As I am sure you are aware, Blue Jays GM J.P. Riccardi announced a few days back that he will begin fielding offers for uber-Ace Roy Halladay. Any time a player of this caliber becomes available (think Johan Santana), fans start scheming about ways of getting that guy to their city. Imagine teaming baseball’s #1 horse with Santana at the top of the rotation for the next five years. Guess what….there is no shot he finds a new home in Queens.
Let’s run through the reasons why, unlike in the winter of 2008 with Joahn, the Mets will be left behind in this chase:
- First off, as we’ve witnessed first hand this year, the Mets farm system flat out stinks. Part of the reason their minor league stock seems to be tapped out is the fact that they surrendered some of their top prospects to the Twins to acquire Santana. As it has turned out so far, none of the quartet of Carlos Gomez, Kevin Mulvey, Phil Humber, and Deolis Guerra have made a huge impact impact in Minnesota. So even if the Mets tried to mold together an enticing package of youngsters, starting with I presume Fernando Martinez and Bradley Holt, I don’t believe they would have enough to get it done
- Halladay is arguably the best starting pitcher in the game and that means the Mets aren’t the only team drooling over the idea of getting their hands on him. Contenders are lining up to make a play at Doc and you have to believe someone will satisfy Riccardi’s understandably astronomical demands. The bonus of acquiring Halladay is that he is signed through next year. Granted the his salary of $14.25 million in 2009 and $15.75 million is nothing to sniff at, but getting a guy of his caliber for more than just a three-month rental is worth the financial risk.
The worst part of this situation for Mets fans is that the Phillies may be the front runners in the Halladay derby. It’s not just me saying it, take a look at what Ed Price of MLB Fanhouse writes or what Joel Sherman surmises in the NY Post.
The bottom line is that the Phillies have the prospects (Kyle Drabek, John Mayberry, Carlos Carrasco, Dominic Brown, etc…), the money and the motivation to make a splash. In turn, I am guessing Halladay would consider the Phils enough of a contender to not invoke his full no-trade clause.
Further distressing is thinking about how perfect Halladay would be for the Mets and their new canyon of a ballpark. It is clear that the Mets are going to need to concoct a team built on pitching a defense in order to take advantage of what Cit Field presents. Halladay is a contact inducing workhorse and ground ball machine. Too bad he is likely to become some other team’s staff gem.