Consider this thread another place to kick around arguments over Roy Halladay, the Blue Jays ace for whom Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi is now listening to trade offers.
Last week, I set out some initial thoughts on the possibility of the Phillies trading minor-league prospects for Halladay, and kind of went back and forth on whether Ruben Amaro Jr. should make the deal if doing so meant giving up the best of the talent in the farm system. With a few more days to think about it, here's where I am now.
First of all, I'm really wondering whether any other team aside from maybe the Boston Red Sox, who have bottomless resources and a deep farm, is even truly in the mix for Halladay--and if the "in-division premium" that RIcciardi would have to get from the Sox above the package he could accept from us really renders the Phils the only logical destination. Of the other possible/plausible trade partners, the Rangers can't afford him, the Giants need a hitter much more than a pitcher, the Dodgers couldn't get him without weakening their current team, and the Yankees have a weaker system than Boston.
So if I'm Amaro, these are my three parameters:
1) Kyle Drabek, who probably raised his value even further with a shutdown inning of work in yesterday's Futures Game, is absolutely off-limits; if it's Drabek or no deal, Ruben hangs up the phone. Also, Toronto can have either one of the Phillies' two stud outfield prospects, Michael Taylor or Dominic Brown, but not both.
2) If Toronto wants J.A. Happ in the deal, they can have him plus any two guys other than Drabek and one of the OFs to start with. Then the Phillies get to "protect" a few more prospects (for me, this would be whichever of Jason Knapp or Carlos Carrasco is left, plus catcher Lou Marson, and lefty pitcher Joe Savery, both of whom could help as soon as 2010), then they can pick one more prospect. This would mean the trade for Halladay might be Happ, Taylor/Brown, Carrasco/Knapp, and someone like Jason Donald, Yohan Flande, or Travis D'Arnaud.
3) If they don't want Happ in the deal, they can have any four guys other than Drabek and one of the OFs. This might be Taylor/Brown, Carrasco, Knapp, and one of Marson/Savery/Flande/D'Arnaud/Anthony Gose/Zach Collier.
There are probably other permutations we could get into--picking up some/all of what Halladay is owed for 2009 balance, or including another player who could help the Phillies right now (Kevin Millar, Marco Scutaro or Jose Bautista, say). Are these the right parameters? Is there any chance the Jays do a Halladay trade without Drabek? Are there other competitors for Doc's services whom I've overlooked?