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What's up (with) Doc? Why the rush with Roy Halladay?

Roy Halladay went past his pitch limit in a rehab start and could be back in Philly by August 25th. Why the rush? I mean, it's not like he's on a DEADLINE....

Whats up doc? Hopefully not your fastball.
Whats up doc? Hopefully not your fastball.
Jeff Zelevansky

So Roy Halladay made his first REHAB START today, throwing 87 pitches, striking out four and walking 3 in 6 innings for the Philllies Gulf Coast League team. After the start Ruben Amaro told reporters that Halladay would make "at least" one more rehab start and hoped that he would be called up after that next outing, depending on how things progress.

Halladay, according to Amaro was not "as crisp" as he would have liked, but he managed to go 87 pitches, which was about 7 more than the 75-80 he was scheduled for. Doesn't sound like a guy taking it easy.

Which begs the question many folks are asking which is:

In a lost season, what exactly is the RUSH here?

While no one has come out and said this anywhere (and by no means am I inferring this is going to happen) here's one possibility:

  • A player on the disabled list CAN NOT be put on waivers.
  • Roy Halladay is on the disabled list.
  • For a team to utilize a player in the post season, he must be on their roster as of August 31st, coincidentally, the waiver deadline.
  • For a player to be traded in August, he must be put on waivers, and go unclaimed during the 48 hour waiver period. He is then free to be traded to any team

A quick check of the calendar puts today at August 15th.  Halladay's next rehab start would be August 20th, which, if all goes well would mean he'd be activated to make his first major league start on August 25th, and be eligible for waivers that day. Should he clear, he could be traded as of the 28th. That gives the Phillies four days to put a deal together, and a team willing to take him on could actually get TWO looks at Halladay, if they wait until the 31st to do the deal, since Halladay would make his second start on August 30th.

But... if Halladay pitches a third minor league rehab game on the 25th, he would not be able to pitch in the major leagues until August 30th. If the Phillies wanted to try and trade him in that scenario, they would have to activate him on the 28th at the latest, (which would mean playing short for two days) put him on waivers, let him pitch on the 30th and have one day to try and work out a deal should he clear, which he probably does, because no team is likely to claim him before he pitches. Not impossible but not probable.

Let me be clear here. I'm not saying the Phillies are looking to trade Halladay, or even that it will happen, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see how the dates are lining up as more than just coincidence.  Its also pretty easy to deduce that Roy Halladay would have pretty serious value to a contender if he can show, on August 25th, that hes at 80% of the old Roy, with a month to get back to 90-100%. But anyone willing to claim or trade for him has to see him pitch at the major league level.

90-100% Roy Halladay is someone any contender would pay for.

A lot has to go right for that to happen, but don't believe for a second that Ruben Amaro isn't keeping his door open on this one. No matter what he says. Halladay makes about $4,000,000 for the last month of the season. While its unlikely he would fetch a franchise altering player given his recent history, there's a team out there the last week of August that will make Ruben Amaro think long and hard about dealing him, should he clear waivers.  Should someone claim him outright, Ownership might think long and hard about paying Doc the $4,000,0000 to spend a month essentially showcasing for free agency.

And for the Phillies, they really should work to get Doc out there, let him show what he has, and listen if someone is willing to make them an offer that makes sense. A healthy Roy Halladay is by far the most valuable trade asset they have this month.

This is all speculation. (Well, it's mostly speculation. I'm pretty sure I'm right about this, and you're pretty sure I'm right about it too, thats why you're cursing me right now.)  Regardless, whats not speculation is that any interest at all is contingent upon Doc actually returning as the guy who melts faces.

By September 1st, he could be melting faces somewhere else. Because really, what could put a better bow on this season that Roy Halladay finally winning his world series ring with the St. Louis Cardinals?

If that doesn't make you laugh, just remember It's Kershaw/Kendrick on saturday. Also Puig. Also the dodgers have won 8 in a row and 40 of their last 48 games. Set your DVRs.

Remember a month ago when we were BUYING? Good times.