉 )

    When you break it down into the two trades, I feel a bit better about it all. Drabek/Taylor/D’Arnaud for Halladay is the worst of it, but even that actually seems like a fair price when you consider the below-market extension for Halladay.

    So what happened in reality isn’t too bad, especially if Aumont/Ramirez/Gillies turns out to be something better than “two relievers and a fourth OF.” And given the Phils’ recent demonstrated aptitude for getting prospects to the majors and having them turn out better, sometimes much much better, than the prospects mavens had forecast, I have some confidence this will be the case.

    What’s frustrating is that what happened seems like a sub-optimal outcome compared to the conditions as we saw them. Toronto had no leverage *at all.* Yes, other teams were interested in him, but of those he was willing to play for, the Yankees were looking to control costs and Boston just signed Lackey to a fairly hefty deal.

    It seems there was really nowhere else for him to go, and no reason for Amaro not to wait a month, find other ways to shed the excess payroll (non-tendering Blanton would have done it–and don’t even get me started on the infuriating >$2 million we’re going to shell out for Chad Durbin’s sucktacularity), and wind up keeping Lee *and* parting with a lesser prospect package. I truly believe that we could have had Halladay in mid-January for, say, Taylor, Happ and Gose, and maybe gotten a reliever back along with Halladay. Where else was he going to go in the meantime?

    Maybe this is wrong. Maybe Halladay would have accepted the trade to the Angels, and maybe Anthopoulos would have gotten enough more out of Reagins to make it worth his while. Similarly, it’s possible–though this is the part I really can’t swallow–that there was no better deal out there for Cliff Lee, one of the best starters in the game, at a super-bargain contract for 2010. We don’t know.

    But it feels like the combination of Amaro’s impatience and ownership’s multi-dimensional inflexibility concerning payroll (as in, “we won’t go over $140m, AND we need to have our budget finalized by December 31”) led to an outcome much, much worse than what we could and should be celebrating.

  12. The one part of the equation that I just can’t wrap my head around is the notion that the Phillies needed to pay a premium in prospects in order to get the “exclusive negotiating window” with Halladay.

    I think Anthopoulos was clever to frame it that way, but facts are facts: Halladay had a no-trade clause; Halladay was requiring an extension as part of any deal; of the handful of realistic suitors, most (NYY, BOS) had effectively fallen by the wayside; Anthopoulos wasn’t, under any circumstances, going to hold on to Halladay until spring training. In essence, Toronto had no leverage, and tried to create this illusion that “You get 4 years of Halladay!” was the trading chip they put on the table, but it was just that — an illusion.

    I just think Amaro fell the illusion hook, line, and sinker by agreeing to part with two Top 40 (to err on the side of caution) prospects, when he could have waited the thing out — much like the Mets did with the Twins a few years ago — and gotten a much better deal.

  13. This seems to be about Benny Looper vs. Mike Arbuckle. Ruben dumps Mike’s guys for Benny’s boys. Never forget in the Phils minor league camp last year observing Looper watching a game on Schmidt Field with him holding what appeared to be a Baseball Almanac.

  14. James, I was in the process of putting my thoughts down when your analysis popped up. Your ending was my exact post. Last point on that, Halladay will start 32 to 35 games. The Phils still have 130 or so games left and they’ll have to win 70 of those. I’m worried about a sophomore jinx from Happ and I think Moyer, at his age & injuries, won’t have any impact. Who will be there to pick up the slack? Depth has become a serious issue.

    We’ll have to start our top 30 posts all over again. Luckily, we were only on #2. I asked once if Drabek’s ceiling is as a closer, where would he be rated. The consensus was it would be a lot lower than where we rated him. We now have Schwim, Rosy and Aumont. Could these be 7th inning, 8th inning and closer? Let’s hope May, Cosart and gang can move quickly. We’ll need them soon enough.

  15. First off, awesome analysis as usual! These types of articles are what makes this the best Phils site on the web. Thanks!

    I feel pretty much the same as you, pretty luke-warm about the whole situation. I think we could of gotten more for Lee, if Morrow is in the deal instead of Aumont, I think I’d be fine with it.

    I think the price we paid for Halladay is about right, it sucks loosing 3 of our top 5, it sucks a lot, but all of the players have question marks in their own right, obviously, since they are prospects. Drabek can’t get out lefties, Taylor has had doubters at every step (whether they are warranted or not), D’Arnaud is a very long way away. Halladay is the best pitcher of the past decade, and now we have him for 4-6 years.

    Basically, what I am most pissed about is the Lee deal. Why couldn’t we have gone to Texas or Anaheim and see what we could get. Texas offered Smoak and Feliz for Josh Johnson…now I know Lee isn’t nearly as valuable as Johnson, but I think we could of gotten a Dave Holland-type prospect and/or one of their many catching specs.

  16. I will say this – if you believe (as is the consensus) that the Halladay extension is a good deal, and if you ignore speculative alternatives (maybe waitign would have led to a better deal, maybe not), and evaluate it soley as:

    (a) 4 years of Halladay versus 1 year of Lee, and

    (b) Taylor, Drabek, D’Arnaud versus Aumont, Gillies, Ramirez,

    then I think that the plus to the Phillies of “a” outweighs the negative of “b.” I mean, of course the Phillies gave up more prospects than they got – they got 4 years of a top 5 starter versu 1 year of a top 10 to 15 starter.

    Of course, the qualifier above (“if you believe”) does make the deal a question mark IMO.

  17. Great write up.

    I have to admit I didn’t know to much about Ramirez besides he is raw. Glad to see that he is a little better then I thought.

    I am actually pretty high on Aumont. He needs some adjustments and time but I think he can be a number one if everything falls in to place. The couple of times I have seen him he has had absolutely dominant stuff. He is still very young and was considered raw coming out of the draft so his struggles were to be expected. If his hip truly isn’t a problem then he should have never been moved to the pen imo.

  18. Great analysis… the best that I’ve read so far and spot on with what I’ve been saying to anyone willing to listen.

    Dissecting it as two separate deals reveals that we didn’t get as much as we could have for Cliff Lee. I believe that we went to the Mariner well because of the comfort that exists (Gillick’s old chums in Seattle always willing to lend a hand). That means, we probably didn’t exercise due diligence in shopping him around. My question to Rube would be, “What other teams were involved in discussions regarding Cliff Lee?” My guess… a fumbling answer that reveals the real answer; not many (if any).

    In my opinion, the toughest thing to swallow is the loss of Michael Taylor… in my opinioin, we might have been better off trading away Dom Brown, especially if that would have gave us some leverage to keep Drabek (maybe a combination of Brown/May). I know that Brown is the better prospect but Gillies projects a lot like Brown (strong arm, great speed, could develop power). What if Werth walks or gets hurt? Who replaces his bat? Certainly not Brown… Taylor was that guy and his power is something that we don’t have waiting on the farm.

    I like Aumont… I read an article that said that he shattered David Wright’s bat and struck out Granderson and Youkilis in order at the WBC with the bases loaded. He has a good sinking fastball and he’s a huge guy…. a potential workhorse. I would agree that it would be worthwhile to work him back into a starting role. One of May, Cosart, Aumont and/or Ramirez probably has to develop into a front-line starter over the next five years for this franchise to continue to be successful beyond 2014.

  19. I do think you need to assume that the Phillies project Aumont as a starter rather than a reliever. Rightly or wrongly, but the deal makes more sense if that is the case.

  20. I liked your writeup and I like that you looked at it as three separate as it should be….Hate to see drabek and taylor go but if it means that we can have a ace for the next 4 years I don’t mind….In that time I hope we can replenish our system…..I really hope your wrong about aumont though…I would love for him to come out in 2012 as a starter or be traded to another team for a top starting pitching prospect….we have our future 7th inning guy in SCHWIMMER…..hopefully we can retool….Brody Colvin and Ramirez to me are the biggest factors in making our system top 5 again because I believe that with this trade we have gone to top 15. If Ramirez and Colvin(who has many similarities to drabek when he came out) pan out and take hold of their potential we can be top5 once again

  21. Excellent analysis—I really enjoyed watching Taylor and he was my number one. Hopefully we keep Werth and slot Brown in for Ibanez after 2011.
    Oakland picking up Taylor for Wallace leaves them with my 2 favorite minor leaguers of recent years as he will be joining Cardenas there.
    God, I hope Halliday stays healthy and Kentucky Joe pitches well.

  22. I do agree with the friar the phillies were at a point of advantage and could have waited it out and got a better deal…can’t argue with the frair’s assessment

  23. Sid has spoken – certainly some fine, fine analysis there Sid. Can’t really argue with any of that.

    Seriously, it’s comments like that that make me want to defend Amaro, even when I have reservations of my own.

  24. Great analysis as usual. Does Aumont’s size vs. Drabek’s size mean anything to you phuturephillies? Or do you think that is kind of overrated? Thanks.

  25. Oh I certainly don’t rate Aumont as a better prospect than Drabek, but I disagree that Drabek’s ceiling is higher. Perhaps Aumont’s electric stuff comes from a non-sustainable arm slot, but remember, Doc Halladay had a similar issue in his early years. I like Aumont’s makeup and stuff more than Drabek’s, but he’s less of a sure thing. As he demonstrated in the WBC, when Aumont’s on, he seems to be unhittable, and unlike Drabek, he hasn’t any trouble retiring left-handed hitters. Drabek is almost ready to start in the MLB, while Aumont is almost ready to pitch 7th innings. However, I think Aumont will find more success in his more limited role.

    I’d stick Aumont in the ‘pen and let him learn from vets like Halladay and Moyer for a year. His power stuff is already good enough to retire MLB batters, but he needs to refine his curve and work on an offspeed pitch. Then in Spring Training 2011 I’d let him compete for a spot in the rotation. If he needs to add polish, I’d put him in AAA for a few months.

  26. Hmm, let’s see, 2012 Phillies outfield, maybe:

    Brown, Werth, Gillies.

    Obviously a lot of projection there, but that could be a very, very solid outfield (better than 2009) at a very low price (a little lower than 2009).

  27. I understand what you are saying about Aumont but anytime you get a guy who has a mid to upper nineties fastball with movement and a curve that comes in 15-20mph less he has a real good chance of suceeding in the Majors. He is a project but then again he is only 20 years old. Unless this guy has a major injury which is sounds like he could be more prone to than others I see no reason why this kid won’t be a contibutor in some form in 2011

  28. The Gillies thing is interesting. Are the Phillies down on Gose? Didn’t they just move Hewitt to centerfield? I wonder why they got another outfielder instead of trying for one of the Mariners 3rd base prospects?

  29. Larry M, the analysis is nearly unanounous the Phillies system took a step back and maybe a big step back:
    This trade brorder on real insanity. Look again:
    Given Up:
    RHP Kyle Drabek
    RHP Jason Knapp
    OF Michael Taylor
    C Travis D’Arnaud
    RHP Carlos Carrasco
    C Lou Marson
    IF Jason Donald

    RHP Roy Halladay (Plus a half year of Cliff Lee and the chance to re-sign Halladay in which they didn’t win the World Series)
    RHP Phillippe Aumont
    OF Tyson Gillies
    RHP Juan Ramirez
    OF Ben Francisco

    No Sense!

  30. On Gillies versus Taylor, while I agree that I’m value Taylor a little higher, the fact that Gillies plays CF I think makes it a lot closer than people think. I actually think Gillies has (taking position & age into account) a higher upside, albeit less of a sure thing.

    You can say something a little similar about Drabek versus Aumont – I’d take Drabek over Aumont because he more of a sure thing, but if Aumont can start his upside is higher than Drabek’s.

  31. thanks for the write up-a really nice blend of pros and cons. In sports its hard to find examples of over-paying in a trade for a super star, that is, giving too much away. I think the negative people are not putting a premium on just how good Halladay is. And I think us as fans don’t put a value on a good player (let alone a great player) who is now tied up with a contract.
    This is a minor league site, and a very enjoyable one. And the discussion over the non-Halladay/Lee personnel involved with this is interesting and fun. But, there is no guarantee about any of them and their major league success, so truly the cliche, “time will tell” applies here; you don’t know if you are trading Doyle Alexander for John Smoltz (some old school reference for you there).
    I think the starting pitching for the regular season is very solid, but pitching for the playoffs will still be a question.

  32. Great write up.

    It seems like Aumont “needs” to be a starter in Philly, who are the other options beyond 2010?

  33. let the hand wringing begin….

    here is how i look at it:

    from a major league perspective – this doesn’t do much for us this year except give us a righty-lefty combo instead of a lefty-lefty. it is not possible to do better than Lee did, so i really don’t see an upgrade. let’s put it this way, we didn’t lose to the Yankees because we needed to upgrade Lee. so i don’t think this helps the big club this year. i was really hoping that we would get a reliever included as well. but it doesn’t appear that we are getting any mlb players.

    as such, this trade is about:
    1. whether drabek, taylor and travis turn out to be better than the 3 guys we get back.
    2. is the difference worth 3-4 more years of halladay, when it seemed that we wouldn’t have those same years of Lee.

    to answer #1 above is ridiculous for anyone on this blog at this point for two reasons:
    1. we are all emotionally invested in our prospects, especially drabek whom we were sold was a star in the making and “untouchable”
    2. no one has really studied these guys to the extent that the phillies scouts have. Gillick knows the mariners farm pretty well and he has made a lot of good decisions in the past. Aumont seemed to pitch well in the baseball classic

    if you don’t want to read the article, here is the key point:

    With the bases loaded and nobody out in the seventh inning, Aumont prepared to face David Wright, Kevin Youkilis and Curtis Granderson…Aumont shattered Wright’s bat on a popout. Then he struck out Youkilis and Granderson swinging on curveballs, pumping his fist as he danced off the mound and 42,314 fans went wild.

    “A friend of mine was watching from home and said, ‘Man, that’s a filthy pitch,’ ” Granderson said. “I go, ‘Just imagine trying to hit it.’ The fact that he’s young and he’s coming right at you in that situation, I tip my hat to him.”

    so, at this point, i am willing to give amaro and gillick the benefit of the doubt and see how these kids play out. clearly aumont has some stuff and i am happy to hear that the other guys do to.

    as a fan, i am bummed to see taylor and drabek get moved. i was really excited to see them and i was/am convinced that they will be stars.

    but i do think that the big club needs to add some more to the team.

  34. The part I don’t understand is that Gillies and D. Brown both play CF and possess similar tools… Brown projects better but neither has demonstrated the ability to hit for power. Why not trade Brown and keep Taylor? Maybe even trade Brown + a pitcher not named Drabek… but we got Halladay and that’s pretty awesome.

  35. James,

    One of your best pieces. Very knowledgeable and well written.

    Here’s why I don’t like the Halladay for Drabek/Taylor/D’Arnaud portion of the trade: you have to, in my mind, look at what the Jays were trading more than what the Phils received. The Jays were trading one year of Halladay, who was forcing their hand by restricting their options. His value to them was much lower than his value to us. So I have trouble with the “we received 4 to 6 years of Halladay for our prospects” logic. We really traded our prospects for one year of Halladay, and possibly a discount on the 3 additional years.

    From Toronto’s perspective, this is a steal.

  36. Sid Bream:

    If you’re going to post the trades that way, please take Lee out of parens.

  37. Let’s not put too much stock on one good WBC inning for Aumont. Pitchers that throw in the upper 90s are often ahead of major league hitters in March. Pretty meaningless small sample size here.

    He also just came of 12 IP in the Arizona league with a 12.00 ERA. Again a relatively meaningless small sample size.

    My concern like others is that relievers have less value than starters. And his delivery seems to be the big concern with making him a reliever. He is a little like Knapp, though Knapp is still a starter at this stage.

  38. You also have to admire Amaro for the cojones it took to make this deal. It could turn out to be almost as bad as Sid says (though it would be hard to beat the Sandberg deal for worst in Phillies history). OTOH, we might get 70 wins over 4 years from Halladay, Aumont might be a #1 starter, and Gillies an AS centerfielder, while Drabek could a #2 or even 3 starter (or even a reliever) and Taylor could turn into a serviceable but non-all star major leaguer. Then it would be one of the best deals in Phillies history. I’m not predicting that by any means; my point is that there is a huge upside risk along with a huge downside risk in this deal.

    Chuck P,

    Brown doesn’t project as a centerfielder. He also is (we hope) more of a middle of the lineup person than Gillies.

    Saying we have 5 guys like Gillies, as someone else did, is silly. His numbers may have been a bit inflated (but see above for his very nice road numbers), but at this point he is miles ahead of the Phillies’s other CF prospects such as Gose.

  39. I think one thing we also have to remember when we discuss the situation with the rotation as it now stands – Halladay, HAMELS, Blanton, Happ, Moyer (Kendrick, X, Y, Z) – is that the Phillies won the World Series in 2008 with a rotation of Hamels, Myers, Moyer, Blanton, whomever they could keep healthy.

    I think we are all selling Cole very, very short here and I for one absolutely expect him to pitch in 2010 like he did in 2008 (you know…when he one the WS MVP). Throw in Halladay, Blanton (who is solid if unspectacular) and Happ (who even with a regression is still a solid 4-5) and I like our chances.

    There are so many moving parts and future unknowns but I have to give this team the benefit of the doubt at the moment.

  40. In folks’ angst to keep both Halladay and Lee, you have to remember some of the comments that Amaro has made in the past. Particularly, “If I can’t build a championship-caliber team for $140mil, than I should be fired” (parapharse). So then the idea of keeping both would make no sense to him, he doesn’t need three aces (clearly they see Hamels as a #1 or at least #1B). So what do you do when you have a surplus of a commodity? Sell. Especially if you know one of those commodities is going to lose value soon. Amaro is smart enough to realize two things:
    1) He doesn’t need Lee to get back the WS b/c Halladay and Hamels (not to mention Blaton and Happ project as solid #3 & #4) are enough. And..
    2) Lee was never going to have a higher value then now.

    This is smart, championship-type organizational move, by trading Lee now. We can quibble over the prospects, but in the end, Amaro is would not be getting anything more come the trading deadline, and he was getting zilch after the season was over.

    He has slightly strengthened an already WS team (Halladay being a slight upgrade over Lee) and added three valuable prospects to the system.

    As for what we give up to get Halladay, this too is a smart move. Four years of Halladay, for Drabek, Taylor, and D’Arnaud is a good trade. It’s unlikely that Drabek will come close to being the pitcher Halladay is, Taylor is a year or two away, and D’Arnaud to too far away to be sure of anything. Most likely scenario is Drabek and Taylor turn into solid MLB players, maybe w/ an All-Star appearance or two; but Halladay is sure-fire, consistent Hall-of-Famer at the peak of his career. It’s hard to argue with trading two future major-leaguers for a currently productive player of his caliber.

    Is it worrisome that Amaro is trading prospects for big contracts? A little, but he has not “gutted the system” by any stretch of the imagination. We have a solid group of young pitchers and outfielders, we’re lacking infield prospects, but that was the case before any of this was happening anyway. I think the genius of these moves is that Amaro is replenishing as he removes pieces — he clearly has a high regard for the importance of keeping the minors stocked.

    These aggressive moves are to be lauded, they show initiative, not folly; boldness, not short-sightedness. We should be excited to have such a GM. He can’t know the future, but he is not content keeping the status quo. How many other GM’s would even have the cahones to try and improve their WS team in this way — probably none; most would be content to sit on their laurels and then wonder why in two years their teams are mediocre (see, Mets). Be happy people, Amaro is always thinking ahead.

    (Now I wish he’d thought ahead with the Moyer deal, but no GM is perfect).

  41. Re: Saying we have 5 guys like Gillies, as someone else did, is silly. His numbers may have been a bit inflated (but see above for his very nice road numbers), but at this point he is miles ahead of the Phillies’s other CF prospects such as Gose.

    I disagree. Gose is 2 years younger than Gillies and only 1 level behind. Both have speed. I have to think Gose has the better arm and we know that his defense is highly thought of. Scouts have also been higher on Gose’s power potential than what I am reading about Gillies.

    This does not mean I dislike Gilles. I just think he has no power and his offense (even his road stats) are inflated by the league he plays in. The two prospects are close, but I would rank Gose slightly ahead at this stage. While Gillies clearly has more patience, Gose’s age and other plusses make him rank higher in my book.

    I may have said something to the effect that we have five of Gillies. The comment was much more about us having lots of toolsy OF. Not just Gose. Guys like Collier, Hudson, Dugan, Altherr, Hewitt etc. I would have rather had a power prospect or an infield prospect from the Mariners than another Juan Pierre type.

  42. This is how I look at it. (And I am always shocked by the numbers of visitors here you guys rule.)

    1. Aumont can hopefully be our future closer/late inning dominant relief. That is a very important piece we can never get solidified.

    2. D’Arnaud hurts. What are the Phillies thinking with catchers? Hopefully the guy behind him is solid. Ruiz should be there for at least four years.

    3. I expect Werth and Victorino to stay with the team, unlike everyone else, so Taylor wouldn’t have had any room with Brown in LF.


    4. Why didn’t we trade for BOTH Lee and Halladay and win the World Series?

    5. How fast can we restock our farm system?

    6. What on EARTH is our rotation going to look like? We’re in such bad shape it’s not funny. I don’t consider a four man rotation “good”.

  43. “He doesn’t need Lee to get back the WS.”

    But he needed him to win it. There are no guarantees of course, but with the DH disadvantage, the Phillies need to beat a Yankee or Red Sox team with pitching. Having Halladay and Lee available to pitch in, at least, four of the games in a seven-game series would have made the Phillies clear favorites against either of the teams.

  44. @JeffS. But that’s just it — Amaro doesn’t need Lee to win the WS. With the acquisition of Halladay, he needs Hamels and Lidge to do that. Therefore, Lee is a surplus and its better to sell now then later.

    It’s also interesting to note that the Lee end of this deal is developing slower than Halladay. My best guess is that now that Amaro doesn’t have to include any Seattle prospects in the Halladay deal, Amaro’s slowing down and trying maximize value.

  45. andyb,

    All of that is reasonable, and maybe even ultimately right, but I think it misses a significant point: all the guys in your list have significant questions as to the hit tool. That really isn’t true with Gillies.

    Gose versus Gillies, yes, Gose has an edge in some metrics, age, defense probably, but he still hasn’t really proven he can hit, though there are encouraging signs. Gillies has. And as for “Gillies clearly has more patience,” well, I put a ton of weight on that. And that is ultimately why I don’t see him as a “Juan Pierre type,” AT ALL. He could be Juan Pierre with an extra 50 BB per year. And if so (not a sure thing by any means) he will be a perennial All Star.

  46. I respect the gamble Amaro made… a lot is now riding on Halladay’s health, Cole Hamels confidence, and more relevant to this site.. Happ and Brown. Happ and Brown better ascend for Amaro’s sake.

    For me to feel really good about the deal, one or two of the three prospects the Phils received better turn out to be above average MLB players… otherwise we gave up too much.

    I am slightly confused why there was no middle infield prospect taken back… clearly premium was put on pitching.

    I fundamentally agree with PP’s point that a move such as this feels a lot better if the Phillies start getting a lot more active in buying high ceiling prospects. I understand the Phillies are not the Yankees; but in order to compete with the Yankees and Sox of the world; you better find the next generation of Utley, Howard, Rollins, Hamels today and let them learn and grow; and that takes taking more risk in the draft; or better scouting…

  47. Larry – I just think that Gillies has work to do also to prove he can hit at higher levels. High Desert probably adds at least .150 to the OPS of any player out there. Maybe even more. Take that away and he is a nice player, but still one that needs to prove he can hit at higher levels. If he does not show any power at higher levels he might lose some OBP because pitchers are not afraid of them.

    I do realize that Gose is still really, really raw and definitely could flame out if he does not control the strike zone. I just think Gillies is just as risky. They are very close as prospects. I am putting a little more stock in raw tools – that is all.

  48. Great analysis James, fair and neutral. There’s no question that Halladay is better than Lee. That’s just a fact and to get Doc extended for less than what Lee will probably get is really key to understanding this deal. Its also important to understand that Toronto basically bought D’Arnaud for the $6M. (In a trade, its usually money or a player and in this case, D’Arnaud was added to get the money back the Phillies had to save in order to still have money to add a relief pitcher and a hopefully another starter – they can’t rely on Moyer and Kendrick will likely take Condrey’s spot). That means the Phils traded Drabek and Taylor for the best pitcher in baseball and I can see that. Its important to realize that the Toronto writer is saying this was a terrible trade for them because they didn’t get enough, he really wanted Aumont. I would feel much better about the Lee deal if Aumont was still starting and had thrown more innings with success. With all the outfielders the Phils have, none of them have any power except for Brown, who will hopefully add more power next year. That says to me that the Phils need to extend Werth to keep his power bat. Victorino could be replaced by Gose and/or Gilles in two years and Brown will take Ibanez’s spot at some point but they have no replacement for Werth. To me Werth was the missing piece that pushed the team over the top with his all around play and determination and is too valuable to let walk. If Gilles hits this year at Reading, that would be key but he’s a leadoff type like Gose and not a run producer. By the way, to the people saying this doesn’t put us over the top, I’m confused. The two time NL champs just added the best pitcher in baseball at the expense of a top 15 pitcher and that is certainly improvement. I am worried though that Drabek provided insurance for mid season 2010 and the team now absolutely needs to sign another #4/5 starter.

  49. Great stuff, thanks!

    First I want to congratulate the Phillies front office for all their hard work. This is could be the biggest trade in Phillies history, not one for the faint of heart. It’s the kind of deal we used to see other franchises make, not the Phillies. That alone is encouraging.

    Roy Halladay is the best ace in baseball. No matter what else happens with the prospects involved it is a major accomplishment to land him and sign him to an extension at a discount. He’s a proven talent, he’s right-handed, he’s hungry and wants to win a WS in a Phillies uniform. It doesn’t get any better.

    Meanwhile, losing Cliff Lee takes a lot of the wind out of the sails of this deal. Sure, it isn’t my money, but 9MM for Lee to stay one more year plus compensation picks when he leaves would have been a bargain. A Big Three of Halladay, Lee and Hamels would have made another WS trip MUCH more likely than without Lee.

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t see anything besides Lee’s 9MM which prevented the Phillies from having their cake and eating it too.

    There are two ways to look at payroll: one, what is the total; and two, is there a way to validate the money you’ve already spent by adding salary to land an ace? In other words, is there an additional amount you can spend on a starting pitcher which will elevate the entire team to another level? The 9MM for Lee would have done that. In today’s market, an ace like Lee is worth about 20MM, so the choice to trade him was based on overall payroll and NOT the marginal bang-for-your-buck dollars Lee represented. In that light it’s a bit tough to swallow. There’s no other player out there for that money who would have elevated the Phillies chances more. Not all 9MM of payroll is created equal.

    Personally, I would have kept Lee untouchable and made adjustments elsewhere. But without being in the war room it’s not clear what was or wasn’t possible. If it really came down to Halladay or Lee, the Phillies made the right move.

    Finally, I think Michael Taylor is the guy we will miss most among the prospects. Though I rated Drabek our #1 because he’s a starting pitcher, I have faint reservations about his make-up, not to mention his splits against left-handers. Overall I’m high on him, just not quite as high as others. Meanwhile, Taylor would have been ready to take over for Werth after next season. I rated him higher than Brown, although I love that Brown is a lefty since he’ll match up better against league opposition. That alone might make him more valuable over time.

    No one can really predict which prospects among those traded will flourish. Considering we landed Halladay I don’t mind seeing them go. I welcome the new names, too, but I don’t see them offsetting the loss of Lee.

    The main goal of a GM should be to assemble a Big Three in the rotation. These days, in total dollars you’re looking at about 50MM to do it, hopefully less if one of them is homegrown like Hamels. The Phillies were in a position to have the best Big Three in the game for much less than 50MM, so I’m a bit disappointed they couldn’t make it happen. Still, they will contend and probably make the playoffs again. A lot will depend on another starter emerging as a valid third of a Big Three. I just don’t see who that could be. Against elite teams, that 3rd starter will be the tipping point and not having a true Big Three could cost the Phillies dearly.

  50. andyb,

    As I said, you may be right. Certainly you areright IF High Desert really adds that much to OPS. I would just tend to think that that wouldn’t be the case with a hitter of Gillies profile – if nothing else, the BB seem unlikely to be (much) related to the league/park. But we’re quibilling; both Gose and Gillies have a lot to prove yet.

    What’s kind of interesting to me is that hitters of Gillies profile (if he is for real) – high average, high BB, good speed, low power – used to be, if not common, at least not rare. Is there anyone in ML baseball right now who fits that profile? Chone Figgins I guess would come closest. Not too many, though. I think that kind of hitter (again, if he develops that way, not a sure thing at all) can be very valuable, probably more valuable than can be captured by most of the metrics that we use.

  51. The Moyer deal is definitely hurting us now. I agree with PP that Amaro’s arbitration decisions seem poor. I won’t go through them but Moyer, Park, Condrey (he chose Durbin instead for another $1M?) were dumb. His deals with Hamels, Howard, Werth and Madson however were excellent.
    Next year’s free agency arbitration could have been very interesting with Lee, Werth, Blanton all possible A level and due major paydays. Do you arbitrate all of them and hope they do not accept to get the draft picks when you already have a salary crunch? Plus, depending on who drafts them you might be looking at 2nd and 3rd Rd choices for those guys.

  52. “probably more valuable than can be captured by most of the metrics that we use.”

    To expand upon on that theme – a long, long, time ago, Bill James did a lineup substitution study – ran around 1,000 simulated seasons – of Willie Mays and Rickey Henderson, as I recall. Mays, of course, grades out as better by just about any conventional metric, as good as Henderson was. But the study resulted in the Henderson lineups scoring MORE runs than the same lineups with Mays. Or at least that’s my best recollection; it was something like 20 years ago.

    Not that Gillies will be Henderson; that’s almost as crazy as suggesting that Taylor will be as good as Winfield. 😉

  53. Though I value Taylor as a prospect he was not in a good spot in Philadelphia. I think he will be a good player, probably slightly above avg RF: .300, 20HR 15SB. However, Werth is locked in for 2010, Francisco and Mayberry are also available. By 2011 Brown should be ready and Franciso and Mayberry should still be around.

    However, getting another OF prospect makes no sense. Expecially since Taylor is going to be traded for Brett Wallace. I would love that deal for Phillies (though most people think Wallace is a poor 3B and will have to move to 1B.) Wallace would actually be able to play some 3B and 1B on the Phillies with Polanco giving Utley some days off.

    My big question is will Happ or Drabek have a better career? Drabek has obvious potential and I think Happ probably had the best year he will ever have but Happ now has a Major League resume (of course so did Kendrick).

  54. What I don’t understand is if money was such an issue why didn’t we keep Lee and non tender either Joe Blanton or Jamie Moyer? Their salaries are comparable to Lee’s 9 million. That way we could’ve had Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Happ, Kendrick. The trade wasn’t a three team deal but two separate deals. We weren’t required to trade Lee at all. I understand Amaro wanted prospects in return to help negate the Halladay deal but if Lee walks we get 2 draft picks in return.

  55. @Mark W:
    You can’t non-tender a player that is under contract for next year. Non-tendering means not offering a contract. Moyer already has a contract. Honestly, I think his behavior throughout this offseason has been somewhat selfish.

    This injury could end his career, but we’re going to be paying him this year anyway.

  56. Larry – The team OPS for High Desert was .854. California League was .758. Florida State League (.684) and South Atlantic League (.692) are much lower.

    When a team/league plays in such an offensive environment pitchers tend to nibble. A slap hitter like Gillies can benefit as much as a power hitter. Gillies hit 8 HR at home and 1 HR on the road. And the road is playing in a better offensive environment than the Phillies’ 2 A leagues.

    On the other side of the coin I would say that OBP is more important than SLG. So Gillies has some major plusses. I hope he develops some power. Seems like a great kid from everything I have read about him personally.

  57. lets hope the phils liked what they saw in chapman today and can add a quality arm that needs seasoning to the minors

  58. mark W,

    they are stuck with Moyer’s salary like it or not.

    Regarding Blanton you may have a point, though again I think you are underestimating the value of the prospects from Seattle.

    And there was also a timing issue there, which most people are ignoring. The deadline on making a decision on tendering players was yesterday, before the Halladay deal was done – and Blanton was tendered. Sure, the Phillies could have non-tendered him – but they would have ended up with egg on their faces if they did that and then were unable to do the Halladay deal.

  59. I am happy that we have Halladay. I think we could have given up a LOT less to get him.

    I see no need to have traded Lee. As others have stated – a combination of Blanton and Durbin would have shed the payroll.

    Ruben got hosed.

    Had he not done such a great job on the Lee trade with the Indians this would be a complete catastrophe.

  60. I would have liked this deal much better if Susac and Jake Stewart were signed last summer.

    After this deal, the Phillies need to do a better job of drafting more players like Colvin, Susac, and Stewart…and going forward they need to make sure they sign ALL of them even if at overslot deals. It is the only chance they have at restocking the farm system in a reasonable amount of time.

  61. Thank you for the analysis – nice work.

    My understanding is that Knapp left here with a smoother/better delivery than the one he had on draft day. If so, then maybe the Phillies have the capability to work with Aumont and perhaps give him a chance to start again. His stuff sounds like Knapp’s (and May’s).

    We extended Halladay before committing to this trade. That is worth something and is part of this trade equation (wasn’t part of the deadline deal equation which increased the risk), but I do not know how to quantify it.

    Maybe D’Arnaud being included in the deal lends credence to the rumors of the Phillies signing that catcher from Latin America. If so, losing D’Arnaud doesn’t kill me.

  62. Which would you prefer? A or B.

    One more year of Lee.
    Two 1st round Picks after 2010 season for Lee.
    Prospects we could get for Blanton.
    One more year of Blanton
    Aumont, Gillies, Ramirez

  63. “Honestly, I think his behavior throughout this offseason has been somewhat selfish”

    Yeah, infections from surgery are definitely selfish. He’s the Paris Hilton of the Phillies.

  64. Why didn’t we just trade Michael Taylor for Brett Wallace? We could have played him at 3B. Then we could have saved the money on Polanco. At that point you can trade for Halladay (using Domanik Brown in place of Taylor). Doing so probably allows you to substitute Happ for Drabek. Oh and by the way, you can also afford to keep Cliff Lee.

  65. “Prospects we could get for Blanton”

    If media reports are to be believed, they weren’t offered much if anything for Blanton.

    And you are ignoring the fact that Blanton will likely net them a (single) first round pick if they don’t trade him.

    Not sure I disagree with your bottom line, though. I just don’t think it’s as big a no brainer as many people around here think.

  66. I’m trying not to hate the deal, but its tough. I was higher on Taylor’s actual production than Brown’s potential. I don’t like giving up power arms or power bats.

    That being said, we got the best pitcher in baseball, two power arms and a potential Victorino replacement in Gillies. Maybe thats what they were thinking- keep Werth and let Vic walk. They most likely can’t afford to keep both, especially since Middleton loves Howard and probably wants to keep him. Gose won’t be ready in time, but maybe Gillies will?

    They obviously have a lot of outfield prospects, so resigning Werth would make Taylor expendable. Maybe they were blown away by Santana’s power potential? Perhaps Gillick convinced Ruben that Aumont+Ramirez > Drabek. That might be the case, if both can be in the rotation.

  67. Larry, I wasn’t sure if Blanton would be a type B free agent, but I guess he would be. I was surprised that there weren’t any takers for Blanton.

  68. @Bedrosian’s Beard: Do you honestly think that’s what I meant? You people kill me. It’s the front office’s fault, but Jamie railroaded Rube into two years because he was a World Series hero. Infection or no infection, it’s clear that he won’t be helping the team this year, and he’s always been a team-first guy. He’ll make a great pitching coach somewhere, I just wish he’d go ahead and do it, but he’s determined to make it to 50.

    Obviously he’s a class act and I wish him all the best in his recovery.

  69. The bottom line with the Halladay deal is that I’ll take the No.1 pitcher in the game for 4-5 seasons in exchange for Drabek, Taylor and D’Arnaud.

    It’s a total bird in hand theory. If Drabek pans out perfectly (and I mean PERFECTLY), he wouldn’t likely give the Phillies the same production as a healthy. He’s not a dominant guy that is a top of the line starter. That guy doesn’t exist in our system IMO right now, so we went out and got a guy that WILL be that that guy if he stays healthy.

    Taylor is a loss for sure, but every good trade should sting a little. You simply cannot get a guy like Halladay for a bag of balls.

    As a guy who owns a fairly successful business, I found a lot of value in being able to lock up Halladay exclusively at a very good price.

    If you trust the scouts in the organization (and I do), we’ll re-stock the system. I’ll take all-stars over possible all-stars every day of the week.

  70. Ketch,

    I trust the scouts. I am just not sure I trust the Rube yet to pay the money it takes to sign guys overslot. Susac and Stewart got away this year, and Colvin almost got away. That is even less comforting now that Taylor, Drabek, and D’Arnaud will be gone.

  71. “@Bedrosian’s Beard: Do you honestly think that’s what I meant? You people kill me. It’s the front office’s fault, but Jamie railroaded Rube into two years because he was a World Series hero. Infection or no infection, it’s clear that he won’t be helping the team this year, and he’s always been a team-first guy. He’ll make a great pitching coach somewhere, I just wish he’d go ahead and do it, but he’s determined to make it to 50.”

    I do have my doubts about Moyer’s return this year and would like them to consider a buy out, but it isn’t clear that he won’t be helping this team this year.

  72. i think halladay will help hamels because now there will be a right handed pitcher before on most starts which can throw off some hamels

  73. As a Jays fan i was happy to find this site, the article was well done. Some people think the Jays would’ve traded Halladay no matter what before the season started but that’s not true. Without incentive to trade Roy the Jays would have let him play the season and then gone to arbitration and recieved the 2 first round draft picks. It’s unlikely Philly would have signed him as a free agent after this season. The best part of this for Philly is that Halladay wants to play for you guys and Lee doesn’t care who he plays for.

  74. Signing Alfaro softens the hit we take for losing D’Arnaud. Even though he’s 16, D’Arnaud was a good 4 years away.

    We have a ton of outfielders, but none, besides maybe Domonic Brown, are close to contributing. For that reason, I can’t imagine not re-signing Werth unless Brown finds his power stroke in Lehigh Valley this season.

    Any word on whether the Phils will keep Aumont in the bullpen?

  75. Signing Alfaro would be nice, but if the price is $1.3 million it is a huge risk. And he would be 6 years away, if not more. Susac from last year’s draft would have cost less and would have been 2 years older/closer.

  76. Something interesting to consider. xFIP is like DICE, in that it attempts to remove the defense from the equation, and it also corrects for anomalies in HR/Fly ball, which can greatly impact raw ERA. xFIP is considered more predictive of future performance than regular FIP. In 2009

    Halladay; 3.05
    Lee; 3.69
    Blanton; 4.07

    If you look at Halladay and Lee in that light, Halladay is more than a very minor upgrade.

  77. My take on the winners and losers in these deals:

    Winner: Roy Halladay. He finally gets to pitch for a winning team that should contend for a title as long as Utley, Rollins, Howard and Werth (et al) are still productive.

    Winners: Phillies’ ownership. Budgets are set for a reason and if two straight winning seasons with high attendance (very near capacity) doesn’t provide you with an increased budget then they probably are maxed out on 140M payroll.
    (Adding $3 to every ticket only brings in 9.7M based on 40,000 seats x 81 games. About what Lee would have cost)

    Winners: Phillies fans’ wallets. Higher payrolls = higher prices.
    Winners: Any traded prospect who finds his path to the big show expedited.( I’m thinking about you Michael Taylor.)

    Losers: Potentially the Mariners if they can’t re-sign Cliff Lee.
    Loser: Potentially Ruben Amaro if Drabek, Taylor and d’Arnaud prove to be All -Star players in the next decade and none of our new prospects pan out.

    As it stands now the Phillies are winners but when final judgement is rendered the Jays will have gotten the better end of the deal if Drabek turns out to be the real deal.

    Any way you slice it it’s a high risk deal for all three teams.

  78. Thank you for this post. By far the most informing thing I’ve read so far on the topic. I’m happy to see Halladay in red and white, but if this was really just two separate trades, there had to be better prospects available than the three we got. If only Adam Jones was still in the Mariner’s farm system…

  79. I still don’t know if I believe the rumored deal. I think the Mariners are getting Lee for entirely too cheap. Something is missing in the deal (relief pitching maybe), and I really don’t think Amaro is this stupid.

    Plus ESPN has this: “The status of the other portions of a companion deal that would include the Seattle Mariners, however, is still uncertain at this point.”

    I don’t know, something just doesn’t seem right about this whole deal. We are taking on way too much risk with the new prospects.

  80. Blues – From Martino’s Twitter – Contrary to a report, J.A. Happ did not take a physical yesterday, according to source with direct knowledge of situation.

  81. Maybe I’m just compensating for my shock at the return they got for Cliff Lee, but ESPN is rather pointedly saying that there’s no indication that that deal is done:

    “The status of the other portions of a companion deal that would include the Seattle Mariners, however, is still uncertain at this point.”

    Really, the only confirmation of the names we have in the Ms deal has come out of a flurry of reports from late last night. Is it possible that another suitor (the Angels perhaps?) that lost out on Halladay is stepping in with a better offer? Just asking. Again, I find it difficult to believe that Amaro would trade his major prize of last season, who is signed to a relatively affordable $9 million contract, without getting back a rather hefty package. Unlike Cleveland last year, he is not facing a trade deadline and though he says he has to cut payroll, he does have other ways he can do that. It’s a long offseason.

    Wishful thinking, maybe….

  82. If the kid is walking 10-12% of the time, he’s a prospect. gillies, seems like a phuture centerfielder. so does gose, but gilles seems like a better hitter already. so, what i think we are really shping up for is a 2012 outfield of
    left brown, center gose/gilles, right gose/gilles. crazy defensive outfield, very very fast, with some decent power. amount could be a closer, or he could bust. J.C. probably is our number three behind halladay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and Hamels. Happ 4th, some guy 5th. you never know though.

  83. According to a commenter on Beerleaguer, who has been right about about a fair amount, Amaro is still working with the M’s on increasing their part of the offer. Take with a grain of salt.

  84. Heh, great minds think alike Andrew.

    I’m with you, there is no reason why Amaro shouldn’t be shopping Lee around, Texas and Anaheim should have something to say about the Mariners trading risky, B-Level prospects for a legit Ace. It just doesn’t make sense.

  85. Well written piece. Great analysis.

    The debate on whether this was a horrible or great move should not be made right now; we don’t know what could happen. What would we do know is that our rotation now looks like:

    (1) Halladay
    (2) Hamels
    (3) Blanton
    (4) Happ
    (5) Moyer

    I like the top end of the rotation with Halladay, Hamels, and Blanton, it might wind up being one of the best in the National League, but how about our back end? Jamie Moyer is 47 years old and I don’t know if a 5.00 ERA will get the job done. Who knows if he’ll get all the run support he did.

    Personally, I like J.A. Happ. He got treated like trash being moved back in forth from AAA and the majors. Then, being thrown into the bullpen after the arrival of Chan Ho Park. He had a great season to say the least as a starter, but can he have an equivalent season this year?

    I’m glad that Ruben got prospects in return for Lee, but can they replace Drabek, Taylor, and D’Arnaud?

    All these questions will be answered in the dog days of summer, in the middle of the season. Not now in December.

  86. The post is great. Thank you –

    I still can’t believe that if we really offered Cliff Lee an extension which was “market value ($20-$22 mil/yr for 3 years past 2010?)” he would have dismissed it in the manner that is currently being so widely reported. I just don’t believe it. For a guy who so obviously wants to win as bad as he does?Could the $$ gap between the Phils and him have been that great for an extension? I guess we’ll never know.

    Lastly, would this team really let a bad Moyer contract for another year keep them from adding both Lee and Halladay ? That hurts if its true.

  87. Someone tell me how the team is stronger in ’10 or ’11. No probable star backup outfield. No probable star backup starter. No backup catcher at all. I luv Raul but he couldn’t finish a season last year. Its back to the same ole Phils shooting themselves in the foot (or feet) in the winter.
    But they DID show Lee and his agent who is boss.

  88. Maybe they already have gone to the other teams, but I refuse to believe that those 3 prospects were the best offer we could find for Lee. There have been so many rumored deals out there, that I won’t believe anything until Amaro announces it. Even ESPN has “as of Tuesday morning” we are getting Aumont and Gillies, then from another source that we are getting Ramirez as a third prospect.

    I guess I just have a “hunch”…hopefully it’s the same kind of “hunch” Ken Rosenthal had over the weekend.

  89. nowheels just wait til Halladay pitches, Dom Brown will be better than Taylor next year, and we didn’t have a backup catcher last week either (D’arnaud is 3 years away). You get the BEST RHP in baseball for 5 years at a premium price.

  90. Don’t forget about Francisco in terms of outfield depth. Chances are Taylor was not going to see much action in 2010. Where this deal hurts most for this year is not having Drabek as a wildcard to fill a hole in the rotation mid- to late-season.


    I am very disappointed to see Taylor go; I may be wrong but I believe that he will have a better major league career than any of the prospects involved in this trade.

  92. As usual, I enjoyed reading James’ thorough and thoughtful analysis and as usual I agree with some but not all of it. I like the Halladay deal, but not the Lee deal. I don’t understand the Lee deal. I would have preferred the Phillies keep him for 1-year at $9 million, then let him walk and get 2 high draft picks for him. Is a full year of Lee at a bargain salary and those 2 draft picks worth the 3 prospects we got? If the Phillies couldn’t afford his salary, why not trade Ibanez? Francisco/Taylor/Dobbs/Gload in left would be a downgrade, but not as big a downgrade as Moyer/Kendrick versus Lee.

    Getting Halladay, one of the top 5 pitchers in baseball now and for the foreseeable future, for up to 6 years for 3 prospects makes a lot of sense. Drabek, Taylor, and D’Arnaud may all have good upside potential, but they also all have downside potential. Right now I think Taylor is the surest thing. He is about as good a hitter as Ben Francisco, not as good a fielder, but younger and still improving. Drabek still needs to prove to me that he can stay healthy for a full year, besides proving he can get major league hitters out. All pitchers scare me, but Halladay is about the surest one out there.

    By the way, I like Happ better than Drabek because of his demeanor, experience, durability, and track record. I voted for him as the Phils #2 prospect last year, saying he could wind up as their #2 starter last year. And, I still like Kendrick, for many of the same reasons I like Happ. Kendrick can turn out to be better than Happ if he can maintain the good change up he learned last year. Like last year, I’m intrigued with Bastardo, but worried about his durability. I think he will be competing with Aumont, Matheison, Rosenberg, and Schwimmer, for spots in the Phillies bullpen over the next few seasons. In 2012 I would not be surprised to see a big league rotation of Halladay, Hamels, Happ, Kendrick and any one of the many other minor leaguers we are talking about who now in the system.

  93. It is absurd to think the prospects we are getting in return are anywhere near as good as the prospects we gave up…Toronto did not want any of them over what we are offering, so obviously a downgrade at every position acquired. Taylor not only was MLB ready, but extremely articulate, great with the fans in Reading, and did not seem to possess the massive ego of today’s athletes. I hope Dom Brown turns into what everyone thinks he can be, just remember, his agent is SCOTT BORAS, so if he develops into a Major League Player in Philadelphia, he will star in NY, BOS, or LA, whoever is the highest bidder.

  94. For the record let me say that I am thrilled to have Halladay for 4 or 5 years more than having Cliff Lee for only 1 more year.

    What upsets me is this notion that we couldn’t have fit both of them into our $140 million budget.

    I don’t mind the prospects we traded to get Halladay.

    I hate the fact that we gave Blanton $7.5 million and Durbin $2.5 million in arbitration. I hate the fact that Jamie Moyer at age 45 was given a 2 year contract and costs us $8 million this year.

    If Senior Smug knows he’s going to go hard after Halladay and that to fit him in our budget it’s going to mean we have to deal Cliff Lee’s $9 million salary then why sign Blanton and Durbin up for 1 year at $10 million?

    When Blanton and Durbin are gone at the end of the year like Cliff Lee would have been we won’t get a pair of first round picks for them like we would have for Cliff Lee.

    Keeping Cliff Lee and not offering Blanton/Durbin arbitration would have actually saved us $1 million this year, netted us a pair of first round picks when Cliff Lee leaves after 2010 and it would have ensured that our top 4 pitchers in the rotation were Halladay/Lee/Hamels/Happ.

    That’s a rotation that guarantees a playoff spot, likely homefield advantage throughout the playoffs and a very high probability of a World Series Championship in 2010.

    We are definitely marginally better in 2010 and better in 2011-2013 because of what’s transpired; however, I believe we could have been 2010 WFC’s and just as good with a Halladay extension in 2011-2013 if The Rube had kept Cliff Lee for one year and not offered Blanton/Durbin $10 million in arbitration.

    Senor Smug definitely messed this thing up. We got Halladay and I’m left feeling like I just got sucker punched in the gut…

  95. Hamels will be gone to the highest bidder when he is eligible in 2 years…he complained about his contract and the system a year into his career…howard has broken every contract record up until this point and it took a hell of alot of money to buy out his arbitration years, but no more…Utley was locked up before his career took off to the extent it is now, and with the way he plays the game, a wise move to protect against injury…and rollins will not re-sign here, and was close to being traded, or working his way out of town on national tv 2 years ago, while fighting with his manager…SCOTT BORAS will ride him to free agency, all I am stating…right???

  96. “I’m sure everyone already has their mind made up, so you can probably skip over my analysis and just post your “We got Halladay, who cares what we gave up” or “This is the worst trade ever” comments and then sit back and watch the reaction.” – what is that about? I knew I wasn’t going to make up my mind until I read the write up here. It was an interesting write up, and helped me realize something about the trade I hadn’t before.

    I also wonder what’s up with Amaro and arbitration. Do we know who put together the losing package in the Ryan Howard case? I’m wondering if he had a hand in that, or the experience led to him have a distaste for the process… I don’t know but it really seems odd. To this day I can’t understand the 2 yr Moyer contract.

    As far as Halladay having efficient innings: 2nd in IP, 17th in pitches thrown last year. Way less than some other really good pitchers. Remarkable.

  97. phils got robbed on the lee trade. they need to restock the farm and either need some higher quality prospects or more B level prospects. i dont understand why they are not putting lee out there on the public trading block. at the very least you can squeeze another prospect out of the mariners or get a higher quality prospect. i just dont feel comfortable blowing up the top of our farm system like we have done

  98. 1. There are a couple of ways to view the trade. First, we have to accept that the Phillies pretty much raped the Indians in the trade for Lee. When we found ourselves in late July, we were just hoping to keep one or two of our prized kids and when they pulled Lee for a bag of balls and a used jock strap, we nearly shits our pants with glee because none of the parts that were given up were considered cornerstone pieces. They still aren’t.

    2. Just because the Indians were willing to pull their skirt up on the first date doesn’t mean that the asking price for a guy like Halladay shouldn’t/wouldn’t include a couple of key cornerstones. The odds of Drabek and Taylor both becoming stars is unlikely when you consider all of the factors that will be in play for both. The trade for Halladay wasn’t a bad one, but it stings because we gave up a few cornerstone pieces. Well, that’s what it takes to lock up a HOF ace for 4-5 years.

    3. If nothing else changes in the Seattle trade, I still prefer the prospects we’re getting back from them over the exchange with the Indians. JMO.

  99. Overall, I’m ok with the deal, but I don’t understand why they couldn’t just hold onto Lee and Halladay, even if does put them a bit over budget. Even if they found no takers for Blanton at the moment, I find it hard to believe that would not have been able to move him before the season starts. There are much worse pitchers than Joe Blanton getting paid more than he will be this year, and to have another year of Cliff Lee at $9 million is ridiculous. It’s a no-brainer.

  100. The Moyer deal is revised thinking after the fact. When he had a couple of key wins down the stretch for us last season at key moments, few were complaining about the two-year deal he received.

    In fact, five months ago a lot of people were speaking about that deal like Philly got quite the bargain. He certainly did help us in 2008 at a fair asking price.

    It’s easy to sit here today and complain about it given the circumstances, but the feeling on Moyer was different several months ago.

  101. I just interviewed Will Carroll on my show here in Austin. There didn’t seem to be a lot of downside to the deal as far as he could see it.

    Having Halladay on your end of the trade makes it a winner. Period.

    Now let’s just hope he stays healthy for the next 140 starts.

  102. There was plenty of worry about the Moyer deal at the time. The Phillies held all the cards by being able to offer him arbitration. They tore up the cards and then bent over for a guy who had no leverage in the situation.

  103. Exactly, $9million over budget and 1 1st rd pick and 2 supplemental picks if we cannot sign Lee or Blanton is a much better business move than trading for prospects who cannot help in the event of an injury.
    is a fantastic line-up for 1 more run at the world series in 2010 with the current core
    With the projected rotation of Halladay, hamels, blanton, happ, and moyer/kendrick…how confident are you in our minor league system if one or more goes down with an injury…how absurd is the notion that we may be looking to trade for pitching help near the deadline when we could have the best starting 5 in ALL of baseball with moyer/kendrick/carpenter/worley etc. waiting in the wings for a spot start or injury fill in if necessary.
    Love the Halladay trade and signing, understand sacrifices are necessary…but the rumored Lee deal can not be justified regardless of how it is trying to be spun.

  104. Including Rollins’ option, we have $109 million committed to 10 players in 2011…and we’ll have several major holes to fill as well as at least 10 roster spots. Vic, Ruiz, KK and Dobbs will be arbitration eligible. I have to assume Dobbs will be non-tendered. Luckily Happ will still be a cheap piece…but the rest (2 starters, a starting RF and several bench/bullpen pieces) will need to be acquired and we will have very very little money to do it.

  105. That’s just it. They could have kept Lee and only been $2 million over budget by unloading Blanton. There is no way that between now and the start of the season some pitching-needy team wouldn’t have taken Blanton. I don’t understand why Lee had to be moved on the same day that we got Halladay. That’s the part of this that doesn’t make sense to me. Was this only about repleneshing the farm system?

  106. the phillies now have halladay for 4 years at 17.25 million a year. if the phillies offered Lee an extension at “fair market value”…John Lackey would be the barometer, not CC, Johan, or ‘Doc’…Lackey just signed for 5 years at 16.5 per…If we offered Lee a similar extension, for 4 years at 17 mil per, we would control Lee for 5 years total at 15.4 mil per season…I would love this deal, let cole play out the next 2 years at 6.5 and 9.5 respectively, or trade cole after next season when he is 26 and going into his final season at a great market price of 9.5 mil, making him a great trade option…I think the phillies failed in their due diligence with Lee

  107. The Phillies know how to play that game. They’ll wait until Brown has seasoned enough to be a solid ML OF, then bring him up for 6-1/2 seasons before they lose him.

  108. Not exactly. Lee believes the barometer for him CC/Johan. We don’t know what the Phils offered him, but everyone seems to agree that he wasn’t going to accept less than $23 million/year and he wasn’t going accept fewer than 5 or 6 years — both more than the Phillies were willing to do. I still think they could have (and should have) kept him for this year, though.

  109. In the discussions on keeping Lee, Philliesphan’s stats show he is closer to Blanton than he is to Halladay. Lee likely isn’t worth 4 yrs at $17 mill, but seems to have set in his mind that he’s worth 6 yrs at $20 mill.

    With all this talk on guys getting physicals in advance of possibly being included in this deal, what really hurts is the Freddy Gonzales trade with no physical.

  110. Still, Lee was worth $9 million for one year, then 2 first round picks next year after he refuses arbitration. And who knows, those picks might have turned out better than the prospects we’re getting from the M’s.

  111. I know the phillies major league payroll 140 million but where does the money for signing bonuses and minor league contracts come from? Its hard to imagine that a minor league team can produce enough revenue to support 25 players and a staff.

  112. minor leaguers receive a signing bonus and very little else until they reach the majors, if they ever reach the majors. The gate at Reading, although tix are in the $10 range, could support an organization and its peripherals…at the very least it supplements the big clubs burden.

  113. You know, when you look at this team’s pattern over the last two or three years, you arrive at one inescapable conclusion – our prospects are groomed primarily for the purpose of being traded at a later date. No young players are being promoted and retained – they are all being packaged for veteran players.

    Frankly, it’s depressing and sooner or later, it’s probably going to catch up with them in a hurry. I hope I’m wrong, but I see no evidence to rebut my conclusion.

  114. Wow I can’t believe some of these posts. we have halladay, the best pitcher in baseball right now. I don’t care what our team looks like in 2011 and beyond lets win now we are not in re-build mode we are in re-win mode and i like the deal. granted we have less guys to talk about and follow in the system but we have new guys to look at as well. the drabek part hurt but from everything i’m seeing happ was not on their radar in place of him. lets look at some facts. taylor was not gonna make the team this yr and will be wasted in the minors i’m happy for him, drabek coming off tommy john surgery and had trouble getting lefties out and slowed down at the end of the yr. d’arnad who i liked who is atleast 3 yrs way. we still have valle. phils were not gonna be able to compete for lee or halladay next off-season!!!!!! then we would have neither. i don’t care that we would have gotten extra picks but this team is built for now. i would like the phils on draft day sign the susac’s and other hard signs to restock. i don’t know anything about the m’s guys we got so i’m gonna use what i see here but we are also getting aumont another power arm granted with question marks, ramirez who is projected to be better then carrasco was, and an of who is lights out fast and will be in AA who wont be taking up a roster spot for our lower of prospects, wish there was a reliever or infield prospect in the deal but so what. a few guys here made a great point that brown better be the real deal because he is gonna have to be the big bopper in the lineup if the phils don;t want to end up looking like the 90s teams. i think that rube’s next big decision will be werth, do they start negotiations for long term contract or let him walk and get these supplemental picks that we all love, werth decision also tells us if howard gets the big deal here or let him walk then singleton better be ready. james stop talking about the moyer contract or else i will have to start taking prozac (its killing me). the team who has a lot to lose is the m’s if lee doesn’t re-sign they are screwed. i still think our system stays in the top ten after all of this. this trade affects the phillies for the next 5-10 yrs. i think we are gonna come out on top.

  115. I’m not suggesting that there wasn’t concern over the two-year deal with Moyer when it was offered, just that it wasn’t considered an awful deal in the middle of the season.

    Frankly, his deal isn’t terrible if you look at it on an isolated basis.

    It’s only when you start counting dollars as it relates to finding a way to keep both Lee/Halladay on the same roster and that’s pie in the sky stuff. If we could sit back and take back oops money after the fact, we could build a monster.

    In reality, you’re going to win some and lose some…you hope to win a lot more than you lose, but you don’t win them all.

    I’m content that Taylor might be a star and that Drabek might be a very good starter in a few years because there’s no uncertainty with Halladay.


    The deal with Lee to The M’s is tougher to swallow because everyone is convinced there are other deals out there or that the M’s aren’t sending fair return in exchange. That might very well be correct, but on the surface, I like what the phillies have received in return for Lee in comparison to what they gave up for him.

  116. The package received by the mariners should not be as good as the one given for Lee because we had the opportunity to keep him a season and a half while they have him under contract for a year

  117. Are we 100% positive that the Mariners deal is a given and the names are Aumont, Ramirez and Gillies?

  118. 2 things.

    Is the lee deal official?

    And if its not why arent we on the phone with texas considering they offered justin smoak and neftali feliz for josh johnson.

  119. Catch 22 f/k/a H Man,

    That’s the pattern of any team that has a “win now” attitude. Some times that doesn’t work; for the Phillies, it has so far – you can’t take away the results of the two past seasons.

    Will it eventually catch up with them? Maybe. OTOH, combine locked in talent now on the roster plus a reasonable development of current prospects, alnong with a payroll that is well abve average, if not in Yankee territory, and they could contend for years to come. But if it does catch up with them – or, really, when it does – that’s simply a fact of modern baseball economics. Every team eventually has a down period, except for the Yankees who have essentially no limits on what they spend.

    And let’s be honest – with all of the deals where they have sent away prospects over the last “two or three years,” prior to the current deals, have any of them come back to haunt the Phillies? No, and IMO none are likely to. They have traded away a lot of guys who either didn’t live up to billing or were spare pieces to begin with.

  120. Even if Halladay were to be twice as good as Lee in the playoffs,what would that mean? It would still mean 4 wins with a lower ERA. BIG DEAL

  121. I don’t think people are understanding that this deal wasn’t made JUST to upgrade the ace position. It was made because we wanted to keep the ace position past the 2010 season. If we didn’t pull this off then we would be losing Lee, because we wouldn’t have been able to afford the price or the length of what he would want ANDDDD we most definitely wouldn’t have been able to out bid the Yanks or the Sox for Doc.

    Yes, it sucks that we lost a pitcher, catcher and outfielder, but over the past couple of years our farm has gone from below average/average to, apparently, a top 5 system that was good enough to make trades for two separate aces. We can replenish if the scouts continue to do their job and the club continues to spend money on development.

    Ruben said all off season that we wouldn’t be making much news in regards to the BIG players. So be happy that we upgraded the team a little bit in regards to the rotation. Make no mistake about it. Doc is a better pitcher and a better pitcher for our ball park.

  122. Everyone stop defending the Lee trade by saying we got Halladay. Everyone seems to pretty much understand its(drabek, taylor, and d’arnaud) about market value for Halladay. What people (and ME) are pissed about is the lee deal. If drabek, taylor and d’arnaud are market value for halladay, HOW DO WE NOT GET ONE OF THE MARINERS TOP THREE PROSPECTS??? no saunders, no morrow, no truinfel??? what the f???? Halladay deal good, Lee deal f’n horrific

  123. I can’t say I disagree with you Todd. But we also have to know that Ruben isn’t going to purposefully try and screw himself and the club. There has to be a reason Seattle is the team and those are the players. Of course we see other teams as potentially better partners in a trade for Lee, but we don’t know what’s going on or if those are actually the players.

  124. I agree. If it was Saunders instead of Gillies, or Morrow instead of Aumont, I would be on board. I hope this isn’t the final trade.

  125. Ketch:

    You and I are remembering that way differently. I recall a chorus of people asking themselves “Who were the Phillies competing with to offer Moyer 2 years?”

  126. Well said Todd! I hope this is not the actual deal but if it is then it shows the Phillies value both Ramirez and Aumont very highly. I just read an article in FanGraphs ranking the 6 prospects Aumont #2 and above Taylor. This is surprising for a reliever, but the Phils could project him a closer or plan to make him a starter again, as the A’s did with Outman. On the other hand I was surprised that PP rates Ramirez so highly.

  127. 1) Lee is under control for 1 year so they can’t get the Johnson deal from the Rangers
    2) I am surprised they didn’t try the Angels. They need to replace Lackey.
    3) The team that gets the best player usually wins the deal. That is Halliday
    4) Victorino is gone next winter. Outfield in 2011 Francisco / Brown platoon, Ibanez, Werth… 2012 Werth, Brown Gilles.
    5) I too, kind of wonder why the Phillies didn’t try for one of the Seattle third base prospects. Supposedly they have 3 guys who have a shot at the majors some day.

  128. prospect insider analysis…which projects gillies as a 4th outfielder, ramirez as a late inning reliever up to a #2, and aumont as a set up man with a hip condition that prevents him from starting

    Tyson Gillies, CF
    Gillies profiles best as a fourth outfielder who can punch run and play good defense, and in his best years maybe serve as a stop-gap regular … with an absolute ceiling as a Coco Crisp-Shane Victorino hybrid with Carl Crawford speed.

    Juan Ramirez, RHP
    Ramirez was probably the most promising starting pitching prospect in the Mariners system, and offers a basement value of a late-inning reliever. If all goes well, Ramirez could break into the big leagues in 2011 with a chance to be a No. 2 or 3 starter.

    Phillippe Aumont, RHP
    If Aumont can become efficient and improve his curve ball, there’s no reason to think he can’t at least handle the eighth inning in the big leagues, based on his fastball and ground ball abilities alone.

  129. Todd, a little too much hyperbole. The trade wasn’t horrific. Was it a swindle in favor of the Phillies. Nope. It’s somewhere in the middle and when you look at some of the opinions around baseball on the players that the Phillies received, it’s clear that some (the Phillies front office included) value them quite a bit.

    John K, I’m not talking about pre-deal or any discussion of the deal when it was signed. I’m saying that when Moyer was giving this team some important innings and wins this season, the contract and price wasn’t a huge talking point. Perhaps I’m on an island out here in Texas, but I know a lot of Phillies fans that I know who were saying things like, “This guy can pitch until he’s 50 if he keeps giving us this.” Of course, he flattened out at the end of the season, but that doesn’t mean that the conversation on the deal that he signed has been deemed an outright disaster from start to finish. You can’t look at the deal through a vacuum and not acknowledge that part of the two-year deal included major contributions to a WS team.

    Finally, I’ll leave with this tonight.

    Let’s project both Drabek and Taylor to somewhat max out on their upside… meaning Drabek becomes a very solid No.2, while Taylor becomes a 30 HR guy that makes a few all-star teams.

    Let’s call them Cole Hamels and Jayson Werth… which I think is more than generous on my part, but for the sake of discussion… let’s just call them all-star caliber players.

    If it weren’t prospects, but actual players that were what the Jays were looking for in return, it would likely take a strong combination like the two were talking about to make it happen. If the Phillies could have kept Lee and flipped a Hamels/Werth combo for the most consistent dominating pitcher in the AL for most of the decade, you’d do it.

    It is helps to forget the names, just look at the roles instead. A No.2 pitcher and a borderline all-star outfielder. Hell, it might take MORE than that if it were real-time MLB talent the Jays were looking for.

    However, they wanted prospects and considering the length of the deal the Phillies get Halladay for three guys that aren’t even assured major league success on the level we’re giving them near maximum credit for. The truth is that the Jays will be lucky if one of the guys they get back in this deal evolves into a legit star. They have to get two VERY GOOD players out of this deal for it to be any kind of success and the odds are…. what… 50-50 at best?

    Meanwhile, barring injury the Phillies have a true top-end ace that can line up with anyone in baseball at any moment. He’s THE GUY that baseball people say they want on the mound in a one-game, winner-take-all situation.

    That guy is yours. Next. Five. Years. That’s like owning gold when you were invested in the Internet previously.

    So, let’s just stop and move on to what this deal is really about. Forget about the half-season with Lee. Forget about Ben Francisco. Forget about the money.

    Would you trade Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald, Jason and catcher Lou Marson…


    Tyson Gillies, Juan Ramirez and Phillippe Aumont.

    Based on what I know about the prospects coming from Seattle, I’d lean towards the three the Phillies are receiving because of their high-end upsides. That’s a win for me. It also gives me hope that the system will be back to where we thought it as a week ago… sooner rather than later.

    OK, I have no idea what I just wrote. Goodnight.

  130. Fwiw, ESPN is still reporting the Lee deal without Ramirez in it… If it’s just for Aumont and Gillies, how much does that change people’s opinions about the deal? Because from what I’m reading it seems like Ramirez is the best prospect of the 3, or at least the one with the highest upside. And even with all 3 prospects in it, its not the most satisfying trade for the Phils.

  131. Whatever the reason for this trade it has nothing to do with baseball. The Phils filled no holes and made bigger ones. The difference between Lee and Halladay wouldn’t fill a shot glass at the winter meetings. This is personal and stupid.

  132. I think you all are lossing sight of my genious here – this has nothing to do with Halladay. It’s all about the prospects, and my Master Plan. Look at our projected line-up in 4 years and follow along with me.

    Gose leads off and steals first
    Gilles then steals first while Gose steals second
    D’Arby Myers then steals first while Gose and Gilles move over as well.
    Collier is up next – and he steals first as well driving in Gose – the first quadruple steal in MLB history!

    The process continues with Berry, Harold Garcia, Leandro Castro, Villar, and Brown! They’ll have to institute the little league mercy rule because our guys are so fast we’ll never make an out – and that’s why I can afford to stack the whole team with outfielders – who needs infielders if our team never has to take the field!!!

    Ha, now you know my Master Plan, and it’s to late to stop me now!!!!

  133. Ruben, how could you forget Hewitt? Anyway, very funny post, you had me laughing out loud. On a more serious note, I have an empty feeling that comes from the knowledge that we could have and almost did have Halliday and Lee. It will take a while to get over it.

  134. Just read a little by law phillies loser in trade. no suprise there not knowing scouts, also listen to Jonathan mayo he says aumont is the top pitching prospect in minors, if he can just get some more experience didnt pitch a lot in high school, and if y want to be confused listen to people talk about d’nauld, four said he might hit but defense needs work two said great defense worst case good backup because of his defense, its confusing.

  135. But i now understand why lee was traded. Amaro made mistake in offering blanton arb, if he didnt lee would stay here this year. but in amaro defense he couldnt know that halladay would come here and sign extension,

  136. I think its farcical to project Gillies a starter for the Phillies. Not saying it couldn’t happen but if the Phillies really think they can rely on him to start in 2011 they are nuts. If you can do that you can project Taylor as an all-star and Drabek as a one or two making the Hallayday trade a farce because no player in baseball is worth an all-star position player and an ace imo.

  137. Halladay, Lee and Hamels: the Big Three that almost was. You’re looking at 100 wins, maybe 110. We would have matched up with the Yankees. Now, we still don’t.

    Losing Lee just doesn’t make sense. There are other ways to shed 9MM. We shed Abreu’s salary for essentially nothing, I can’t believe a team wouldn’t have taken Blanton for a song. Blanton is a very good #4 starter but he’s NOT a legitimate Big Three candidate.

    At 9MM, Lee was one of the best investments in the Phillies’ portfolio. That 9MM contract generated huge field value. Why sell that one? Who cares what we get back in a salary dump? Just don’t dump an ace!

    Maybe the Phillies front office fell too much in love with the Mariners prospects? Compared to a sure Big Three, prospects don’t mean a thing. Sure, they may eventually contribute but the focus should ALWAYS be on assembling a Big Three.

    And why are these deals strangely intertwined, anyway? ESPN is calling them “companion” deals. So much of this doesn’t make sense.

    The difference between Lee and Blanton is greater than the value of all the prospects we got, combined. Give them back and trade Blanton for CJ Henry and a bag of balls, please!

    If the Lee deal falls through I will do cartwheels.

  138. Rut roh. I’d say move Ibanez to one of the losers in the Bay/Holliday chase to equal out the dollars and keep Lee, but without Taylor they’d need some help in LF.

    I would have kept Taylor out of the deal for Halladay and seen if we could have gotten it done for Drabek, D’Arnaud and a lesser prospect but without the $6 million. Then dump Ibanez and Blanton to make up the $16 or so million Halladay is getting paid.

    That begs the question though, how much of the package to TOR was to make up for the $6 million they’re sending us? I think that’s a big part of the question I can’t answer that would make the second guessing more accurate.

  139. Taylor? Wow, this whole situation gets more strange by the minute. But, recall, he did leave winter ball very early – we were told it was nothing. Of course, a guy’s head could spontaneously combust during the off-season and we’d be told that the club was “cautiously optimistic” that he would re-develop his cereberal cortex in time for spring training.

  140. Wow. What’s weird is if it’s Taylor it’s going to be Beane who decides whether to let the deal through or not.

  141. I won’t lie, i hope this cancels the deal, and somehow this whole process scared lee into signing a 4 year @ 20 million. We just keep all our prospects. Of course, I do realize, those are pretty slim odds… lol

  142. It wouldn’t shock me if it was Drabek. All of the sudden we are willing to part with him for Halladay after refusing last July. That combined with the fact that we “shut him down early” makes me wonder. I hope that I’m wrong and that he’s healthy, but I also wish that we weren’t making the Lee trade with the Mariner’s.

  143. Wow if it’s Taylor you can say bye to Dom Brown because now we’re talking with Beane. A perfect world would have Drabek being hurt and returning to us. We trade Happ and another in his place forcing us to keep Lee.

  144. I saw the toronto sun reporting it first…it leads me to believe it’s one of the phillies prospects.

  145. Rodeo, a man can hope can’t he? Lee doesn’t honestly think he’s going to get 7/140 does he? lol

    I think he’s more likely to get 5-6 100-120mm… which in all honesty, might not be much worse then what we’re giving halliday. I do like the idea of Halliday over Lee (though both would be great) But I don’t like the following…

    1. Losing Taylor AND Draybek to get him…
    2. The crap we’re getting back from the M’s

    Give me a AAA/AA top 25 MLB player and I’d pull the trade in a heart beat. Though, in all honesty, I’d prefer they just keep Draybek and trade whatever we get for Lee to Toronto.

    Seriously, is Halliday so much better then lee that he deserves 2 top 25 prospects. I think not…

    Give the bluejays whatever lee is worth plus taylor (unless he failed his physical, in which case, F**K!) and that should be more then enough.

    The bottom line would be this, lose LEE, get Halliday long term, and lose 1 of our top 3.

    I’d go for that in a heart beat.

  146. We’re all speculating, but…if it were Taylor, perhaps the A’s would take Gose or Gillies as a substitute. Those two seem to have similar skill sets–could afford to lose one of them.

  147. on MTR they said it wasn’t any mariners prospect who failed and aumont did pass, so prob a phils prospect did fail. Would like for this whole trade to not go through, at least the Lee part of it.

  148. Scratch that, sorry for the previous post…they acknoledged “it’s rumored to be draybek”… that doesn’t sound very solid to me.

  149. If we gave up Gose or Gillies instead of Taylor, I would be very happy. I guess if that was the case we would get less $s from Toronto.

  150. Jays got burned several years in a trade in which they received a damaged pitcher from the White Sox(cant remember his name)–they may be gun shy about Kyle

  151. If it’s Taylor, the key is whether the A’s, who want to send Wallace to the Jays, will accept a substitute. If they do, it has no impact on the Jays. If they won’t, it then does affect the Halladay side of the trade.

  152. I wonder if we have a bad reputation after what happend with Knapp. Perhaps teams are more leary of our pitchers now. Again, just speculating.

  153. This is not really good since the substitute for Taylor would most likely be Brown and Drabek’s is probably Happ.

  154. So …

    After sleeping on it …

    I wanted to like the deal, especially given that so many of the arguments here against it were in my opinion bogus. And it’s almost always a safe bet being on the opposite side of an issue from nowheels, the most reliably wrong poster on this site.

    But on balance, I don’t like it, for the following reason: I don’t buy the basic premise of the deal, that 3 years of Halladay at 20 million per is such a great thing. Yes, he’s great, yes it is a below market price, but I just don’t think there is any starting pitcher I would give that kind of contract to on a risk reward basis.

    Now, I’m in the minority on that. If you think that having Halladay locked up for 3 years is a good thing, then it is at least a defensible deal. I don’t think Taylor is the second coming of Dave Winfield, I don’t think Drabek will be an ace, and I like the Seattle prospects more than some people do. On a pure talent basis, I think 3 years of Halladay (plus one more year of Halladay versus Lee, a meaningful upgrade) is probably worth giving up a little more in terms of prospects.

    But throw contract and payroll issues into the mix … no, I don’t like it.

    That said, please, for the love of god, can we stop trying to pretend that we could have locked up Lee for the same kind of contract we are getting Halladay for? There’s lots of reasons to think he will get at least 5/100, though personally I think that’s a crazy contract, but even if I’m wrong, he’s made it clear that’s the kind of deal he wants, and he is going to test the waters. Once that happens, we will get outbid by the Yankees or Boston. It’s a fantasy to think otherwise.

  155. And there is a huge difference between a 5 year deal and a 3 year deal with a 4th year that vests if certain performance standards are met. The reason why you don’t ever agree to more than 3 years guarenteed for a starting pitcher is risk of injury. If the guy pitches enough that the 4th year vests, then that is a pretty good indication that injuries aren’t a problem.

    My guess if that less than 1 in 10 long term (over 3 years) contracts for starting pitchers end up working out from the team’s perspective.

  156. It really hurts to know that Moyer is getting $8 million while Lee could have stayed for $9. It also hurts knowing that we gave Blanton $7 million when we could have found a way to keep Lee.

    I understand wee got prospects in return, but there seems to be great argument over whether or not they will be successful. With Lee, we are not only a favorite but a lock to win the NL and probably the favorite to win the World Series. Now we’re basically back to where we were with 2 World Series wins from our ace and who knows what from everyone else. What could have been….

  157. Well, we didn’t “give” Blanton 7 million, it’s what he is expected to get in arb, and hindsight is 20/20 on Moyer (though I and others had reservations at the time).

    And I tend to think that “we should have done x instead of y” comments tend to be at best speculative and at worst wishful thinking (in terms of the alternatives.

    But assuming for the sake of argument that someone would have taken Blanton off our hands (not a certainty), even for a single marginal prospect (doubt it would have been more), the thought of a Halladay/Lee one two punch next year … it would have been nice.

    But it’s funny that some of the same people who whine about the fact that we are denuding our farm system are at the same time saying we shouldn’t have traded Lee.

  158. Even you Larry can not tell me the team is stronger overall now then it was a week ago. Forget two years from now.

  159. The major league team is stronger now than it was last week. Roy Halladay is a better pitcher than Cliff Lee. Brian Schneider is a better catcher than Paul Bako. Ross Gload will be a better hitter than Matt Stairs.

    The team isn’t complete.

    The reality of this entire situation is that Amaro wasn’t comfortable giving up the prospects for Halladay without getting prospects in return. Whether you love the prospects from Seattle is another story.

  160. They’re probably going to try putting Aumont back as a starter. If he really doesn’t have anything seriously degenerative wrong with him, that turns his stock way up. Big if though.

  161. the problem most people have with the Lee trade is this: how much better are the three prospects, none of which fill a need on the big club for at least 2 years and are no better than other prospects in the system currently, going to be Versus 1 more year of Cliff Lee and the 1st round and supplemental 1st round picks we would have acquired upon his departure after the season. Most people feel like Lee, Halladay, Hamels, Blanton, Happ made the Phillies favorites to go back to the World Series…and now we are left without a 5th starter and will be left looking for a 4th and 5th starter after next season when Blanton & Moyer are both gone. Keeping Lee would have allowed the Phillies to have their own 1st rd pick next year, the 1st and supplemental of whatever team signs Lee, a supplemental 1st for Blanton, and a possible 1st and supplemental if Werth walks away. THIS WOULD RESTOCK THE FARM!!!
    I would prefer 1 more year of Lee and Blanton…and the 1st and 2 supplemental picks to rebuild the farm system with a 3rd baseman or catcher brought into the fold from college rather than 2 pitchers and an outfielder. Too bad the ‘component’ trade HAD to be made.

  162. Brian Schneider and gload were here before the trade. You have no reserve depth and no trading chip. To make things worse Taylor went to the A’s for a third baseman.

  163. Interesting interview on DNL with Randy Miller about the Halladay deal. Here is a comment he made I didn’t think about…

    * If Roy Halladay was Phillie last year he would have pitched on 3 days rest, games 1, 4, 7. That might not have been enough to win, but it could have changed things up. If the Phillies make it back in 2010, Roy will pitch 3 games.

  164. Before the trade if Lee got hurt you had options. Now if Halladay gets hurt the season is over.

  165. I agree with you james, the phillies with halladay are appreciably better than the phillies with lee, the RH/LH balance makes them more dangerous and the bench has improved
    “nobody”…LEE wanted to pitch game 4, uncle charlie would not allow it, hopefully his loyalty to certain players and situations(i.e. Lidge) does not cost Halladay too many wins with pinch hitting and situational pitching substitutions

  166. As per Reuben on DNL…

    * Aumont being discussed as a starter, still discussing it as an organization

    * Aumont, Gillies, Ramirez to start in Double A, Gillies and Aumont could move to Triple A depending

  167. This is a painful deal but a very good one.

    The reason is this. In order to be compete for a world series against teams like the yankees and B-sox you must find high value guys. Guys that aren’t earning what they should be. I, like many others, had anticipated that Taylor and Brown might provide this allowing Victorino and/or Werth to leave. My assumption had been that stud pitchers always get their top dollar and since you have to have one you just have to pay their price.

    However, this trade changes all that. I think, (contrary to Larry M) that the Halladay extension is being way underestimated. Simply put it is unheard of, in fact I do not think you can find an example where the best player at his position agrees to a contract where they take almost all the injury risk upon themselves and do it for below market value. That is essentially what Halladay did. Compare his contract to Sabathia’s last year. Philly got the best pitcher with out nearly the financial commitment or the risk that the Yankees took. John Lackey with all his arm problems and not nearly the pitcher Halladay is just signed a 5 year $85m dollar deal. Ace pitchers get their money. Lee will get his money.

    How does this help Philly compete with NY and Boston? It helps because instead of finding financial value with their OF they found it with their pitcher, which means they can re-allocate funds to other positions. Secondly, they avoid the number one biggest killer of teams willing to spend in the top ten, a situation in which they have old expensive players for numerous years.

    For the Lee deal, would you like to be able to keep him sure, but the phillies aren’t Boston or New York. Also, looking at both 2010 and the FUTURE are you better as an organization with Lee for one year and no prospects. Or no Lee and at least the value of the prospects you gave up for Lee. I think Big picture your better with the prospects and you still have a great chance to compete for a world championship this year.

    A deal that keeps both big picture and small picture in mind and recognizes that the goal is for the MLB team to win as often and for as long of possible regardless of where the players come from is a very rare and good deal.

    But I am sad to see Taylor go.

  168. Tomphilly,

    You are correct. What they brought up though is that Lee did not have a track record for doing that (pitching on 3 days rest). Halladay does.

  169. “And you know that Larry, how.”

    I’ve resolved not to engage you nowheels, for resons which should be obvious. But this comment provides a teachable moment, as they say, so I’ll answer.

    I don’t “know” that the Phillies couldn’t have gotten much for Blanton. I suspect it strongly based upon media reports (from sources in the Phillies front office) and … common sense. Common sense on several levels – firstly, for the same reasons that people around here would have preferred to move Blanton, he was a less attractive commodity than Lee. But part of that common sense is also that I at least start with the assumption that the Phillies front office is acting in good faith – at least trying to build a good team. Of course they can make mistakes in that endeavour, and I call them on that when I think they do so(and see above – I think they made a mistake here).

    You, on the other hand, seem to start from the assumption that they are not acting in good faith – in this case, for example, you seem to think that they are acting based on some kind of animus towards Lee, for God’s sake. Not only is this evidence free, not only is it illogical, but it is reckless & repugnant to make those kind of allegations in a public forum unless you have some sort of basis. It would be a little like me accusing you of being a child molester. I mean, I think that that is about 100 times more likely than your accusations about the Phillies front office, but I wouldn’t make those kind of accusations without evidence.

    And on top of that we aren’t operating in a vacumn here. The Phillies have been to the world series twice in a row and won it once. I think that entitles them to at least a small presumption of good faith. Not that they are correct, necesarily, but that they aren’t, for example, as you seem to beleive, actively hurting the team through mere vindictiveness.

    Now please crawl back in your hole and leave us alone.

  170. Wallace is listed as 3rd. You know best. But the point is Taylor’s trading value is gone and probably would of been even higher next year. What’s the point? Gillies is a nice player but a duplicate of players we have in the system. Cheese everyone can’t play center field. Was a closer too much to ask?

  171. Again Larry I am so glad I don’t know you in real life. You ALWAYS resort to personal remarks when you have no point.

  172. Tommy John and Stanford Swing…..they kept the only guy they know has a chance to be in the Howard, Utley Rollins mold, meaning a future all star and his name is Dominic Brown…..thats why I trust Rube in this deal

  173. Generally OK with the guys we got back from Seattle but given that everybody seems to think that Seattle got a great deal with Lee, I don’t think it would have killed them to throw in 3B Matt Mangini too given that they just signed Figgins to a 5 year deal and Liddi is ranked as a better 3B prospect.

  174. As a Mariners fan I am extremely excited to get Cliff Lee for as little as we traded. After watching Aumont work out of a bases loaded jam against the U.S. in the WBC, I would have to say he has a great chance to be a excellent pitcher. Problem is he is a reliever. Other than him it seems like Amaro didn’t try and find any one else to trade with. It seems like a small haul for one of the best pitchers in baseball. Most fans here in Seattle are practically making our G.M. royalty after our years with Bavasi.

  175. Halladay on 3 days rest is one of the first things that came to mind. If Hamels gets back to being an elite player, which I believe he will, and they make it back to the series, you will have Halladay for 3 games and Hamels for 2. No matter what else I’ve said about my issues with this deal, that’s a fantastic 1-2 punch.

  176. Fantastic stuff – very detailed and well written. As a Phils fan who’s never been here before I feel like well… like adding this link to the top of my favorites!

    As an aside – I’m in the “loved the Halladay move” and “not too fond at all” of the Lee move but understand why it was done. Very risky IMO though.

  177. Something none of you has mentioned is the fact that not only is Halladay arguably the best pitcher of the past 5-6 years in all of baseball, he is also one of the greatest mentors. A.J. Burnett credited Halladay with showing him what it takes to be an elite player and he will do the same with your young pitchers like Happ and Hamels.
    Us Torontoites have marveled at his consistency these past years and every game he pitches your team will have a great chance to win. He should easily win 20-25 games in a weaker NL where he is not pitching against the Yankees, Bo’Sox, Rays on a regular basis.
    Years ago Toronto gave up a very young and raw Jeff Kent to get David Cone and that deal ended up with us winning the world series. I firmly believe anyway you slice this deal, the Phillies made a great move. Trading for the the most consistent pitcher in baseball for 3 young guys who have never played a game in the majors seems like a steal to me.
    The Phillies are now my second favourite team in baseball and I look forward to all you Halladay naysayers eating your words when you win the world series next year thanks to Halladay winning 3 games for you.

  178. Sorry, but anyway you cut it, the Phillies lose on this deal. Forget about the potential of the prospects (they suck, anyway you cut it, get over yourself phuturephillies, the Mariners gave up exactly what the Mets gave up to get Johan.. aka nothing. Aumonts the next Chris Young.. plenty of potential but never the real thing, and the rest is chump change… 7 and 20 in the Mariners farm system, which was weak to begin with). Amaro and the Phillies revealed their true colors. Money is important than winning and fact of the matter is, the window to win is this year and maybe next. Cliff Lee and Halladay together would of guaranteed another trip to the WS this year ala 2001 D’Backs. Instead, they’ll have to rely on Halladay and the offense to make up for an ugly 2-5… o and the bullpens a complete disaster as well. Doesn’t help that Rollins is looking washed up, Werth, Ibanez and Victo are all cycling off the roids this year and Ultey’s head ain’t gonna be right after he tried is hardest to throw the World Series away.

    It gets ever better… after this year, Halladay’s contact will be so huge they won’t have money to retain any of the core.

    3 ugly prospects now was important than $9 and two fresh picks. Way to go Amaro. Tearing the Phillies down faster than anyone thought possible.

  179. If Halladay turns out to be the best pitcher in baseball and wins 20 games thats great. But Lee projected to win 18 or 19
    that is simple math. Even given his best year at 22 wins that is very little advantage. Can he do better than Lee in the postseason? how?

  180. I still haven’t made my mind up about the deals on the whole, but, when it comes to Lee versus Halladay, I think it’s not a difficult call for the following reason.

    First, Halladay is a slightly better pitcher and he offers better lefty/rights balance in the starting rotation with Hamels. He will also likely pitch more innings, thereby giving more rest to the bullpen. This is to take nothing away from Cliff Lee. I love Cliff Lee and will always be a huge fan.

    Second, Halladay offers the unique advantage of being able to pitch on short rest. Let me translate that for you. That means pitching three times in the World Series, which gives the Phillies an ENORMOUS advantage and allows them to match up well with anybody, including the Yankees.

    Third, forget about the nonsense that you’re hearing now from Lee’s agent. Lee was going to want a market, or near-market, 6-8 year deal. There was no way in the world that the Phillies would ever do that which means that, after this year, Lee was not going to be a Phillie anyway. Amaro has adopted the Pat Gillick 3-year model for pitcher’s contracts and it is close to a miracle that Halladay accepted this model in negotiating his extension (there is also a 4th vesting year – that’s about as far as the team has gone under the current Gillick/Amaro regime).

  181. One thing you failed to mention that as a Blue Jays fan i think is of major importance in this deal – Roy Halladay will make the rest of your staff better. Roy will set a superb example to Hamles/Happ/ect. on what it takes to be a professional pitcher, and what it takes to master your craft. Anyone who knows Roy knows he is one of the hardest working pitchers in the league when it comes to film study and knowing your opponents. He is always prepared and that is a huge reason why he is extremely consistent and doesnt get into long-term slumps. Being a Jays fan you could see the positive effect Roy had on the head case AJ Burnett, and also on their other young pitchers like Litsch, McGowan, Marcum, Cecil, ect. Dont discount how much better Roy is going to make the young guys on the Phillies staff.

  182. While the long term assurance of having Halladay signed was undoubtedlly the chief selling point for Amaro in (essentially) swapping Halladay for Lee in the 2010 rotation, insofar as it was an assurance conditionally offered by Halladay himself, not by (or to) Toronto, it should not have been allowed to become a marketable chip in trade negotiations with Toronto. Though Halladay is unarguably the better pitcher, the $6m difference in 2010 salaries might have been said to have veritably balanced their respective trade values… such that, with all of the different elements in play, in this market, Lee & a lesser prospect or Drabek & Taylor should have been enough to get us Halladay.

    And yet, while I don’t think we effectively utilized our leverage with Toronto, their inclusion of the $6m and the simultaneous trading of Lee to a third uninvolved team are the two aspects of all this that really bother me, because they’re both direct results of Ruben’s mismanagement of the budget and general lack of foresight. The only feasible reason for trading Lee now is a budgetary requirement to be under a certain number by year’s end, in which case Amaro’s recent offering of arbitration to (or inability to trade) both Joe Blanton and Chad Durbin, essentially served to preclude the Phillies from either keeping both Halladay and Lee or thoroughly exploring Lee’s market, while (presumably) also necessitating Toronto’s cash inclusion in the Halladay trade, and whatever effect that might have had on the package of prospects we were forced to surrender.

  183. “One thing you failed to mention that as a Blue Jays fan i think is of major importance in this deal – Roy Halladay will make the rest of your staff better”

    Ahh, the old he will make Hamels and the staff better argument. Who was the last guy that people said that about? Oh yeah, that’s right, we paid Jamie Moyer $16MM for, as far as I can tell, that exact same purpose. That hasn’t worked out so well.

    The Yankees used to say the same thing about Clemens and Pettitte.

    I dont’ buy it. These guys are adults. I can’t think of an example where this was really the case.

    Let me ask you, who did Halladay make better in Toronto?

  184. I know Halliaday is great and a better pitcher then Lee. But we still only have one dependable starter. We can get to the world series, but we will be in the same position, facing a team with 3 dependable starters Either the Yankees or Red Sox. And in my opinion can’t beat either team. We were so close to having the mother load it makes me sick to my stomach. They are so focused on the the 140 million cap limit, they cant see the obvious. It comes down to a salary dump, they more concerned with being competative and selling 3 and half millions tickets for the next 3 years. That they have lost focus on winning another world series. Sorry for the spelling and bad grammar. I am an old man and dont have many years left, so I dont give a shit about the future when you are so close that you can taste it.

  185. Took me a few days to get here but I had to see what my fellow comrades are saying. Put me in the category of “I don’t Like this deal” in its totality. Someone else above raised a good point about the flip of Taylor for a 3B Prospect Brandon Wallace I believe. Last time I checked we could use a 3B prospect in our system.

    What a shame they had built up so much good will with the phanbase over the past couple of seasons and the Lee part of the deal was so transparently a silly money move.

    Again no knock on Doc…they should not have dealt Lee…so what if if wanted to walk after this season take the picks when he signs elsewhere and your 2nd WSC in 3 years.

  186. Don’t know if anyone heard Cliff Lee’s comments today; but if you take his word at face value; sounds like we just made these trades under the poor assumption he would not sign long term with Phils.

  187. Again desire not to be in the same group as the mouth breathers and half wits makes me question my opposition to the deal.

    No one ever said that Lee was “unwilling” to sign with the Phillies. He was unwilling to sign on terms that would have been acceptable to the Phillies. All he said was that he made a counteroffer … which, based upon everything we know, was not something close to what the Phillies were willing to do. Hence the trade.

    Now I know there is one set of idiots here who think the Phillies should have been happy to pay Lee 9 figures over 5 years, and a second group of morons wwho think that if only the Phillies negotiated really, really hard they could have gotten him for the same contract Hallady agreed to. The former is of course absurd on its face. As for the latter, obviously none of us on either side of the issue knows the answer for sure, but there are a multitude of reasons to be reasonably certain that Lee would have tested free agency rather than accept what is almost certainly a below market deal.

  188. This STINKS!

    This looks like either Amaro was a)trying to teach Lee’s agent a lesson, or b) he had such a hard-on for Halladay that he probably made a “try” at a Lee-extension, and just moved on without negotiation when the initial number was declined.

    I said this in a previous post that I could not believe Lee didn’t want to be here. He would have signed an extension at a fair rate. It is how these things are done. He’s not a WR in the NFL after all. Yes he wanted to be paid, but not at a completely unreasonable amount. Yes I have no way of knowing this, but it is my strong suspicion and my opinion.

    And how bad to Amaro handle his leverage last year with Halladay?? Halladay’s wife said #34 should have been theirs in the first place. and that “Lee was just keeping it warm.”

    I am not happy with this deal now. Yes I love Halladay, and he is the better pitcher, but I do not like the way this went down. Lee wore pinstripes and was proud to do so. He should be here. He earned his spot on this team and we could have kept all our prospects to boot.

  189. I actually have to take issue with your view of the Lee trade where you combine the trade with the Indians with the trade with the Mariners. You gave up more than that…

    You also gave up 6 months of Lee in 2010… 7 if you include October (which you did when you said 3 months of Lee in 2009), and the Phillies would be a lock for considering you’d have Halladay and Lee (not that they aren’t with just Halladay).

    Might that analysis of the trade away from the Phillies a bit.

  190. Just for some perspective here on the value of the tension (and by implication a comment on the unlikihood of getting Lee for anything like it:

    I’ve given my own quirky, minority opinion that starting pitchers should never get that kind of contract. But there is no disputing that it was below market – even more below market than I realized.

  191. Just remember: Billy Beane was “close” to trading barry zito for Ryan Howard and Chase Utley back in 2005…he normally has an eye for talent, i think if he really wanted Dom Brown over Taylor in the Halladay and subsequent Wallace trade it would have happened…I expect Taylor to impress from day 1. Look how Zito’s career has turned out in comparison to utley/howard, mulder as well…I would be wary of trading any player he wants, still think cardenas will be above average.

  192. WOW you guys need to watch the interview TOR GM had with Its posted on mlbraderumors he spoke about D’Arnaud way more than Drabek and Wallace. Even if I didnt know this kid I would be a fan just from how positive he spoke about the young Catcher.

  193. I caught the Seattle GM on MLB last night (recorded earlier) and he said the Phillies asked if he was interested in Lee a week ago. Amaro said, if so (and the trade for Halladay could be worked out) the Phillies liked a few of their prospects. I got the clear impression that the Phillies got what they asked for, and didn’t accept prospects they didn’t like.

    The deal may prove to be bad, but unlike giving Rolen and Schilling away, the Phillies tried to trade Lee when they thought they could get something they valued, and not when leverage was on the other side.

    I think the Phillies did well. We’ll see.

  194. Looking at some of the Mariners prospects, there are a few infield prospects that the Phils could have landed. With Lee’s value as high as it was we should have got more.

  195. Ice-9
    What you are saying is the Phils got hosed on their own terms. It is hard to believe that the A’s would not of accepted
    Blanton back for Wallace is the Phils paid half his salary. They need a veteran on the staff.
    If I am right we keep Lee and Taylor. and have faith in our own prospects and college player from this draft.
    Then we win the third pennant. Two injuries and this team is cooking unless Amaro wants to completely gut the system/

  196. For the Mariners to pull the trigger as fast as they did tells me that they would have gone higher in the bidding. If Seattle jumped at the deal that fast, what would other teams have offered. The fact that Ruben went to the Winter Meeting and didn’t discuss this is absurd. Lee’s value should have been discussed then. Reality is that Lee had to go at the same time as them getting Halladay. If both were on the roster, even for a few days, reaction to this would have been much worse.

  197. “What you are saying is the Phils got hosed on their own terms. It is hard to believe that the A’s would not of accepted Blanton back for Wallace is the Phils paid half his salary. They need a veteran on the staff.”

    There is no way in hell that Beane would’ve traded Wallace for Joe Blanton. At any price.

  198. I say yes Alan . You say no. Even so there had to be other
    trades to get Wallace before you said Taylor. Don’t forget I was on the Amaro bandwagon before this mess. Please tell me you didn’t want Lee and Halladay together.

  199. “Even so there had to be other
    trades to get Wallace before you said Taylor”

    Well presumably they could have traded Taylor for Wallace – not sure there is anyone else on the roster that would have gotten it done (Blanton – oh, please, give me a break. Beane wouldn’t have taken him for free, given their payroll). Then Brown gets traded instead of Taylor in the Halladay trade. So … would you rather have Brown or Wallace?

    Now IF Wallace could really be a ML thridbaseman, then maybe yes. Eeven probably yes. But since he is going to play 1B or DH in the majors – why would the Phillies possibly want Wallace? They aren’t going to need a firstbaseman until 2012.

  200. best breakdown ive seen……the only thing im suprised about is all the talk and possible hype about ramirez and hes NOT in ur top 10?

  201. Nowheels – I’m not saying that at all. I think the Phillies determined Lee was NOT guaranteed. And given that, coupled with the Halladay deal they had, it was worth sending him off now for this, versus nothing/less later.

    My simple poimt was that the Phillies got the prospects they wanted – we’ll see if they were right. I’m saying/guessing that they were right.

  202. I just see it that Seattle gave them the prospects THEY wanted. You gave up a sure pennant. But you are right we will see.

  203. From USA TODAY ,the king of half truth lies I hate.

    Thus, for the Phillies, the twin trades were about more than money, more than merely contending in 2010 with two free-agent-to-be aces. It was about remaining competitive with Halladay under contract through 2013.

    With Halladay signed WHO are the two FAs.

  204. and
    LHP Jamie Moyer (groin/abdominal surgery in October 2009) will have arthroscopic left knee surgery in January. He might not be ready for the start of spring training.

    January? What we didn’t want to upset Santa.

  205. nowheels, I try so hard not to make any comments directed at you. Everything is so NEGATIVE and you never think anything through but rather assume the worst in every situation. Do I like the trade? No not really and it will take time to see if it evens itself out or completely falls apart. Lee’s agent was contacted he gave a ballpark figure and RAJ ran ASAP. This only tells me 1 thing it was HUGE, so they made the trade. RAJ contacted SEA about these prospects THESE are the kids the Phillies wanted. If they didnt like the kids they would have shopped around before jumping on this thing. We have no idea what actually was said with Lee’s agent or what was talked about dealing with the trades.

    The Moyer issue this has been known for some time now maybe about a month or so. Do you have any idea how hard it is to recover from a surgery? How about 2 of them at the same time? You have to partially recover from the 1 before you can have another.

  206. bergeraj
    If you see this situation as anything but negative(lee trade)
    then you are very mistaken.
    Do you doubt that Halladay and Lee insures a pennant and that the WORSE that could happen is two high picks?

  207. Nothing insures a pennant and who knows what the best move is or should have been until its all said and done. Its all hindsight we just have the ability to sit here and play arm chair GMs. I understand why everyone is upset because we could of had both Lee and Halladay going #1/2 and Hamels #3 but I also understand why RAJ traded Lee. He knows this team is a top contender in the NL if we were last year and the year before without a guy like Lee or Halladay then why would we need both? Is it a nice luxury YES but does it insure a pennant HECK NO. We still have a very good team and will still be favorites in the NL East so why not trade away Lee and go get the prospects that they feel are the best for the future? Trading for prospects is MUCH better than getting kids from the draft, here we got 3 guys with proven talent instead of 2 possible prospects. Hopes and dreams are nice man but its no reason to get our panties in a bunch because your dream team wasnt put together.

  208. What baffles me is how anyone can even seriously argue that ANY* move (or lack of move) “guarentees” a pennant. Especially given the vageries of a 5 or 7 game playoff series.

    Reasonable minds can differ about the merits of individual moves, but statements about “guarenteed pennants” are just absurd. All nastiness aside, anyone who makes that particular argument doesn’t deserve to be taken at all seriously.

    *any move within the the bounds of the real – I mean, if all of the teams in the NL gave the Phillies their best players for free and the ownership decided to triple their salary budget, well, yeah, that would pretty much guarentee a pennant.

  209. And it’s futile to keep trying to explain certain facts, but whatever one thinks about the Lee trade, the key fact that people miss is that Halladay agreed to a far below market contract and Lee wasn’t going to. People who don’t understand that basic dynamic don’t understand baseball finance very well. Sadly, that seems to apply to somewhere between 30 and 50% of the posters here.

    Again, there is plenty of room to disagree about the trade given these realities, but let’s at least stick to reality in doing it.

  210. You are kidding right Larry. Who wouldn’t want two top pitchers on the same team??????? And it was so easy to do.

  211. I know this will get shuffled to the back, since I am not a regular contributor or responded lately to any of your posts. However…

    I believe the Phillies traded Taylor over Brown because of how the major league club looks over the next two years. Taylor is knocking the door now, in your words, while Brown will take a few years to develop. The major league club doesn’t need help now, but they will in 2-3 years. It benefits Taylor and the Phillies to trade him now, and it helps the Phillies to keep Brown, who is likely 2-3 years away.

  212. I’m mostly now convinced that nowheels is a troll who is laughing his — off at us for taking him seriously, but here goes anywya.

    Nowheels, you DO realize that there is a huge difference between “having Lee would guarentee a pennant” (absurd, laughable, ignorant) and “Who wouldn’t want two top pitchers on the same team” (certainly true in isolation, though as we all know not the whole story).

    At the end of the day, assuming that the option of dumping Blanton was available as an alternative (again, the 140 million payroll is a fact of life that mature fans are just going to have to accept), we are talking about a tradeoff between (1) making a very good team even better next year (by kepping Lee), and (2) restocking our farm system after the Halladay trade (by trading Lee). Reasonable minds can differ as to which option was best, but it’s stupid to pretend it is a no brainer either way.

  213. bergeraj Says:
    December 20, 2009 at 2:24 PM

    Trading for prospects is MUCH better than getting kids from the draft, here we got 3 guys with proven talent instead of 2 possible prospects.


    This point can’t be stressed enough. I have heard a bunch of guys, even the talk show radio guys on both WIP and ESPN, keep repeating over and over again how much better it would have been to “keep Lee, and take the comp picks” after the 2010 season.

    That thought process seems to demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of the baseball draft and how different it is from the drafts in other sports. Those people should spend more time on this great site that PP runs.

    The prospects for Seattle have already demonstrated some major league talent that can be worked with. 2 comp picks (likely in the bottom of Rd 1) could turn into another combo like Anthony Hewitt and Zach Collier. Guys who are still likely years away from the big leagues…if they ever make it at all.

    With this trade the Phillies got prospects who might be able to actually contribute something in 2010 or 2011 instead of 2015 or 2016. That is a huge difference.

  214. On the Aumont move to bullpen (April 6, 2009), from Ben Badler @ BA – Badler thinks the decision was wise:

    Selected quotes:

    “We felt that this was a guy, who, if used in a relief role, could be on a real fast-track to the major leagues,” (general manager Jack Zduriencik) said. “And we’re talking a real fast track.”

    “Aumont throws a heavy 90-95 mph fastball that peaks at 97, but given the confluence of his elbow problems and scouts’ concerns about his mechanics, who knows how long he’ll be able to throw that hard? There’s no need to keep him in a starting role if it means he’s going to miss another two months (or more) of the season, stunting his development and possibly leading to an atrophy of velocity or movement. Why risk burning out an arm like that if you can having him throwing those bullets in the major leagues instead?

    Nobody knows Aumont—his medical history and current health, the development of his slider and his work-in-progress changeup—better than the Mariners. Kudos to them for what’s likely to be an initially unpopular decision, but one that could greatly benefit Aumont’s career.”

    Hmmm. I guess I’m for whatever is best for this kid and will ultimately help the Phillies the most.

  215. Can I just say that if Carlos Triunfel had been included in this trade, that I would have been WAY happier

  216. How about the Braves/Yankees trade for Javy Vasquez. I’d be curious to hear everyone else’s take, but from what I’ve read, I think the Braves got more for Vazquez (a less pitcher making more money) than we got for Lee. How is this possible? I’d be shocked if baseball america ranked the prospects we got ahead of what the Braves got. Thoughts?

  217. One thing that is bothering me is Blanton. Last year everyone was saying “what a great trade”. This year many are saying we couldn’t get a second tier prospect for him and keep MT and keep Lee even if it for one year.
    If Blanton repeats his second half all year he won’t be here either. So we lose if Blanton is good and lose if Blanton is bad wrecking the already thin rotation.

  218. nowheels,
    forget about Michael Taylor. He is gone. He was my favorite prospect too. There is no need though, to go on and on about a player that has’nt done anything at the major league level.
    The Phillies wanted Halladay. They traded fair value for him, no matter what you or I think of Michael Taylor. Roy Halladay, the #1 or 2 pitcher in baseball, plus $6million for Michael Taylor and Kyle Drabek? That is fair value, nowheels.

    There are 3 issues that cause people to look at the trade incorrectly:

    1. They don’t value Halladay any more than Lee. Halladay is BETTER than Lee. Period. Halladay is always great and has been great for 7 years. Lee was great in ’08 and great for stretches in ’09. And even as great as Lee was last year, he still wasnt as good as Halladay.
    2. Phillies fans over value our prospects. Everyone assumes Michael Taylor will be better than Ryan Howard because he has better numbers than Howard had in the minors. Well, check Marlon Byrds numbers against Taylors. They are very similar.
    3. Phils fans dont respect other teams prospects. People are checking LAST years BA list assuming Seattles’ prospects all stayed in the same order. The prospects the Phillies received from Seattle are just as good as the ones they traded to Cleveland for Lee.

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