As author Mark Feinsand notes:
That work ethic is one of the things that makes Halladay so desirable. Since 2002, Halladay has thrown at least 220 innings in six of his eight seasons, the only exceptions coming in 2004, when he had two DL stints with shoulder soreness and 2005, when a line drive broke his leg on July 8, ending his season.
Just as Halladay served as a mentor to Burnett during their years together, his presence could have the same impact on Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes.
Except that the Yanks would likely lose Hughes or Joba in the deal, along with a high level, coveted player like Jesus Montero or Austin Jackson.
The Yanks are coming off a World Series title and are in a position of strength. They are not the same desperate bunch they were this time last year, having “suffered” (in Yankee years) through eight seasons of title-less winters. They own a bonafide ace in CC and a solid station car in Burnett. Pettitte, if he doesn’t retire, will likely be back. Hughes and Joba will reportedly be also contenders for the rotation.
Could the Yanks keep their chips and just lay out only cash for a guy like Lackey or simply bide their time until the 2011 starting pitching free agents are available? I think they will be heard in the Halladay trade rumors but will not be serious bidders, a la Santana.
Oh, and the best of those ‘potential’ 2011 SP FA’s (and their 2011 ages), as of right now:
- Josh Beckett (31)
- Joe Blanton (30)
- Jorge De La Rosa (30)
- Roy Halladay (34)
- Cliff Lee (32)
- Ted Lilly (35)
- Brandon Webb (32)
If Halladay falls into the Yanks lap, like Santana did for the Mets, where they don’t have to give up their best prospects (particularly Montero), then do the deal. Obviously. But if the Yanks have to pay full freight and sign him to a $100m extension on top, then pass. Spend less than that $100m on Lackey or save it and make a run at Lee or Halladay when all they cost is cash.
*Thanks to It Is High, It Is Far for the barchart