Did you hear that sound, just now? When the Phillies and Indians agreed on a deal that will bring Cliff Lee to Philadelphia? That was the sound of the Blue Jays' leverage in Roy Halladay discussions. And apparently the Jays still aren't close to trading Halladay?
- The Blue Jays have had talks with the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers and New York Yankees about Halladay, and while names have been exchanged with all teams, the Jays had not made significant progress with any team as of midday Wednesday.
"We'd have to be wowed," Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi told ESPN's Peter Gammons. "And we haven't been wowed."
That's great, really it is. You want to be wowed. I want to be wowed. J.P. Ricciardi wants to be wowed. But in the end it comes down to one thing, all the worldly wows aside:
When does Roy Halladay bring the most value to the franchise?
Does he bring it now, when he's got another two months and one season on his contract?
Does he bring it next season, when the Blue Jays have -- theoretically at least -- another shot at catching the Yankees and the Red Sox?
Does he bring it next July, when any number of teams will once again be desperate for his services?
Or does he bring it in June of 2011, when the Blue Jays -- after Halladay has departed via free agency -- will pick up a couple of extra draft picks?
I haven't run the numbers, but I can't escape the conclusion that he's most valuable to the Blue Jays right now, when apparently he can be traded for three or four exceptionally talented young baseball players.
I'm assuming the rumors about the sorts of packages the Jays have been offered are true. The only way Ricciardi and his superiors can possibly justify not trading Halladay this week -- and I should mention that the week is young -- is by objectively arguing that the club has a chance to win more than 90 games next season.
Maybe that's not so far-fetched. While the Jays are currently just 49-52, they do have the run differential of a 55-46 team -- which would still leave them in fourth place, behind the big boys and the little boy that could.
I'm inclined to chalk up Ricciardi's quotes as posturing. It just makes too much sense to trade Halladay right now, because his value will never be higher.