Thoughts on Roy Halladay – Forget the Phillies, Angels Need Him More

He is the best pitcher in baseball with tremendous mechanics and the ability to throw strikes. Both of those factors allow him to go deep into games, and he is one of the few pitchers who throws complete games. He has four complete games this season, had nine last year and has led the league in that category four of the last six seasons.

It was reported by Jon Heyman of si.com that the Blue Jays want both P Kyle Drabek and J.A. Happ, plus either stud minor league OF Dominic Brown (High A Clearwater) or Michael Taylor at AAA Lehigh Valley.

The Phillies would be crazy to give up those players. Happ is fully cemented in the rotation and has gone 7-1, 2.97 ERA this year and has been a consistent winner with solid ERA’s every season in his pro career. Drabek is a high ceiling pitcher, currently 6-1, 3.12 ERA in Double A Reading. He is viewed as a future #1 starter.

Both Brown and Taylor also have high ceilings and in the cozy Citizen’s Bank Park will hit home runs by the bunches. While not considered the better of the two, Taylor has hit .326 with 17 homers and 70 RBI’s this season in Reading and Lehigh Valley. Brown has held his own in the pitching friendly High A Florida State League.

The Phillies are defending World Series Champions and won that World Series without Roy Halladay. Their team is basically the same as last year except for adding Raul Ibanez and the emergence of Happ. Brett Myers is expected back in August to give the bullpen a needed lift.

I am surprised the Phillies are considering trading Drabek and/or Happ for Halladay. Granted that Halladay improves any team out there, but the Phillies have made their current team through home grown talent. Cole Hamels, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Carlos Ruiz and Brett Myers have all come through their system.

With the two young pitchers, the Phils have the makings of a really good rotation for much more than the 1 plus seasons that Halladay will give them. Also, if the Phillies obtain him, with Doc’s disdain for hitting, he will likely depart to another American League team after next season.

I have no problem trading good prospects for top talent, but I have major issues with trading projected future studs such as Drabek, Happ, Taylor and Brown.

But Heyman also said that the Los Angeles Angels have checked in with Blue Jays for Halladay. The Angels NEED Halladay more than the Phillies do and they also have the players Toronto wants. They have quality major league pitching and solid shortstop propects. The Blue Jays SS this season is Marco Scutaro, who is 33, having a career year and is a free agent after this season.

According to Heyman, the Blue Jays asked for 28 year old LHP Joe Saunders, 21 year old RHP Sean O’Sullivan, SS Erick Aybar and SS/3B Brandon Wood. Saunders and O’Sullivan are currently in the Angels rotation, Aybar is the starting SS and the 24 year old Wood is a promising power hitter.

If that Blue Jays request is real, I make that trade in a heartbeat if I am the Angels GM Tony Reagins.

Getting Halladay without having to give up your best pitcher Jered Weaver is the reason to make the deal. The Angels would then have Halladay, Weaver and John Lackey as a top three–very formidable.

Saunders is serviceable, but doesn’t scare many teams, while O’Sullivan is having a pretty good major league debut. In five starts, he is 3-0 wihth a 3.72 ERA, and despite great success at the lowel levels of the minors, he struggled the last two seasons at the higher levels of the minors.

Aybar is a slick fielder and Wood can definitely hit at the major league level, but both aren’t make or break players.

Getting Halladay is a steal for the Angels based upon those players mentioned, while the Phillies would be better off holding on to thier young talent.

If they don’t cave in for Halladay, in two years the Phillies starting staff will include Drabek, Hamels and Happ along with another former first round pick, Joe Savery, currently 12-3, with a 4.36 ERA in AA Reading. All drafted and developed pitchers, the way the Phillies have  done it before, all the way to a World Series title last season.

And Utley, Rollins and Howard (if re-signed) will still be their later prime years, still good enough to win another World Series.

I have repeatedly said the Angels would end up getting Halladay, because he likes the American League and the Halos need him most. I they do get Halladay, the other AL Playoff teams would face a formidable rotation, and a tough out in a seven game series.

The Angels need to make that trade immediately.

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