Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Roy Halladay

The name says it all. Fans drool uncontrollably at the prospect of adding Doc Halladay to the top of the Phillies rotation.

And I admit that I'm as excited by the idea as everyone else, but I'm not willing to ignore the cost completely.

Trade Kyle Drabek? Sure.

Sorry, but I'm interested in another trophy, and 20 years from now, when we're looking at the third trophy in the Phillies case, we'll talk about how tough it was to give away the future Hall-of-Famer Drabek, but that it was the right decision to shore up an unreliable rotation.

I don't doubt that Drabek is as good as the press and Phillies staff seem to think he is. I do, however, think that when you're projecting the future of a prospect with a Tommy John surgery under his belt, you have to be cautious. Doc Halladay is the closest thing to a sure-thing there is. For him, I'd trade Drabek.

Trade Dominic Brown? Sure.

Five tools at Single A have a habit of turning into one or two tools in the bigs, if they ever make it. Again, I'm accepting all of the evaluations as accurate, I'm just not willing to give up on Halladay to keep a possibility that far from the starting line-up.

Trade J.A. Happ? No way.

I understand Happ's value as an older player is significantly lower than Drabek's to baseball professionals, but this guy is having a phenomenal season. Adding Halladay to a rotation that features last year's World Series MVP and this season's Rookie of the Year candidate, comes as close to making another parade down Broad Street a reality a surething as you can get.

I also keep coming back to the differential. What's the added value of Halladay over Happ in the rotation?

During the regular season, you're talking maybe one or two aditional wins. And given how pathetic the rest of the division is, that's not likely to make difference in winning the division or affect seeding for the postseason.

So, the trade is solely for the postseason.

OK, then let's copare the rotations. In the postseason, you're only going to roll out four starters barring injury. So we're comparing

Halladay, Hamels, Blanton, Happ
Halladay, Hamels, Blanton, Moyer/Martinez

I love Jamie Moyer, think he's been an amazing player. He adds real value in the clubhouse and in the dugout. And lately there have been glimers of him regaining some of the form he had last year.

But no pitcher in baseball is more reliant on the umpire behind the plate. Give Jamie an extra inch inside and out, and he's a completely different pitcher. I'm actually surprised that Charlie hasn't started juggling his rotation precisely to align Moyer with certain umps.

You can't rely on that.

Will Pedro Martinez return to the majors with a chip on his shoulder and an extra five miles an hour on his fastball? Not likely.

I see a significant difference between Moyer and Happ come postseason. So, if the Phillies can add Halladay without giving up Happ, do it. Ship Drabek, Brown, and a few additional bodies north of the border. Just bring back a horse who's willing to sit at the front of the parade.

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