PR Ricciardi has actually thrown Roy Halladay’s name into trade speculation in a bid to increase attendance with each successive Halladay start during the month of July, on the assumption that Jays fans will flock to get one last glimpse of the best homegrown player the team has ever produced.
Well, it’s been a day since Kenny Ken Ken went fucking around with the power of the written word, and we’re deep within the mushroom cloud of speculation that’s followed it. It’s really been quite the gift to his fellow hacks—even the ones who grasp what a ridiculous foundation his contention that “Halladay is a goner” rests on, not to mention the ones who realize that he’d have fucking excoriated a blogger for leaping to there from a comment like “if something makes sense, we at least have to listen.”
Oh, is that unfair? C’mon!
I’m not even going to try to keep up with the massive number of columns and blog posts being written on the subject, because the vast, vast majority of them are a colossal waste of time.
The spin machine is on with full-on fucking force: nobody wants to piss all over the story that everybody in just about every major league city wants to talk about.
And it’s true, the Jays could trade Halladay.
Granted, we could have had this same kind of rampant speculation during the off-season, or last year—kind of did, to a much lesser extent, actually, thank you very much Dan Graziano—but it’s definitely a more ideal time to move him. The team acquiring Halladay would get him at a great price for this year’s stretch drive, plus another a full season before his contract expires, so his value couldn’t be higher. And if the Jays don’t think that 2010 is their year, they don’t have to muddle through next season before starting to reload.
Plus—in the most disturbing quote of the day for those of you (OK, us) who shudder at the possibility of losing Halladay—Ricciardi told Joel Sherman of the New York Post, as I mentioned earlier, “We have kept him from free agency twice and I don’t think we have the resources to keep him from free agency a third time.”
But there is a whole lot of other, more sensible stuff being said, too. Starting with—seriously—Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star:
Here’s how trade rumours can get started in this era of instant blogification. “Hey fans, did you hear about the Giants’ Matt Cain and Noah Lowry, the Indians’ Cliff Lee, the Reds’ Aaron Harang, the D-backs’ Jon Garland, the Rockies’ Jeff Francis, or, how about the Jays’ Roy Halladay? Any or all might be available at the trade deadline.”
The similarity is they’re all due to be free agents after 2010, they play for small to mid-market teams, the economy’s not doing well and attendance around baseball is down. And Jimmy Hoffa’s still missing. Of course, none of those GMs actually said his man was available, but, hey, they also didn’t say they weren’t. Cue panic.
OK, so maybe it’s not entirely sensible. Blogging is the issue here? Really? Blogging?
But yeah, otherwise, that’s pretty much exactly it.
Here’s what Keith Law had to say on ESPN’s Fantasy Baseball podcast:
It’s completely ridiculous. All that Ricciardi said—this is not his fault, I think he was pretty clear—if somebody calls, we’re going to listen. And if we get a great offer that knocks us over we’ll go to Doc, who has a blanket no-trade clause, and talk to him about it. That’s all he said. He never said ‘we’re going to trade him’, he never said ‘he’s available’, and I was getting calls from local radio affiliates of ours from around the country saying, ‘Hey, can you come on and talk about Halladay, because (local team) is going to get him.’ Settle down, kids. He’s not going anywhere right now.
Halladay loves pitching in Toronto. He loves the organization, really likes Ricciardi—they’ve got a great relationship—likes working with Arnsberg, the pitching coach, so… from his perspective he’s certainly got no desire to go pitch somewhere else at this point. He’s got a year and a half left on his contract, so they don’t have some great impetus to move him. What they’d like to do is move one of the two outfielders, Wells and Rios, who are very expensive and not all that productive, and maybe clear some money there to go out and acquire a different bat, and/or make some room in the payroll to extend Halladay.
Halladay’s contract is really favourable to the club, so his value—his value may be so high that they can’t actually get a fair offer in return.
If we settle on $35 million as a middle ground, which puts him around a +6.5 win pitcher, we then see Halladay’s value through the end of his current contract is about $52 million — a full year of 2010 plus a half year of 2009. But, you can’t forget about the fact that he’s very likely to be a Type A free agent at the end of 2010, and the acquiring team would be able to recoup two quality draft choices if they didn’t re-sign him as a free agent. Thanks to some good work by Victor Wang, we can see that the value of Halladay’s Type A status is around $8 million or so.
$52 million for Halladay’s performance + $8 million for the draft picks = $60 million in total value. He will be paid $22 million over that time frame, so 60-22 = $38 million.
To acquire the Jays ace, teams should be expected to surrender something like $40 million in value.
What does $40 million in value look like? Something like three terrific prospects who are not that far from the majors. No one’s giving up players from the Matt Wieters/David Price mold, but it’s going to take several players from that second prospect tier, the top 25-50 type guys.
Phillies fans — that’s Dominic Brown, Kyle Drabek, and Carlos Carrasco. Mets fans? Fernando Martinez, Wilmer Flores, and Jenrry Mejia.
You get the idea. If the Blue Jays trade Roy Halladay, they’re going to ask for the moon. And they should. He’s worth it.
Sounds about goddamn right, doesn’t it? The Jays will do their due diligence and scout heavily the prospects of any team making a serious offer—JP said as much—but that’s a shitload. Maybe if you’re the Phillies it’s worth it, but let’s be clear: the Jays are in no rush to move Halladay, and they sure as fuck wouldn’t give him away.
Here’s what Ricciardi told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe:
“It would take a lot for us to part with him. We’ve gotten a lot of calls from teams but none of them are telling us at this point what they’re willing to give up. If you’re coming at us with a ‘B” list of young players, don’t bother. This is one of the five best players in baseball. It’s going to take a significant package of players for us to even listen. So as the teams call we’ll go through the ones we feel are the serious ones and then we’ll start scouting their farm systems to see if there’s anything we can do.”
“My gut feeling is no we won’t [make a deal] because there aren’t too
many teams out there who are willing to give us the significant package of prospects we would need to make this go. Teams protect their prospects.”
So… yeah. . .
Working on a Halladay thing—because who the fuck hasn’t had enough of that already?—and I sure as fuck don’t want to talk about last night’s game, so this is it. This is your game threat. Go Jays.
Great stuff from Rzepczynski last night, by the way. Which I mention only because I spelled that from memory. … How’d I do?
Tonight it’s Brian Tallet (5-6, 4.38) taking on fellow lefty Scott Kazmir (4-5, 6.79).
Toronto Blue Jays
M. Scutaro ss
A. Hill 2b
A. Lind dh
S. Rolen 3b
V. Wells cf
K. Millar 1b
A. Rios rf
J. Bautista lf
R. Chavez c
Tampa Bay Rays
B.J. Upton cf
C. Crawford lf
E. Longoria 3b
C. Pena 1b
B. Zobrist 2b
P. Burrell dh
J. Bartlett ss
G. Kapler rf
D. Navarro c
It’s official, the Jays have released their ex-closer, flushing $15M down the toilet with him—though it’s not like they weren’t flushing it the last two and a half years.
The news is per @MLBastian, though it’s broken everywhere now. Scott Downs has been activated from the DL and is available tonight.
“We thought that he was not going to be the pitcher that he was able to be for us,” said JP Ricciardi when speaking to Jeff Blair on the Fan 590’s Prime Time Sports this evening. “We thought that the player was not going to be able to help us in a role that could help the team win. At this point we thought it was best to let the player get on with his life.”
“The player was not happy,” he added. “The player really wanted to pitch more. I think that’s the competitor in him. Realistically, we just didn’t think we had a role that he could pitch in for us right now.”
With regard to the decision to swallow the $15M still owed to the Beej, Ricciardi told Blair: “We talked to Paul Beeston, and Paul understood—Paul was actually the one who went to Rogers with it, and he got the clearance with it. We obviously didn’t go into this lightly.”
Blair asked about the perception that some may have that, with this, coupled with the recent rumblings about listening to offers on Roy Halladay, the Jays are gearing up for a fire sale.
“We’re trying to make our club the best club we can be,” Ricciardi said. “In releasing BJ, obviously we’re trying to put the best players out there. As far as Roy Halladay goes, we have not traded Roy Halladay. We’re going to do what every team in baseball does, and listen to offers. This is the month where everybody talks.”
He added: “The only way we move Roy Halladay is if we’re absolutely, totally blown away by an offer and say this makes sense.”
Earlier in the day Joel Sherman of the New York Post spoke with Ricciardi regarding the Halladay situation.
"We have kept him from free agency twice and I don’t think we have the resources to keep him from free agency a third time, so I have to investigate what is out there," Ricciardi said—though he had earlier confirmed that the Jays are budgeted to afford all of the contracts under control until 2010. "But my gut feeling is no trade gets done because we value him as one of the five best players in the game, and I don’t think people will meet the price tag for that kind of talent."
JP offered the following analogy: "Imagine you have a house worth $500,000 and weren’t really interested in selling it, but someone offered $1.2 million. That would make you at least listen. So if someone is that motivated we will listen."
He also said that he would not allow any team a window to negotiate a contract extension with Halladay, if they were to actually consummate a deal, and that this was not initiated by Halladay.
Ahhhhh… feels good to put to use my Guide to Spelling Rzepczynski, as he’s scheduled to make his Major League debut tonight in Leningrad (see what I just did there?) against the Rays—and lets face it, until he gets a couple of decent starts under his belt, that name is totally a copy-and-paste job.
And look! Judging by the picture he’s already accustomed to pitching in front of big league crowds like the ones they get in Tampa and here in Toronto. Bonus!
He goes up against “Big Game” James Shields—with “Big Game”, I presume, being a reference to that mangy homage to bison he keeps on his chin—who is 6-6 with a nifty 3.50 ERA.
It’s not going to be easy trying to climb back into the wildcard race for the Jays, but thankfully they appear to have already shattered all our hopes and dreams. So fuck it, no pressure, boys, just, y’know… go out and fuckin’ do it. (And shit, Rzepczynski’s a fierce groundball pitcher, who’s only given up like 5 home runs in his last 200 minor league innings. Plus the Rays have lost four straight… so fuck… maybe there’s hope…)
Toronto Blue Jays
Hill, A, 2B
Wells, V, CF
Tampa Bay Rays
Upton, B, CF
Pena, C, 1B