This is a much different story than what we've been hearing up to now.
The Boston Red Sox have offered at least three players – no-hit pitcher Clay Buchholz, Triple-A pitching prospect Michael Bowden and top outfield prospect Ryan Westmoreland – to the Toronto Blue Jays for ace Roy Halladay, according to a source with knowledge of the negotiations. Because the Blue Jays, who are vigorously shopping Marco Scutaro, are also looking for a shortstop, the Red Sox may be trying to draw a third team into negotiations to satisfy Toronto’s need.
Up to now, I have been against the Sox trading for Roy Halladay because of his age, money issues and the talent the Sox would have to surrender. But if this is the deal...if all it would take was Buchholz, Bowden and Westmoreland and a third team (which Theo is a master at)...
I say pull the trigger.
I have never been 100% sold on Buchholz, who has all the talent in the world but still doesn't seem to have his head on right. Bowden is a talent, so I kind of wish we wouldn't lose him*. And Westmoreland has all the potential in the world...but is only 19. If this is what the Sox have to surrender...why wouldn't you do the deal?
And look at who isn't mentioned in the deal:
- Daniel Bard
- Justin Masterson
- Lars Anderson
- Casey Kelly
- Junichi Tazawa
- Josh Reddick
- Yamacio Navarro
The only guy here I would even consider moving is Anderson, and that's because guys like Aaron Bates and Anthony Rizzo are in system.
As much as the Sox need a bat (and they do), to acquire Halladay for relatively little would be a coup. And the Sox could absorb the salary demands of both Halladay and Beckett after 2010. Or they could let Halladay walk and get those two first-round picks.
The only downside is that it would leave the Sox a little thin in immediate in-system pitching help (although long-term this isn't an issue). Masterson would be the only guy who could step in right away. Although, with Tazawa getting promoted to Pawtucket today, we could see him next year as a possible injury substitute. But for now it would be Masterson and anyone you can find.
Still...no one can deny that Roy Halladay is a talent. And one must admit his last two starts have been impressive (two earned runs and 17 strikeouts in two complete games). And a rotation that fronted Beckett, Halladay and Lester would give opponents fits. And there is the fact that Halladay is 16-5 against the Yankees in his career.
I'm almost convincing myself about this.
I still believe a player like Adrian Gonzalez addresses a larger need for the Sox. But for a deal like this, if this is really all the Sox would be giving up among their top tier talent, I don't see how you can skip on Halladay.
* I wonder if this trade is coming about in part because of reports that Sox brass are down on Bowden at the moment. I don't know that I agree with that (he had a rough June but has bounced back well). But if Boston thinks he isn't a 1 or 2 anymore, that would definitely make him more available.