Big pitching deals ….

John Lackey to the Red Sox. Roy Halladay to Philadelphia. Cliff Lee to Seattle. They are all coming down.

Lackey to the Red Sox in an $82.5-million, five-year deal pending a physical. The Red Sox have been tied to a lot of things, but this one seems to have come out of the blue. That’s a lot of money and it probably precludes them signing Matt Holliday.

The Mets were never in it for Lackey, but this deal could help them land Jason Bay. The Red Sox say they aren’t giving Bay a fifth year. Unless they are bluffing, there doesn’t seem to a chance they’ll go back to Bay. But, the Mets would have to up their offer to a fifth year.

The Mets were also never in it for Halladay, either, because they didn’t have the minor league talent to get it down.

Meanwhile, the Phillies are working a three-team deal with Toronto and Seattle which would bring Halladay to Philadelphia and send Cliff Lee to Seattle. That deal is close, pending physicals and Halladay agreeing to an extension with the Phillies.

Reportedly, the extension would be for three years through the 2013 season and be worth $60 million, plus $15.75 million for 2010, the final year of his current contract.

I always thought Halladay to the Phillies because they have the prospects and the Blue Jays didn’t want to send him within the division. The Mets could have afforded the money end of it, but not the prospects. Toronto would get Mariners pitching prospect Phillippe Aumont, and at least two players from the Phillies, one of which is expected to be catcher Travis d’Arnaud. That second player could come from a pool that includes J.A. Happ and Joe Blanton.

The Phillies would also add to their farm system by getting two prospects from the Mariners. It would have been interesting to see Lee and Halladay in the same rotation, but reports are Lee wants Sabathia Money.

33 thoughts on “Big pitching deals ….

  1. Great deal for the Phillies. I’m not sure it’s such a great deal for the Mariners. If the rumors are true, one of the other prospects is Brandon Morrow. Morrow hasn’t hit his upside yet. I can’t find any confirmation if he’s included. If he is that’s a large price to pay for a 1 yr rental.

    Hernandez and Lee and pray for rain just doesn’t have the same ring to it :)

  2. 1. The M’s won 85 games last year and signed Chone Figgins and now have 2 aces. They will sell out their stadium again and most likely make the playoffs. The additional revenue will give them added options. If that is a bad thing you must love the Met operation. By the way I hear Met season ticket sales are collpasing?

  3. Harry (3): What you’re saying is true. The Mariners will have more money next year. I just don’t see them giving Lee a contract similar to Sabathia’s. … Mets season tickets are down from what I hear.-JD

  4. Doesn’t the Phillies trading Cliff Lee negate the purpose of getting Halladay? They basically traded one Cy Young winner for another. Wasn’t the idea to get two Cy Youngs and a World Series MVP on the same staff? Other teams would be far more intimidated by a team with Halladay, Lee and Cole Hamels at the top of their rotation than Hallday, Hamels and…Pedro? Joe Blanton?
    As for Lackey’s going to Boston — for $82M, no less — who can blame him?

  5. One of the teams Bay was rumored to go to was his hometown, Seattle. Looks like hes not going there either. The Mets may still get him for the 4 years they offered him. Holliday is still out there and thats leverage for us.

  6. The Red Sox offered a contract to our old friend Cammy. Godzilla signs with the Halos. Big day for a lot of teams not named the metsies.

  7. Delcos: The Mets weren’t in it for Lackey because the Mets misread what was going on. They played the market like it was last year and it wasn’t and they didn’t see that it was different. Everyone assumed the sox would bid more but they didn’t. They used Bay as a ruse to get Lackey without a bidding war. Now the Cardinals have offerd Holliday the 8 year deal everyone laughed at so he’s off the Mets table as a fall back and mlb trade rumors or whatever it is says the Yankees are indeed discussing Bay (which is a no brainer if the other option is Damon). Even fallback, falback, fallback option Cameron is gone. If the Mets don’t get Bay their best options are Cust and the Hart trade from Milwaukee. Omar will offer the 5th year because he now has no options but if the Yankees are in it he’s wasting his time. The Omar patience game didn’t work this year. Now he’s locked into one guy and if the Yankees come in and swoop Bay away, Wilpon/Minaya won’t be able to overcome the PR disaster that would follow like a tsunami. Game on Omar….

  8. Red Sox are out of the Bay race and the Mariners likely are too with Lee and Figgins in house. I can’t see why Omar would have to do much to his original offer to sign Bay, and may want to play even harder ball with him.

    #8 If 82.5 Million is the price for Lackey “without a bidding war” then I am glad the Mets didn’t jump in and make a bidding war. I mean what did you want to give him Barry Zito money? I don’t think the Mets had any interest in going 17 million and 5 years for Lackey.

    And how does Omar have no Options? Bay and Halliday are still on the market and the only teams interested in a LF are the Cards and Mets. Who else is going to pony up the 16 mil to compete with the Mets? Maybe Omar throws in an option, but especially with Lackey signed there is no way Bay sees the same money.

    If the Yankees really get in on Bay I agree there is something to that, but that seems unlikely to me.

  9. BTW I really really want to see the final deal for the Phils, if they end up giving up Lee Happ and another prospect for Halladay I think I will dance in the streets because they will have gotten worse not better.

    And anyone wanting to give Lee CC Sabathia money is crazy, lets see how he does this year, but I am not seeing a built up track record for #1 pitcher in the game money. Especially factoring in the increased age.

  10. (8) Harry: Unless the Mets were going to throw 100 mil at Lackey, he wasn’t coming. I still say let the buyer beware on this guy, he has been injured the past two years, his ERA isn’t great, and he isn’t worth what the Sox gave him, IMO.

    Regarding Halladay, I’ll echo Gil…I don’t understand the benefit of trading Lee in this deal. I’d be very scared if the Phills had both Lee and Halladay…but now the playing field as far as #1 starters is still even.

  11. The only thing that would get me upset is if the Yankees came in and signed Bay. That would depress me.

  12. #12, Unless the Mets still got Halliday, but yes I think if they snagged Bay we would be in rough shape. Who knows maybe Omar will surprise us and make a deal out of LF :)

  13. (13) James: I think if they get a pitcher it will be in a trade for a name that hasn’t been mentioned. According to Heyman, it doesn’t look like the Mets are in on Marquis or Piniero, so that’s why i’m thinking trade.

  14. 9/11. James/O the Cards offered an 8 year deal to Holliday. Do you think the Mets are entering the fray. As for Lackey, the point of my post wasn’t the bucks it was the way the Red Sox got him without a war. The Mets announce to the world they gave Bay an offer which wouldn’t get him and decide to wait and do nothing while he sleeps on it. The Red Sox bring the guy in secretly and get done the deal without anyone even having a chance. And they apparently had Cameron negotiations being doen secretly as well. It looks like they never wanted to keep Bay and used him as a ruse. The Mets supposed strategy was thinking nobody would sign fast so the Mets could go to each of the top tier guys at the Mets leisure and wait for the price to drop. The Red Sox played the bidding war game with Texeira last year and lost. They learned their lesson.
    10. I thought the Phillies made a bad deal at first but they made a good deal. Halladay for 15.5 this year, 20 the next three and then vesting so if he gets hurt they don;t have him for 6 or 7 years. They also get prospects from Seattle and Lee wanted CC money. So they get Halladay cheaper then they would have kept Lee for and they keep the minors stocked at the same time. And the Blue Jays gave them 6 million bucks so he’s even cheaper than the contracted price. And they aren’t over burdened with lefties. Yesterday it was Lee, Happ, Hamels and Moyer. 4 lefties. Now they have more balance.
    12. If you were the Yankees why wouldn’t you go after Bay. It totally humiliates the Mets in the PR war, he’s only a little more money than Damon, you aren’t paying Matsui anymore. You still have Melky to play if you use Bay at DH part time, and your payroll will still drop. They already see the Mets being unable to renew season ticket sales. Even if they don’t sign him, just the rumors will probably make the Mets make a bad deal which will further hamper their haplses efforts to fill the other “weaknesses” on the team.

  15. (15) Harry: An 8 year deal to Holliday is crazy. I wouldn’t want the Mets to enter the fray on that one. And like Lackey, Lee may want CC money, but it doesn’t mean he is going to get it. The deal is good for the Phills, but now they are back to matching #1’s with the Mets in Halladay and Santana as opposed to having two #1’s with Lee and Halladay with a very strong #2 candidate in Hamels. The Phills are moving their top pitching prospect in the deal, one who is major league ready and the prospects they are getting back are like the Mejia’s of the world. I think Toronto made out the best of anyone, though it’s going to take a few years to see if that is really true.

  16. Steve the Original (11, 12, 16): Agree the buyer beware on Lackey. His injury history must be considered. That the Angels didn’t do much to keep him says something. … I wouldn’t count out the Yankees on Bay. … The only way the Phillies could make this deal IMO was to deal Lee. They had to be thinking they’d lose him anyway and it would be cheaper to get a long-term deal done with Halladay.-JD

  17. (18) 60 mil over 3 years to a pitcher that turns 33 in May and has a ton of innings in that arm already is a big risk too for the Phills. Excellent point on the Angels, I always question it when a team has no desire to resign their own top pitcher.

  18. Nobody wants to play for the Mets. Now Molina is saying he wont sign for less than 3 years. Im beginning to wonder if it would be better for the team to patch things up for a year with trades instead of giving ridiculous contracts to less than superstar players. If Bay is a liablility in the field now, whats he gonna be like in 5 years? He isnt going to be enough to overcome the Phillies anyway.

  19. 2011 will have a lot more interesting players than this year. Also there will good players available in July. Here is a thought on LF. Sign Nady and let Pagan hold it down until he is ready. I know that is not ideal, but it beats giving 5 years to Bay and 3 to molina IMO.

  20. 16. If you go back to the time the Mets had a healthy team the Phils had no Lee and no Halladay and no Happ who most forget, you know the kid who came up f romthe minors and unlike our superkid Pelfrey actually pitched liked he belonged. and they beat the Mets two years in a row. Now they have that plus they have more power as Werth has exploded while the Mets have weakened since they have not replaced their clean up guy (Selgado) and their starters 2-4 have been disapointments or injury prone and they have done nothing to build there either. In the Winter of ’08-09 many said the Mets were one power short to be good and now they are two. Plus, the Met bullpen supposedly fixed last Winter is as bas it was in 07/08, maybe worse as Rodriguez was worse than Wagner last year. Yes, the Phils don’t have Lee/Halladay but they are way ahead of this team.
    Halladay altho older than Santana has one major advantage. He can pitch 9 innings. with bullpens sucking on both teams that’s a big thing.

    Also Steve the deal for 8 years does sound crazy, but if you say that about every guy, and you have nobody to trade becuas you want your farm to be good someday then you are going to be a last place team. If that’s the case trade Beltran trade KRod… because they’ll be gone when you have these kids ready.

  21. 21. If you wait until ’11 I have no problem Sadecki but you better have a GM who knows the market and you better have Jeffy locked away somewehre so he can’t “help”.

    to all fo you guys. You say every guy is a risk and every guy is getting too much money, from Wolf on up to Holliday, Haladay and Lackey and all the back up catchers. Well if they’re all getting too much then you better have a damn good farm and trade them away when they hit free agency… Kind of like Minnesota does.

  22. #23, the difference is where to overspend your money on. spending too much money on Lackey for the Red sox right now makes some sense because he might very well be the difference between the Yankees and Red Sox for next year. The Mets are not in that situation to me, they need to be a markedly better team next year (some of which will come from being healthier), and they need to be much more consistant than last year, but we are not in a situation where overspending for Holliday/Bay makes a ton of sense because they are not the “over the top” guys.

    They can be a part of a good winning solution, but only if they sign for more reasonable money. Right now the numbers for Holliday from the Cards make much more sense 16 mil for 5 years with options for 3 years, and Bay at 16 mil for 4 years makes sense too. Go to 5 and/or much more money for Bay and that stops making sense, guarantee more or go to 20 mil for Holliday and the same stops there.

    If someone else wants to be that foolish, or if someone else is closer to where that can make a bit more sense, then so be it. Give me Nady, Barajas, Marquis, Cust and Wang and I will get better for next year without mortgaging 2011 when I can look at Mauer, Webb, etc that will be on the market there. And I will also know a lot more about this team and where it needs to go because my farm will be more mature and my injury questions won’t be questions anymore (whether for good or ill)

  23. 24. Good post James. Unfortunately for Minaya and his job security I don’t think such logic will help him keep his job. If City Stadium is half empty, bye bye Omar.

  24. Harry, I thought the same thing about Omar going into last season and he didn’t blow the big long term deal, of course the entire market collapsed and he didn’t go grab some of those bargains either, but he didn’t go mess everything up to get the “Santana” like name or to save his job.

    But that is the issue that still worries me the most, he will give 4 years to Piniero and 5 to Bay get fired halfway through the season and the Wilpons will go back into hide from FA mode for 7-8 years as they do anytime they spend money and $(%& happens.

  25. And yes, last year had Ollie, but at the time I thought that was the good deal by not overbidding on say Lowe for 4×60 so who knows :)

  26. Ollie was not a good deal.

    Yes, the Braves got stupid on Lowe, but we could have had other pitchers like Ollie for 6-8 million on a 1-3 year deal.

  27. I know, I thought at the time Ollie was better and had shown it in our “big games” in earlier years plus the whole young(ish) lefty arguement. But he should have played harder on Ollie I just think he thought the step down was steeper than it actually was and I don’t think he expected the bottom to fall out as completely as it did for the next tier at the time.

  28. yes. i do not think ollie is as bad as he was last year.

    but as i said last year. we had him for 3 years and all he was was inconsistent. he was a 10 year pro. he is what he is. a very inconsistent, very talented high maintenance player.

  29. dave (30): There’s no saving Perez. He is inconsistent and will always be that way. After a decade you would think something would have sunk in by now.-JD

  30. 24. James, this is what I have been saying. There is going to be so much better choices next year. It reminds me of the Mets jumping after Bonilla instead of waiting a year for Bonds to hit the market. Let the other teams burden themselves with bad contracts and next year we could be in great position to get some real stars. Imagine a Carpenter or Beckett or Webb to go along with Santana.