Johan Santana all over again

Although there’s far less urgency this time around than two years ago with the Johan Santana fiasco, the Daily News is speculating that Roy Halladay could be on the trading block this winter, with — surprise, surprise — both the Yankees and Red Sox as primary suitors.

While this is clearly a classic offseason media ploy to sell papers, what fun would the Hot Stove be without some irresponsible rumormongering?

There are some similarities to the Phil Hughes Hostage Drama of ’07, in that, like Santana, Roy Halladay is only under contract with the Blue Jays for one more year, and with Halladay uninterested in sticking around, Toronto may be looking to get some players back instead of letting Halladay play out the remainder of his deal.

However, the Twins made it pretty clear they were looking to deal Santana that year — who even knows whether Toronto would actually consider pulling the trigger on a deal like this, especially with an intradivision rival.

The Yankees’ best move is to stand pat. If talks appear to be heating up, obviously the team needs to stay involved, but only to drive the price up. You have to figure that Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos is smarter than Twins GM Bill Smith, and isn’t going to fork Halladay over for four absolute scrubs.

I advocated not trading for Santana because I believed in Phil Hughes and didn’t feel it was worth it to sacrifice both players and cash for a player who could be had for nothing but cash after the season ended. Admittedly I was surprised to see the Mets swoop in and somehow swap a bunch of crap for one of the best pitchers in baseball, but I’d do it all over again. Let someone else overpay in young players to get Halladay. If no one wowed the Blue Jays back at the trade deadline, chances are he’ll end up playing out the year with the Blue Jays, and once he becomes a free agent in the 2010 offseason, the Yankees can outbid everyone, piling dump truck after dump truck full of money on Roy’s lawn (a la The Ten’s amazing CAT Scan bit).

Can you imagine a rotation of Roy Halladay, CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes? Sounds pretty good to me.

3 thoughts on “Johan Santana all over again

  1. timothy olyphant

    One difference is that Santana wanted a contact extension. The deal with the Mets would have fallen through if they didn't give him the extension. With Halladay, it seems like this will really be a rental, and he'll test the free agent waters at the end of the season.

    That's why it would have made more sense to pick up Santana two years ago than it does to trade the farm for Halladay now….unless, of course, you think they can sign him to an extension, but that could cost a lot of money.

  2. That's true, although I would suspect that if Halladay were to greenlight a deal to either the Yanks or Sox you have to figure he'd not only be looking for an extension as well, considering those are the two teams most able to pay him what he'll want, but that the Yanks and Sox would want to lock him up for X years as it is if they're going to give the farm up for him.

    Without an extension I don't see a Halladay deal happening, unless the Yanks and Sox decide to completely change the way the've been conducting business these last few years.

    More important than the monetary cost, which, despite what the Yankees may say in public, really isn't an issue for the team, is what Halladay would cost in players. You have to figure any package would start with the Jays asking for both Joba and Hughes, which is obviously a non-starter.

  3. Skippy

    Halladay is much less valuable now than he was in July, the reason being you only get him for 1 postseason instead of 2.

    I agree that if the Yanks or Sox got him they would have to sign an extension, and why wouldn't they since they can both afford him. Giving up the players is another issue, as you'll definitely give up Joba/Hughes plus A-Jax/Montero or some such. Of course you could argue that if you have a rotation of CC, AJ, Halladay, Pettitte next year, you only really need one of either Joba or Hughes, so giving up the other ain't as big a deal. Then after 2010 you grab another big free agent to replace Pettitte.

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