Tag: roy halladay

Why and How the Mets Should Trade for Roy Halladay

roy-halladay-2(NOTE: this article is by MetsToday contributing writer and resident stathead Matt Himelfarb — be kind, and keep an open mind)

Rumors of the Dodgers recent financial troubles due to the McCourts’ nasty split should be welcome news to the Mets. The only other potential Roy Halladay suitors that could fairly compensate baseball’s best pitcher appear to be the Jay’s inter-division rivals, the Yankees and the Red Sox. Both Boston and New York do not have unlimited payrolls, and figure to set their sights, both financially and in regard to prospects, on other priorities. The Jays might make a token attempt at competing next year, hoping to make reasonable run in 2011. Whatever the case, they probably do not want Roy Halladay pitching against them for at least the next half-decade.

Needless to say, the market for Halladay has been softening even more since July 31st. Unless Halladay decides to take a hometown discount, Halladay will be traded this off-season, as new General Manager Alex Anthopoulos recognizes that there is no advantage to keeping Halladay for 2010, or risk waiting until the trade deadline.

This is undoubtedly good news for Omar and co.

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Mets Shopping for Halladay?

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The New York Times is reporting that the Mets may go after Roy Halladay, if in fact the Toronto Blue Jays make him available this winter.

As MetsBlog notes, the fact the Mets have little in the way of near-ready prospects in their farm system may not matter, since few teams will be able to handle the financial commitment that is required to keep Halladay away from free agency. In other words, it could be another Johan Santana situation — whereby the Mets acquired the star lefthander more because the deep-pocketed Yankees and Red Sox walked away from the table rather than because the Mets had the best package of players.

If indeed the Mets make a pitch for Halladay, and pull of a Santana-like trade-and-sign deal that totals over a hundred million dollars, it will be another case of the Mets using their same old shortsighted, knee-jerk strategy of “building a winner”.

Getting Halladay would be great, no question (as Jerry Manuel likes to say). But it’s just another band-aid that will send the Mets backward over the long term.

The Mets had the opportunity to obtain one of the top three pitchers in MLB last winter — and would not have had to give up a single player. We discussed right here on MetsToday last November that the Mets should go after C.C. Sabathia. Sabathia wound up signing a 7-year, $161M contract — about the same deal that Halladay is likely to get. The big difference, however, is that Sabathia was only 27 when he began that contract, and Halladay will be 33.

Maybe they would have not have been able to top the Yankees (even though Sabathia preferred the NL), but that’s not the point — the point is that the Mets never even sniffed Sabathia’s way. They were completely satisfied to bring back another young lefthander at a much cheaper cost, and to rest on the laurels of the “big splash” they made in the bullpen (signing K-Rod, trading for Putz).

Last winter the general consensus was that the Mets needed to fix the bullpen. The PR message built was, “address the bullpen problem, and the Mets will go to the World Series”. So once they signed Frankie Fantastik and obtained J.J. Putz, there was every reason to buy season tickets.

In the end, they overspent on K-Rod, overspent on Oliver Perez, and both overspent and over-traded for J.J. Putz — a total expenditure of $96M and 7 players for band-aids to stop the bleeding. By spending all that dough and emptying their farm system, you couldn’t say they weren’t trying — and it’s now easy for them to look back and say “hey, we did what we had to do, we fixed the bullpen”.

Fast-forward one year and the Mets have new wounds opening … with more band-aids on the way.

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Mets Incite Conspiracy Theories

In the latest move by the Mets, Gary Sheffield was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring injury. This occurred a day after Sheffield was pronounced “available” for a game, and on the same day that Sheff expected to be in the starting lineup.

And you wonder why people like me are constantly concocting conspiracy theories about the New York Mets organization.

Obviously, SOMETHING is going on that we are not privy to. A team simply doesn’t put a healthy player on the DL without an ulterior motive. Further, a team that is already hamstrung (pardon the pun) with injuries, and has had difficulty scoring runs, does not remove from the roster their most productive hitter and only legitimate power threat — not unless something is up.

Is there a trade brewing that requires roster space, or the showcasing of someone? Is there some kind of insurance money that can be collected for having a certain number of players injured? Is their poor handling of other injuries forcing them to be ultra-conservative? Did Sheffield tick off someone inside the organization? Have they exhausted so many options that they’re giving the George Costanza “do the opposite” strategy a whirl?

And the ultimate conspiracy theory: are the Mets purposely sabotaging themselves — i.e., trying to lose games on purpose? Let’s hope not — though if they are, the idea seemed to backfire, as the Mets exploded for 7 runs in the first five innings of play on Saturday night.

This one is hard to figure, but maybe something will occur in the next few days that cause us all to say “a-ha!”. For example, maybe the Mets are on the verge of making a blockbuster trade that will bring in 5 MLB players — named Halladay, Rios, Wells, Overbay, and Scutaro (hey, crazier things have happened). Or maybe they are showcasing Cory Sullivan for a team in need of a light-hitting, good fielding outfielder. Or maybe they’re auditioning Sullivan for the left field job next year. Perhaps there’s something else.

Something is brewing …

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Someone Is On Crack

crack_pipeBy now you’ve read or heard about Jon Heyman’s SI column reporting that the Mets turned down a Blue Jays trade proposal for Roy Halladay.

According to Heyman:

Toronto’s request of the Mets for star pitcher Roy Halladay was for top outfield prospect Fernando Martinez, young pitchers Bobby Parnell and Jon Niese and shortstop prospect Ruben Tejada, sources tell SI.com.

The Mets responded with a resounding no.

OK, someone here is on crack, and I want to know who. The authorities need to be informed and someone needs to go to jail, because drugs are bad, and hurt everyone.

Either it’s Heyman, for not getting the facts straight, JP Ricciardi, for making such a light proposal, or Omar Minaya, for not pulling the trigger. Because seriously, the Mets wouldn’t want to trade four youngsters with less than a half season of MLB experience combined in return for the best pitcher in MLB? They wouldn’t want to pair the best pitcher in MLB with the second-best pitcher in MLB (take your pick on who’s who), and have the most dominating 1-2 duo since Curt Schilling / Randy Johnson? (Some would argue that Halladay / Santana would be more dominating.) Really?

For the crack smokers out there who are emotionally tied to F-Mart, Niese, Parnell, and a 17-year-old you likely wouldn’t know if he was sitting on your living room couch, may I remind you of David West, Alex Ochoa, Alex Escobar, Ambiorix Concepcion, Butch Huskey, Keith Miller, Ryan Thompson, Brook Fordyce, Damon Buford, Billy Beane, Terry Blocker, Chris Donnels, DJ Dozier, Bill Latham, Wally Whitehurst, Floyd Youmans, and Herm Winningham — for example. Not to mention Mike Vail, Gregg Jefferies, Jason Phillips, Calvin Schiraldi, and others who may have had brief stints of success but never quite lived up to the hype.

Yes, every once in a while the Mets give away a gem like Scott Kazmir, Jason Bay, or Nolan Ryan, but those were deals for nobodies. Roy Halladay is the best pitcher in baseball, bar none. He’s not Victor Zambrano, Jason Middlebrook, or Jim Fregosi.

There is the argument that the Mets’ system is already void of prospects, and can’t bare to lose any more. But where was that whine the past four winters, when the Mets were gobbling up Type A free agents and in turn losing #1 draft picks? And do you really believe that Martinez, Parnell, Niese, and Tejada are going to make a significant impact on the team in 2010 and 2011 — the type of impact that will put them in the Fall Classic?

Further, if the Mets did about five minutes of negotiating, they’d likely also net Alex Rios or Vernon Wells — two outfielders with enormous contracts that a New York team like the Mets should be able to handle (Rios, with the cheaper contract, is the obvious preference). Again, start crying that the Mets can’t afford to take on any more big contracts, or that Rios and Wells stink. Now tell me who is playing left field next season? Nick Evans? Who’s playing center in 2012, when Carlos Beltran will have jettisoned for a warmer, calmer climate? Not Fernando Martinez, nor anyone else in the Mets’ farm system. The Mets have nothing in the way of outfield prospects coming up between now and 2014, so guess how the holes will be filled? Free agency. Possibly Type A — i.e., Matt Holliday, Carl Crawford, Jason Bay, Magglio Ordonez, Vladimir Guerrero, Rick Ankiel, Jermaine Dye, Manny Ramirez. Heck, Xavier Nady may qualify as Type A. And there goes another draft pick. And most likely, an expensive, too-long-term contract. So either way the farm system gets kicked in the groin, and the budget gets expanded. Further, I don’t know that any of those free agents are guaranteed to significantly outperform Rios or Wells over the next five years.

If we knew for sure that the Mets were going to throw in the towel on 2009 and 2010, and focus on building from within, then maybe you refrain from trading those four suspects. But Omar Minaya has three more years beyond this one, and his modus operandi is to pay exhorbitantly for upper tier, well-known players, for the purpose of “putting a winning product on the field” in the short-term. A Halladay trade like the one proposed is as much a no-brainer as the Santana deal was (I’m sorry, do you wish you had Phil Humber, Kevin Mulvey, Carlos Gomez, and Deolis Guerra right now, instead?).

Of course, the rumor has already been shot down by a number of sources, so we may never find out who was smoking crack yesterday. Maybe all three were passing the pipe around together.

Conspiracy Theory: the Mets “leaked” this “trade offer” — even if it never occurred — as a means of making those four prospects appear more valuable than they really are. Think about it — it makes the Mets look good, in that a) their farm system has plenty of worthwhile trading chips, and b) it tells their fans that they’re committed to the future, and won’t give away their top prospects — not even for Roy Halladay.

***Conspiracy Update! ****
Per Heyman’s updated column from this afternoon (thanks to Walnutz for the link!):

In any case, it appears that the Mets’ prospect list isn’t as thin as some suggest, as even in that proposal they’d be keeping top young pitchers Jenrry Mejia and Brad Holt and shortstop prodigy Wilmer Flores.

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