Roy Halladay in the Mets’ rotation sounds appetizing. With the Blue Jays willing to deal, there are only a handful of teams that fit economically, with the Mets among them, presumably able to come up with a $20-million per season contract.
So are the Yankees and Red Sox, who figure to be greater factors in trade talks this winter than at last July’s trade deadline because the Blue Jays appear more inclined to be willing to trade him within the AL East. If trading within the division is feasible, the main unanswered questions are whether the Blue Jays want to trade. If Toronto believes it is able to compete for at least a wild card, then the decision could be to hold him for this year knowing he’ll walk next winter.
As the Blue Jays prepare for 2010, dealing Halladay now would send the white flag message to its already shrinking fan base. The fallback would be to wait until the trade deadline and assess things then. That way, if they are struggling, they would get more than compensatory draft choices.
Because the Blue Jays might not be pressed to deal now as many believe, a package would undoubtedly have to be sweeter. So assuming the Mets are able to work out a contract deal with Halladay during their negotiating window – at 32 would want at least five years – there’s still the matter of the prospects.
The Mets do have quality chips, but what they don’t have is the quantity to trade for Halladay, and have enough left over to deal for a hitter.
The Blue Jays want a major league pitcher such as Mike Pelfrey – which creates another hole – a minor league pitching prospect such as Jennry Mejia or Brad Holt, Fernando Martinez, and either Wilmer Flores or Ruben Tejada. Packages tend to change during trade talks, but that’s a starting point according to The Toronto Star.
That’s a lot, more than the Mets, who let’s face it need more overhauling than tweaking, should be willing to give. Conversely, the Phillies have the depth in prospects to one-up the Mets. So do the Red Sox and Yankees. All three would also have the willingness to sign Halladay long term.
John Lackey, meanwhile, would only cost money. But, he has an injury history and shouldn’t it be a red flag the Angels, the team that knows him best, are seemingly willing to let him walk?