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JP Riccardi’s calculated spiel yesterday regarding the future of ace Roy Halladay sparked images of the righthander in a number of uniforms. Fans of contenders were tantalized by his words:
“In the past we weren’t willing to listen and we figured let’s just see what someone’s got out there and what someone is willing to offer,” Ricciardi said.
Halladay, one of the top three pitchers in baseball, is 10-2 with a 2.79 era. The innings eating sinkerballer is as much of a sure thing as their is in baseball.
So where could he go? He’d immediately become an ace and is certainly a talent who can put any club in contention into the favorite chair.
Could he go to…
It’s not likely, as their in the same division. However Boston has the deepest farm system among contenders and could put together a strong package to get Halladay. Also, they are one of a few clubs that would have no problem ponying up the cash necessary to extend big Roy. The Sox would want a starter because of the ineptitude of John Smoltz and Daisuke Matsuzaka. Smoltz is signed only through this year, but Daisuke’s struggles post WBC give great concern to ‘the nation.’ Adding Halladay would give Boston the strongest top three in recent memory along with Josh Beckett and Jon Lester.
Such a deal would likely cost Boston:
Clay Buchholz – the top pitching prospect dominating at AAA. Oh yeah and he’s thrown a no hitter in the majors. Buchholz has an ace level ceiling and the team is likely to be protective of him in any negotiation as they were with Lester in the Johan Santana discussions.
Daniel Bard – Boston’s closer in waiting is an elite reliever in waiting
Josh Reddick/Ryan Kalish – Young outfielders with potential could help Toronto’s shallow minor league outfield.h
Insert infield prospect here. Toronto would want an infield prospect capable of replacing Scott Rolen. One user here suggested Jason Donald – the Phillies prospect who could be acquired at the cost of potentially a Brad Penny.
The Yankees already signed AJ Burnett and CC Sabathia, but Andy Pettitte is on his last legs, Joba Chamberlain can’t stay in the game long enough to get a decision and Chien Ming Wang has been possessed by Hideki Irabu. Money isn’t considered an issue and it would be quite a coup for the team to bring in Halladay to sandwich Sabathia between two former Jays.
The problem would likely be the cost in talent, Toronto would likely demand:
Joba Chamberlain – Joba has been an elite reliever and has shown flashes of dominance as a starter. Many still believe he can be a franchise starter.
Jesus Montero – This powerful catcher is considered one of the top three (along with Buster Posey of San Francisco and Carlos Santana of Cleveland) catching prospects in baseball. Any Halladay deal with the Yankees would start with him as Toronto has no catching prospects on the horizon.
Phil Hughes – Once a heralded prospect, Hughes has reinvented himself as a powerful reliever. Some still think he has great potential as a starter and perhaps a change of scenery would be a boon for him.
Ramiro Pena – This slick fielding infielder could play a utility role until one of Toronto’s infielders move on.
While a Halladay – Santana rotation would be amazing, its unlikely the Mets have the prospects necessary to pry Halladay away from Toronto. Here’s what it might take:
Wilmer Flores – this young infielder put up incredible power numbers as a 16 year old last season. He’s just 17 in A ball but is already drawing comparisons to Miguel Cabrera.
Jon Niese – This lefty has already pitched in the majors with some success.
Reese Havens – another young infielder, a Havens – Flores left side of the infield is blocked in New York but would be tempting, but still far off.
Fernando Martinez – already in Citi Field but still considered one of the most toolsy players around.
Tampa can’t be happy with the way that the Edwin Jackson deal has turned out. Jackson has been a dominant starter, while Matt Joyce is hitting just .188. Halladay would make their rotation the class of the league.
The cost would be prohibitive and Tampa isn’t likely to want to take on Halladay’s contract plus the risk that he could leave.
Tim Beckham – Last year’s number one overall pick is a special player who Toronto would certainly demand.
David Price – 2007’s first overall has faltered a bit in the majors but still has as high a ceiling as any pitcher out there.
Reid Brignac – this shortstop has no real future in Tampa, as he is sandwiched by All Star Jason Bartlett and SS of the future Beckham
Jeff Niemann – hard throwing righty is a solid #4 or 5 starter.
Philadelphia needs a starter badly, and Cole Hamels has not been the ace he was last year after throwing all those playoff innings.
Philly would need to give up:
Dominic Brown – this outfielder, the system’s #1 prospect according to Baseball America, would be the starting point of any deal.
Carlos Carrasco – somewhat disappointing in AAA this year, has great stuff and would be in demand.
Kyle Drabek – Doug’s son would be a must include for Toronto, he has a higher ceiling than Carrasco and has been outstanding (9-1, 2.58) between High-A and AA
Lou Marson – A strong hitting catching prospect who Toronto would desire.
The Dodgers are an unlikely destination for Halladay despite their need for a starting pitcher. Los Angeles has a thin system because their young players are all in the big leagues performing. Because a deal would have to include key young players its unlikely they will be players. A deal would require:
Chad Billingsley/Clayton Kershaw – two ace level talents who are already performing at the major league level.
Matt Kemp – Rising star outfielder who can hit for power and steal bases.
While Kemp has a great deal of value, he doesn’t really have a spot in Toronto because of the Vernon Wells contract. This would be another barrier to any deal between the two clubs.
The Angels would definitely want to take a peek at Halladay, as they have already used Matt Palmer, Shane Loux, Sean O’Sullivan and Dustin Mosely as starters. Their system has pitchers which would work in their favor.
Jordan Walden – The teams top pitching prospect after the death of Nick Adenhart, Walden has touched 101 mph and put together a very strong 2008 season while reaching high A. He’s just 1-5, 4.95 this year at AA, but the stuff is great and walks can be corrected.
Brandon Wood – this power hitting infielder has never gotten a shot as a full time player in the big leagues but has 40 HR ceiling and could be a middle of the order hitter for Toronto immediately.
Trevor Reckling – A control lefty who has been outstanding between High-A and AA this year, going 5-4, 2.18 despite walking 43 in 95 innings.
The Tigers farm system is bare and a deal would start with Rick Porcello, who the Tigers have no desire to move.
Texas would be the ideal suitor, both prospect wise and need wise. The issue would be payroll. The Rangers have the best farm system in baseball and could offer:
Neftali Feliz – This flamethrower can touch the high 90’s and has a power curve and excellent changeup.
Justin Smoak – Last year’s top pick is one of the top hitting prospects left in the majors. He’s nearly big league ready having already reached AAA.
Taylor Teagarden – He’s stuck splitting time with Jarrod Saltalamacchia, but is a major league caliber backstop.
The Brew Crew really has few prospects left for another rental, and would have to give up:
Alcides Escobar – This shortstop of the future brings great speed and defense.
Mat Gamel – This positionless slugger would be an ideal DH candidate
Brett Lawrie – An incredibly high ceiling infielder with a great bat and youth on his side – just 19 years old.
The Cubs, not the White Sox, would be interested, but don’t have enough to offer as their farm system is as bare as there is in baseball.
The Giants have the prospects, but they also have one of the top staffs in the league along with a Barry Zito contract. Halladay isn’t coming to the city by the bay.
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