They've talked about it on Daily News Live, SportsCenter, MLB Network, and thanks to the Metro, Angelo Cataldi has chimed in (ugh). Your boss has an opinion (you bite your tongue), your grandpa wants him (but calls him "Holliday").
If you've been observing J.P. Ricciardi over the past couple of weeks, you've seen a desperate man holding a valuable commodity. He's puffing his chest and talking big, but in reality he has almost no leverage. He knows that he'll significantly less for Halladay if he waits until the offseason to trade him. And in the current economy, the Phillies are the only team with the talent and the resources to acquire Halladay and pay for him, now and in the future. Ruben and the Jets hold all of the cards here, and Ricciardi knows it. It's all puffery and posturing now.
Remember earlier this decade, the dance that Maestro Ed Wade would do when he had to dump a star player? First: "We need to be overwhelmed!" Then: "We need to get fair value." And at the end, he'd get bent over for a bag of magic beans and maybe Omar Daal as a throw-in. Doesn't it feel good to be on the opposite side of that now?
The fact that Toronto's OPENING demand here -- purportedly Kyle Drabek, J.A. Happ, and Dominic Brown -- is almost tolerable strongly indicates to me that this is going to get done, and that the Phillies are the only real players here. And even if that precise deal goes down, the Phillies still have a deep system of promising prospects -- Carlos Carrasco, Michael Taylor, Joe Savery, Jason Donald, Lou Marson, Travis D'Arnaud, Jason Knapp, etc. Say it with me: Trading for Roy Halladay is not the same as mortgaging the future! Losing Drabek and Brown would be disappointing, but getting yourself at least 1 1/2 seasons of Roy Halladay plus two draft picks if and when he leaves after 2010 kind of soothes the burn a little bit, huh?
And let's look at Roy Halladay's numbers in context. He's done what he's done pitching his entire career in the AL East, among the titans of the American League -- Boston, New York, and recently, Tampa Bay. He's not fattening up on mediocre competition. He's one of the best, dominating the best. Translate those numbers to the National League. Just look at CC Sabathia and Rich Harden last year.
Ruben: Be firm but get the deal done. They need to make this trade more than you do. Be fair and be prepared to give up a potential All-Star or two. And remember, this isn't Joe Blanton, or Kyle Lohse, all due respect to those guys.
This is Roy Halladay. Pull the trigger, Ruben.