The Phillies Perspective on the Halladay trade

Three days after the initial shell shock of the Roy Halladay trade, and the dust is still settling on one of baseball’s biggest trades of the decade.

You’ve heard about this deal ad nauseum from Toronto sports writers, bloggers, and every Joe Blow sports fan out there, so why not have our friends from the other side of the 44th parallel weigh in on the biggest trade of the year?

Here is what Chris at The Fightins had to say:


Yes, (The Phillies) they did have to give up Clifton Phifer, but this is absolutely not a lateral move. Moving Lee was a baseball decision and we simply could not leave the “cupboard bare” for the future. But people this is Harry Leroy mo’ fuckin Halladay. If you aren’t excited, you don’t have a pulse.

Initially, I myself questioned the move by the Phillies to trade one Cy Young winner for another. At the time, it may not have seemed like much of an upgrade for Philadelphia to go from Cliff Lee to Roy Halladay.

The problem was that Cliff Lee was going to be seeking Roy Halladay-like money after 2010, and he was probably seeking a five or six year deal. Roy Halladay on the other hand just wants a chance to win, so the contract details are secondary to him. Whether it was three our four years, $20 million or $15 million … he didn’t care, so long as he can pitch in the playoffs.

Lots of folks have weighed in on whether the Phillies, Jays, or the Mariners are the winners in the deal. While the Phillies should be stoked about receiving the best pitcher in the game and immediately boosting their roster, to some extent they should also be concerned about losing their best pitching prospect.

Thankfully, Bill from CrashBurn Alley understands the quality of pitcher that the Blue Jays are receiving in return from the Phillies:

Losing one of baseball’s best starting pitchers is tough, no question, but hopefully the Jays acquire a prospect who may become the next Roy Halladay. They may have done that in acquiring Kyle Drabek from the Phillies, but Roy Halladays don’t just show up at the doorstep (or in a basket in the river, like Moses).

For the Phillies, it’s a short to midterm gain by aquiring Halladay, whereas the Blue Jays are looking for long-term results. Two teams who are on opposite ends of the spectrum right now, but don’t forget that up until the year 2000, the Phillies finished below .500 13 out of 14 seasons. It took them a long time to get where they are today.

And just like the Phillies built a championship team from the ground up, so too will the Toronto Blue Jays.

Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

8 thoughts on “The Phillies Perspective on the Halladay trade

  • December 18, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    There is no way to know how this deal will turn out, however we can look a factors we know to be true:

    Roy Halladay:
    1. Has been one of the top 5 pitchers in baseball consistently the past 8 years, consistency is key for projecting a player going forward
    2. It is rare for pitchers to sustain their success post 33 and are at a high risk of injury. There is less than a 5% chance that Halladay will continue his current performance throughout the life of his new contract.
    3. Given the size of Halladays contract, the Wells contract and the Toronto budget. If Halladay had resigned with Toronto any decline in performance would have made it near impossible for the Jays to compete over the life of the contract. As it was, giving $45 million to two players would have made it difficult to add and retain additional pieces necessary to compete.

    1. Prospects with minor league experience are much more projectable that draft picks. Therefore, getting two former 1st round picks and a former supplimental 1st round pick is not only better in terms the number of players, but due to their production, much less risk than the two picks the Jays would have received if he left as a free agent.
    2. There is no guarantee that any prospects will have success in the majors.
    3. If a prospect doesn't develop, it does not financially restrict the team from winning.

    In conclusion, regardless of how either side views this trade, it was the right move for the Blue Jays.

  • December 18, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Cliff Lee wasn't looking for Roy Halladay money….he was looking for CC Sabathia money. Roy cares little about money.

    (which is a ridiculous statement at $20M/per, but you get the point…)

  • December 18, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    I remember another guy that apparently cared little about and gave a home town discount. His name was Ken Griffey Jr., and how did that work out for Cincy?

  • December 18, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    "I know there are some teams interested," Johnny Damon told Feinsand. "But the Yankees are the best organization I've been a part of so far in my career."

    I just heard a collective "Ouch" from Boston, Oakland and Kansas City fans.

  • December 18, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Peter, I think if Doc was still around, AA would have a tough time convincing the board of directors that it was a good idea to sign a 33 year old pitcher to a 5 year contract. But the way that Doc conditions himself, he probably has the body of a 23 year-old – if anybody can dominate into his 40's, it's Halladay.

    Ack, good call. Perhaps did Cliff Lee let that Cy Young go to his head? He's only has 90 career wins, yet he's asking for Sabathia-esque money. I have a feeling that the Mariners won't be able to offer him what he wants, and Lee will walk as a free agent next winter.

  • December 18, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    Great look from the over side. Here's hoping they appreciate Doc much the way we did.

  • December 18, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    From what I've read/heard from Phillies blogs, they are very happy to have him.

    Even the posts on are very positive from Phillies fans.

  • December 18, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    Here's hoping that this is the beginning of the new Toronto regime. At least it seems that way.

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