Halladay, Halladay, Halladay, that name has dominated Major League Baseball since before the All-Star break. Roy Halladay is on of the top 5 pitchers in all of baseball and he could be the difference beat making the playoffs for many teams and could be the missing piece to winning a World Championship for others. For weeks, our beloved Philadelphia Phillies have been considered the front runner in the Halladay sweepstakes. But I am not writing to further discuss the potential trade and how it would impact the Phillies if the got him or how it would hurt the Phillies should someone else land him, I am writing today to share my thoughts on J.P. Ricciardi.
Ricciardi is playing hardball with the future of the Toronto Blue Jays and many teams interested in acquiring the services of Roy Halladay. Ricciardi's price tag for Halladay is so high, that he risks not dealing the Cy Young Winner before the deadline. Halladay's trade value is at it's highest at the moment and will only decrease in value as time goes on and if the deadline comes and goes with Halladay staying in Toronto, Ricciardi will have only hurt his team.
Halladay has made it perfectly clear that he will test the market at the end of the 2010 season and he intends to sign with a team that will contend for a World Championship. Unfortunately for Ricciardi, the Blue Jays are not one of those teams that will contend in the near future. So by holding on to Halladay, yes, he keeps one of the best pitchers in baseball in a Blue Jays uniform, but he is on borrowed time. Say the deadline comes and goes, an off-season trade for Halladay will not get the caliber prospects being offered at the time being. Should Halladay not be traded in the off-season, come July 2010, a Halladay trade will get almost nothing compared to today's value. What team in their right mind will give anything of significant value to rent a player for 3 or 4 months?
Ricciardi needs to strike while the iron is hot. Ricciardi needs to do what is best for the future of the Toronto Blue Jays. Ricciardi needs to trade Halladay now before his value drops. Ricciardi needs to stop playing games and having sources "leak" things to the media. Trade discussion between teams are normally kept quiet till the deal is done, but apparently Ricciardi loves to see his name in print and hear his name on TV. As a phan, I was annoyed that Ricciardi told the press of his formal price tag for Halladay. Ricciardi is not stupid, he knows Phillie Phans believe Halladay will bring us that much closer to winning back to back championships, but little did he know that Philadelphia isn't willing to gamble on the future by selling the farm for one player. This tactic only forced the Phillies to play the media game as well and formally reject the Halladay offer. My message to Ricciardi, you can keep Halladay, we don't need him that badly. Yes, having a pitcher like Roy Halladay would be an incredible addition to the World Champion Phillies, but let's not forgot one important thing. We are the "WORLD CHAMPION" Phillies.
This championship team has hardly changed since last year's championship season. In fact, I believe we have only gotten better. Yes, some of our pitching has struggled, but things are coming together. This team has one of the most potent lineups in baseball. Just look at the caliber player we have 1-7. Jimmy Rollins is getting his swing back, Shane Victorino is having an All-Star season, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard are doing their thing, we add All-Star Raul Ibanez who had been a great addition to the team, Jayson Werth is having an All-Star season, Pedro Feliz is batting around .300. This lineup is has protection all the way through. You can not pitch around anyone because the next hitter is just as good as the one before. Then we have our pitchers, who have struggled a bit, but are pitching well as of late. This rotation can get the job done without Halladay. Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, Jamie Moyer, JA Happ, and a resurgent Pedro Martinez have the talent to get us back to the World Series. Our bullpen is starting to pitch well again and in August might get a huge boost with Bret Myers possibly coming off the DL. A healthy Myers gives us Ryan Madson in the 7th, Myers in the 8th, and Brad Lidge to close out the 9th.
Would I like to see us add another pitcher, sure I would. Do I feel that we are in trouble if we don't, absolutely not. This team was built to win and that is what they are doing, winning. In closing, I haven't given up hope on a Halladay trade to Philadelphia. As I mentioned either, Ricciardi is not stupid, he knows the value of Roy Halladay is at it's highest and I don't blame him for wanting the best players possible, where I do fault Ricciardi is for playing the media game, it is just not necessary. There is no reason to "leak" information to "sources" to great people riled up.