Friday, July 17, 2009

Should The Red Sox Trade for Roy Halladay?

Doc Halladay has become the second hottest topic in sports, next to Brett Favre and the Sox are allegedly in the running for his services. Of course reports were similar during the winter when they were supposedly front runners for Mark Texieria but we all know how that worked out.

The questions facing most contending teams as the deadline approaches are; do we leverage the future for a marquee player or are we good enough win without making any moves.

For the sake of argument let’s assume that the Jays would be looking for something along the lines of Buchholz and Lowrie in a trade with the Sox.

It all comes down to your view on prospects. Do you trade them away for a proven player or do you hold on to them and continue develop your team for the future.

I’m never against trading prospect for a proven player. Look at how the Hanley Ramirez deal worked out. Sure we lost an all star but we gained an ace and Cy Young-caliber pitcher and possibly one of the most underrated players in the bigs. Not a bad deal if you ask me.

One of the major differences here however is the age factor. Josh Beckett was 25 when the sox dealt for him Roy Halladay is 32. It’s one thing to trade away an up-and-coming player for a guy about to enter his prime but you certainly have to consider the fact that you’d likely be trading away a 24-year-old starter.

With that said Roy Halladay is a beast and he likely has plenty of pitching still to do in his career, so you really can’t be all that concerned with his age.

Another part of the dilemma is you’re trading a short stop. That’s a position the Red Sox have fumbled over since trading Nomar in 2004. Sure they’ve handled it well on the field but it hasn’t exactly been a stable position since #5.

Yet another hurdle is the fact that you’re trading within the division. If you view Buchholz as a guy with Lester-like potential do you trade him within the division? At the same rate, do the Blue Jay get better by trading their best player to one of the best teams in the division.

I know we as Red Sox fans like to pretend that the Sox don’t spend outlandish amounts of money on players, in reality they do. There is definitely a difference between the Yankees and Mets but let’s be honest…the Twins they are not.

The point of that rant is this. Roy Halladay is going to be a Free Agent in 2010. I have faith that the Red Sox would try to lock him up to a long-term deal after a trade but if a deal doesn’t get done you traded two of your top prospects for two years of Halladay.

Two years of Halladay might be a lot better than 10 years of Buch and Jeddy though so that’s why a situation like this is so difficult. As fans it’s easy to say one way or the other what the team should do. Most fans like to say they’d rather win now then focus on the future.

The crux of this argument is that there’s no guarantee that your prospects are going to work out the way you hope they will. Sure Han-Ram turned out to be an All-Star but do the Red Sox win a World Series without Beckett and Lowell? Doubtful.

At this point Halladay is 10-3 with the Jays. Assuming he stays healthy you know he’s going to give you something like seven to 10 more wins with an ERA around 3.50. Then you’re looking at something like 17-8 for the next season, but that’s kind of getting ahead of ourselves.

Can you get similar numbers out of a combination of Clay Buchholz, Michael Bowden and Dice-K? Because if you can then I don’t think it’s necessary to trade Buchholz, Lowrie and potentially more prospects for Halladay.

This is all similar is some ways to when the Twins were listening to offers for Johan Santana. Reports were calling for a potential Ellsbury-Lester deal. Knowing what you know now, if you could go back and make that deal would you? I certainly wouldn’t.

When all is said and done I think some team will put together an attractive enough package to pick up Halladay but I don’t think that team is going to be the Red Sox. Over the last few years the Red Sox have managed the trade deadline very well.

I think not making this deal will make prove to be the right call for the Red Sox. Granted I have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, what I’m saying is that the Red Sox should hang on to Buchholz, Lowrie, Bowden et al. It’s not that I think they are all going to be studs. But they are chips that could be used in a future deal that would better suit the Sox.

Of course if Buchholz blows up tonight and gives up 10 runs in two innings then goes on to have a 8.50 ERA over the next week then all bets might be off.

Due to my new zip code I’m going to say the Phillies make a move to pick up Halladay and then run away with the NL East, because the Mets are not playing well.