Tuesday, July 28, 2009

And Now I Contradict Myself

There is a story by Gordon Edes from Yahoo Sports making the round about an offer by the Red Sox for Roy Halladay. What is interesting about it is the players mentioned.

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.


Unknown said...

Dave, something tells me that story is a plant to get the Phillies to improve their bid for Halladay. Call it too good to be true.

The Jays have maintained they'd need to exact a premium to trade Halladay in the division. That Yahoo deals hardly seems like it would meet that criteria.

But with tha Jays' talks with the Phils faltering, leaking a story that the Sox are willing to trade their No. 1 pitching prospect (Buchholz) and another top prospect (Bowden) might be a way to get the Phillies to relent on their refusal to trade Kyle Drabek and J.A. Happ.

Yes, it wreaks of desperation from the Jays, especially because there are reports that the Phils are talking to the Indians about Cliff Lee, but if that Yahoo story were accurate, I don't think it would have leaked until Theo had a third team lined up.

Or I could be in denial. We'll see.

Dave said...

I think that the odds are heavy in your favor here. It really does smack of the Jays trying to up the pressure on the Phils.

That said, JP may have worked himself into a corner here. By insisting on too much from Philly, he's left himself with few suitors. And if the Sox are offering Buchholz and Bowden, other teams with less would have to offer an equal amount, which puts them out of the running.

It'll be interesting to watch.