Via MLBTR comes this piece from Jeremy Sandler of the National Post. In it, Sandler brings us a few tidbits regarding the Blue Jays’ asking price for their 32-year old ace, Roy Halladay. While most of what Sandler has to say isn’t at all surprising—for instance, stating that Toronto desires “young, salary-controlled players” in exchange for Halladay is like saying the sky is blue—one of his assertions is particularly notable in that it details what the Jays want from a trading partner, specifically.
According to Sandler, “[t]he Jays want a major league-ready arm and bat, both young and affordable enough to stay in Toronto a while, plus prospects for Halladay.” Sandler admits that a package of a “major league-ready arm and bat… plus prospects” for a player with only one year left on his contract is a “high price” for any team to pay. The human cost outlined here becomes even more substantial if an extension is also involved. Now, I could see certain teams parting with one or the other, a major league-ready arm or a major league-ready bat, while offering high-end prospects, but I doubt the Jays will get exactly what they want (an arm and a bat, plus prospects), despite Sandler’s claim that “[i]ndustry insiders suggest serious offers in the coming weeks should match Toronto’s wish list.” The Jays’ asking price just seems exorbitant, though you can’t fault them for trying (I’m sure the Twins asked for the same thing when trading Johan Santana).
With regards to the Yankees, I don’t think they could afford Halladay if Sandler is correct (which makes me wonder if he actually is, since most contending teams in need of a pitcher like Halladay won’t be able to meet Toronto’s criteria). Brian Cashman certainly has major league-ready arms to “spare,” with Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes, though major league-ready bats seem few and far between unless you believe that Jesus Montero and Austin Jackson are at that stage. According to Jon Heyman (SI), the Jays are said to like Montero, so perhaps they would be willing to take on a package of Joba, Montero, and other prospects, as Montero’s bat is often considered a “sure thing” (i.e., close to major league-ready). Still, as talented as Roy Halladay is, that’s an expensive price to pay for one year of his services (and, if an extension is needed, then the combined cost of a trade and a multimillion dollar contract is enormous).
In my opinion, such a trade could actually create gaping new holes rather than fill those that already exist.
Photo by Getty Images