Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Yankees Rout Twins 10-2 & Thoughts On Roy Halladay

I didn't get to see last night's blowout victory over the Twins because the game was on My9. I did get to listen to most of it on the radio but was preoccupied with some other things, but I did hear all the good parts. I was very pleased with the outcome and loved what I heard. The offense hammered the Twins pitching. 10 runs on 16 hits and 7 walks is a pretty good day. I'd expect them to score more runs seeing that they went 7 for 17 with RISP and had 23 baserunners, but 10 runs is nothing to scoff at. Only 3 of the 16 hits went for extra bases. I hope the team takes a lesson away from that. You don't need to constantly swing for the fences and the 5-run homer to score runs and win games. Singles get the job done too. Every starter had at least 1 hit and every starter except for Damon and Jeter had at least 1 RBI. It was a total team effort. I was particularly impressed with the bottom of the order. Cano, Gardner and Cervelli combined to go 7-for-14 with 6 RBI and 5 runs scored. The trio also had the Yankees 3 extra-base hits. Not a bad day for those guys. Cano finally picked up a hit with RISP, so his 0-21 streak w/RISP has ended. Girardi wisely moved him back down in the order. CC Sabathia was again gold. I'm sure it helped pitching with a lead from the get-go. It was a great outing from the staff ace.

There's been a lot of chatter lately about Roy Halladay being traded. The Jays know that they're not contending anytime soon. Their rotation has been decimated by injuries. Their 8 games back and trailing 3 powerhouses. They're not catching up. Halladay's contract is up at the end of 2010 and there's no chance they resign him. Halladay obviously wants to win and that's not going to happen in Toronto. If I had to put money it, I'd say his departure from Toronto is all but imminent. He's being dealt. It's going to happen. The Jays would be foolish to not try and get something for Doc before he bolts.

The question is where will he go and what will it take to get him? I think the Yankees will be in the mix, largely because they have to be. You don't at least inquire about what it will take to get Halladay. They also need to make sure he doesn't go to Boston. There's a school of thought that the Jays won't trade Halladay within the division. I don't think that matters really. It'd be nice for the Jays not to have to do that but they should take the best that they can get. If that comes from the AL East, the Jays make the deal. I think we'll hear a lot of talk from Brian Cashman that the Yankees aren't in the mix. Cash has said all season that his goal is to lower the payroll. Trading for Halladay would surely increase it. Disregard anything you hear from Cash. He said the same thing about signing Mark Teixeira and look where he ended up. If it makes sense, Cash will do it.

Halladay to the Yankees would make them heavy favorites to win the East and move deep into the playoffs. Those extra home games means extra revenue. As the old adage goes, you have to spend money to make money. It's only a bust if the Yankees fail to make the playoffs or win in the playoffs. That could happen. We've seen it before. But you don't get the chance if you're not there. With Doc on the roster, the odds of October baseball in the Bronx is high. Really high.

So what would it take to get Halladay? If Halladay were to remain a Blue Jay thru 2010 and leave for another team, the Jays are going to end up with 2 first round draft picks. That's your jumping off point. Any team that deals for Halladay is going to have to pony up 2 highly valued prospects. The Yankees have some of those. The question is, will they part with any? If they want Halladay, they're going to have to. I think the Jays would ask for Austin Jackson and either Jesus Montero or Austin Romine. I think the Yanks can afford to part ways with one of the catching prospects, assuming of course their plan is to not turn one into a DH. If the plan is for them to remain catchers, they can afford to part with one. In addition to Romine and Montero, there's also Francisco Cervelli. 3 catchers for 2 positions. There won't be enough room at the inn.

In addition to the two prospects, it's going to take a young major league ready pitcher with ace potential. The Yanks have that in Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain. I think one of them have to go if the Yanks were to pull a deal off. Personally, I'd prefer to see the Yankees keep Hughes over Joba. I've always said that when their careers are said and done, Hughes will have had the better career. I've never been a huge Joba guy. I like him. I think he's the skills. I'm worried about the mental makeup. His meteoric rise to stardom in NY has obviously gone to his head. I think he got way too big way too soon and he's not ready for it. The same thing that created him, Jobamania, could also kill him. Hughes seems much more grounded and he definitely has a better head on his shoulders. If one must go, I'd prefer to keep Hughes.

I'm sure in addition to that, the Jays will want one more major league ready talent, or possibly 2 B-level prospects. That's the wild card. I've read that the Jays want a SS. Would Ramiro Pena fit the bill? Maybe they'd want another pitching prospect, say Zach McCallister. There's not going to be a lot of opportunity to join the Yankees rotation in the coming years. The Yankees could be inclined to part with a young starter or two. Who they would trade would probably be dictated by the Jays.

So in my estimation, if the Yankees were to make a deal for Halladay, they'd be looking at dealing Austin Jackson, Romine/Montero, Hughes/Joba plus 1 or 2 other guys. If that's the deal, I'm not sure what I do. I think it's a lot to give up. I remember when the Yankees were in discussion for Johan Santana and I didn't want them to do it and they were rumored to be giving up less than that. I'm not sure what I think now. Joba is floundering. Hughes hasn't yet matured. Wang is injured and has been ineffective. CC and A.J. are in the fold. Maybe bringing in Doc makes sense. If Cashman can get creative and make something sensible happen, then I say go for it. I don't think though that what I came up with above is sensible.

Come July 31, when the smoke clears, I don't think Halladay will be wearing Pinstripes. I also don't think he'll end up in Beantown. I'd be happy with that outcome. I think in the end the price will be too rich for the Yankees' blood. I know the Phillies are jonesing for a starter and I wouldn't be surprised if he ended up there.

Imagine a rotation headlined by Sabathia, Burnett, and Halladay. I get giddy at the thought.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,