I waited until this one became 100% official before commenting on it but now that it has, it’s one of the biggest trades of the decade and I might be selling it short. The major players of the deal are Roy Halladay going from the Blue Jays to the Philadelphia Phillies and Cliff Lee heading from the Phillies to the Seattle Mariners. Accompanying the star pitchers are a boat load of top prospects including Michael Taylor, Phillipe Aumont and Brett Wallace. This is truly a landscape changing trade if I’ve ever seen one.
First I’ll look at the trade from the Phillies perspective. The Phils are getting arguably the best pitcher in baseball over the last decade (Halladay), three top prospects (Aumont, Tyson Gillies, and JC Ramirez), plus 6 million dollars while giving up a great pitcher who is heading into a contract year (Lee), plus two top prospects (Taylor and Kyle Drabek).
I’m ecstatic as a fan. They just sent a pitcher who was probably not going to re-sign with them away for one of, if not the best pitcher baseball plus 6 million bucks and two highly regarded prospects. They just gave up a top pitching prospect in Kyle Drabek but received Phillipe Aumont in return so it’s a wash. They gave up a top prospect in Michael Taylor but got Tyson Gillies back. It mat not be completely equal but the Halladay for Lee swap completely makes up for it. They also sent promising catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud to the Blue Jays as part of the deal, but it’s a small price to pay given the rest of the deal. It seems like highway robbery for second year GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. The Phillies will be the early season favorite to return to the World Series from the National League.
As a Braves fan, I hate this.
Now let’s take a look from the Mariners side of things.
The M’s got 2008 Cy Young Award Winner Cliff Lee while they gave up Phillipe Aumont, Tyson Gillies, and JC Ramirez. That’s a pretty standard price for a top player in the majors, so this is not a terrible swap for them. I don’t know how most Mariners fans feel about it since the last time they traded away some top prospects to get a highly regarded pitcher it turned out to be an awful deal. All of Baltimore thanks you for Adam Jones. Anyway, this deal may turn out a little bit better, but it will hinge on Lee’s success plus their ability to re-sign him. Keep in mind that just two years ago, Lee was sent to the minors in Cleveland after going 5-8 with a 6+ ERA. He came back the next year with a 22-3 record. Still, it has to be a little unnerving for Seattle fans.
Finally, we have the Blue Jays. They haven’t been relevant since Joe Carter’s tenure in the mid-90s and it doesn’t look like they will be again any time soon. They got three top prospects in the trade: Drabek, d’Arnaud, and Wallace. Is this enough for the best pitcher in the game? I don’t know, it’s always a bitter pill to swallow when your best player gets shipped off but there is enough talent in that trade to ease the pain. All three are former first round draft picks and all three have been solid in their minor league stints. Wallace was the big name traded by the St. Louis Cardinals in the Matt Holliday trade this summer. Again, I’m not sure how happy I’d be as a Jays fan, but I guess I wouldn’t be angry with the deal.
All in all, it was a pretty good trade for all the teams involved with the Phillies getting the win. Go ahead and cancel the NL.
*Side note: Michael Taylor was sent from Toronto to Oakland for Brett Wallace in a separate deal. It’s all very confusing, really.
Filed under: MLB | Tagged: Baseball, Brett Wallace, Cliff Lee, JC Ramirez, Kyle Drabek, Major League Baseball, Michael Taylor, MLB, Philadelphia Phillies, Phillipe Aumont, Roy Halladay, Seattle Mariners, Toronto Blue Jays, Travis d'Arnaud, Tyson Gillies |