Watching Roy Halladay make history yesterday made me wonder if he could have made it for the Mets.
Reportedly, the Mets rejected a trade proposal from Toronto that would have had them sending Jon Niese, Bobby Parnell, Ruben Tejada and Fernando Martinez to the Blue Jays.
It would be great to have Halladay, especially in light of Johan Santana’s injury, but it never was going to happen.
Because it wasn’t true, said then Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi.
“It was absolutely wrong,” Ricciardi told USA Today. “We didn’t exchange names with the Mets. I felt so bad for [Mets GM] Omar [Minaya] because there was no truth to it. None. Now, he’s the one who has to answer why they didn’t get Halladay.’’
Trade talks never got to the name-exchanging stage for several reasons, beginning with Halladay having a no-trade clause in his contract with the Blue Jays and there was no hint of him wanting to come to New York.
Most importantly – or the deal breaker – from the Mets’ perspective , is the Blue Jays would not have allowed a negotiating window for the Mets to work an extension. It would have amounted to trading four prospects for a rental, which would have made no sense.
Halladay said he wanted to play for a contender, and signed with Philadelphia after the off-season trade because the Phillies were the superior team and the Mets did not offer him a similar opportunity to win.
The trade, if executed, wouldn’t have helped the Mets last year any way, and with their anemic offense, would it really have made much of a difference this season?
While the Mets would have loved to have had Halladay, they still like the pieces they retained.
Both Niese and Parnell made strides to where there is optimism they will be productive pitchers. And, with Francisco Rodriguez’s situation up in the air, Parnell could evolve as the club’s closer.
Niese will enter spring training as one of the Mets’ three starters, with the other two spots to be determined.
Tejada has a major league glove, but hasn’t proven he can hit consistently. Martinez hasn’t proven he can stay healthy.