Monday, November 16, 2009
As mentioned in the previous post, the Marlins are unlikely to trade Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson with a new park on the way. Currently, this leaves only Roy Halladay as an impact trade target for the Red Sox. If the old school workhorse is going to leverage his no-trade right into a contract extension at market rate like Johan Santana, then only a hand full of clubs can be considered to be in the running for his services.
The Dodgers, Rangers, Cubs have ownership issues so it is unlikely they make a financial splash this winter. The Mets will be players but Halladay may not view them as a contender. The Giants are likely to make an offense upgrade their first priority. This leaves the Red Sox, LAA of A, the MFY and the Phillies.
The following is a scenario that Halladay lands in Boston:
* The LAA of A gives up on resigning John Lackey. Hence, they would appear to be players for Halladay but they do not have as much depth on the farm. If Chone Figgins leaves the O.C., then Brandon Wood could slide in at the hot corner eliminating a possible piece that would bring Halladay west.
* The MFY sign Lackey, re-up Andy Pettitte and ink a leftfielder. The MFY do not make a trade to resolve their off season issues thereby holding on their prospects. They continue with their recent winter way of doing business in the Bronx - make more and spend more money to hold onto their top minor leaguers.
* The Phillies sign Cliff Lee to a Sabathia/Santana type contract. Now, “It’s like a baby New York” team does not need to go to the mattresses for Halladay or give up talent on the farm so soon again. And even without the workhorse from the north, the Phillies are still the overwhelming favorites for another pennant.
* The Sox do not ink Josh Beckett to an extension, which would moderately increase their desire for Halladay. The former Cy Young award winner would pair with Jon Lester beyond 2010 instead of Beckett. And in the upcoming season, Halladay would improve the club’s run prevention without taking away anything from a lineup that can be expected to be one of the best again next year.
The Jays move from their desire for "…one above-average impact guy than eight ordinary guys” since they only have one real dance partner remaining. It is a similar circumstance to the Santana trade from the Twins, as the Jays will accept a package that is not much greater than two 2011 top draft picks, although it appears Bill Smith took the “eight ordinary guys.” Hence, Clay Buchholz or Daniel Bard will not be heading north.
The Red Sox have the depth in the farm to trade a pair or even three prospects. Kevin Goldstein commented after an article grading the Olde Towne Team’s prospects that…“They're 1-11 might not be crazy elite, but their 21-30 would rank very high, so there are a lot of options.”
The Olde Towne Team also has a financial motivation for the trade. NESN’s revenue likely declined last season due to both a ratings and number of subscribing households decline. Now, the Red Sox can partially justify the Halladay transactions with the projected incremental revenue from NESN. Assuming the “fans” who jumped off the bandwagon after the disappointing loss to the Rays leap back on with the dreams of a Halladay, Lester, Beckettt October rotation.
To sum up, if the three other probably suitors for the extension demanding Halladay attend to other issues first, the Red Sox could find the price palatable for the former Cy Young award winner. Ironically, the MFY could drive Halladay to Boston by acting quickly on Lackey and Figgins. Only time will tell if New England has another definition for the “Big Three.”