A quick note on Halladay

Halladay-7-8-250.jpgWithout endorsing the idea of the Yankees acquiring Roy Halladay, I want to point out that one universal theme of the commentary regarding such a trade, that the Jays would be unlikely to deal Halladay to a divisional rival like the Yankees, is one of those stock things that writers say without really thinking it through. Anyone who writes that must not watch YES much, because the obvious counterpoint is a fixture in the booth. How do they think David Cone got to be associated with the Yankees?

On July 28, 1995, the Blue Jays traded David Cone to the Yankees under very similar circumstances. The general manager at the time was Gord Ash, not J.P. Ricciardi, but I guarantee you his preference wasn’t to send Cone across the water to New York, but he did. The Yankees had prospects to deal (none of them worked out, unfortunately) and they were willing to risk Cone leaving as a free agent (he did declare for the market, but was re-signed about five weeks later). Halladay isn’t a free agent until after the 2010 season, but the expense of his current contract is going to scare off a lot of teams given the economic environment. A team that picks him up tomorrow is going to be on the hook for half of this season and all of next year, which comes out to something like $23 million. It could be that the pool of bidders will be small enough that Ricciardi will have no choice but to look closely at the Yankees.

That’s if the Yankees are interested. I don’t know if they are, or if they even should be, but being division-mates with the Jays hasn’t stopped them in the past and won’t stop them now.

Good call by the Yankees plucking Alf Aceves out of the bullpen to make Thursday’s spot start against the Twins. As outlined in an earlier entry, Mitre’s Major League track record is spotty enough that Thursday would have to be rated a throwaway game, regardless of his current minor league record. Pitchers are the ballplayers most likely to reinvent themselves, but a 5.36 career ERA is what it is… kind of like Brett Tomko’s 4.69.

The only disturbing aspect to the decision is that it exposes Joe Girard’s proffered rationale for stranding Aceves and Phil Hughes in the bullpen, that they could not be “stretched” in time, as a canard. Why not just give an honest answer, which would have been something like, “We’re having a pretty fun time with the current bullpen composition and we just don’t want to mess with it?” That might not have been the correct answer to the problem of the spot start, but it would have been truthful.

With Aceves sprung, possibly for more than one start, the Yankees do have to identify an option to replace his very productive relief work. Right now they’re carrying a pen that is two pitchers short of a full load, given that Brian Bruney isn’t exactly trustworthy right now and Brett Tomko doesn’t have any function beyond trash-time relief, if that.

I’d still like an explanation of why it’s more valuable to the pennant-winning effort to have Tomko in the Majors and Mark Melancon and his 2.50 ERA in the minors. I know he walked five guys in three innings in the majors, but at Scranton he’s walked just two batters per nine innings, the same rate he had last year. Meanwhile, the same minor league staff that allowed him to throw nearly 100 innings last year, after the pitcher already had Tommy John surgery, is using him for two and three innings and appearance. If the Yankees don’t use him soon, he might break before he can be used.

Is it meaningful that CC Sabathia’s strikeout rate is his lowest since 2003?

Brett Gardner, May to present: .312/.414/.496.
Melky Cabrera, May to present: .265/.319/.395.

Gardner starts again tonight. All hail Joe Girardi.

He’s athletic and mobile and therefore fun to watch… but as a hitter he wasn’t any better than Jose Molina. The difference between the two is that Cervelli has a small chance to be better than that, whereas Molina is what he is. Cervelli’s 48 percent caught stealing rate is something special, and if he continues to throw like that he’s almost guaranteed to have a long Major League career even if his bat stays exactly where it is right now.


  1. tstimmel

    i bet that the Blue Jays would take Joba even up for Halliday, and if not, throw in Melky. Then move Hughes to the starting rotation and the Yankees look formidable and got rid of an extra cf they don’t need.

  2. oldschoolyank

    Aceves is amazing–he just pitches, doesn’t matter what the situation is, he just does his thing. The Yankees have not had a legitimate MVP who stands out above the rest to this point in the season, so many have done some good things, but this guy as a real surprise could possibly get into the conversation–wouldn’t win it, but would get talked about. RE: Cervelli, right on the nose with the idea that if he can continue to throw people out at that rate and hit anywhere in the mid-200s, kind of like Girardi, he will play for somebody for a long time.

  3. yuhsing@alicekid.com.tw

    Steve, I think you miss the point slightly though. in 95 the Blue Jays just came off back to back WS wins (before the strike) and the Yankees were still in the worest runs in franchise history and having Mattingly being closed to finished, Bernie havn’t yet established himself . and Jeter wasn’t even here it.

    Hell, this was before the Yankees started to run away with the payroll too.

    The Yankees then was a contender. but they were closer to the current Mets (a team with a lot of resource but seem to find comical ways to fail) instead of the current Yankees.

    Regarding Halladay though, I think it’s a lose lose situation for Toronto and Ricarddi no matter what happens. Toronto is basically LOST for not just the next 1 or 2 year. but 4 or 5, Thanks to the epically bad contract for Vernon Wells , they will basically now pay 20 million per yar to a sub replacement level player for the next 4 year. That certainly helps when they’re already in a significant hole in terms of payroll in the division to start with.

    As for the Yankees. If I were JP I’d start with asking for Jesus Montero, it fits what the Jays needs are anyway. and then ask for either Hughes or Chamberlian or Mcallister. obviously if they can take Vernon Wells contract off their hand that be a automatic win, though can you imagine if they trade Halladay + Wells for very little?

  4. letsgoyankees

    Yankees are morons if they trade Montero. Montero is not a normal bat. He is a special player.

  5. yankee7777

    Another beautiful game to watch without Michael Kays constant babble. He is a nice enough guy but his knowledge of baseball is very limited.
    Do other Yankee fan note how there is less talk when any other combination of announcers is on? Why Kay feels the need to talk all the time I cant understand.
    And also what a treat not to hear the pitch count after almost every pitch.

  6. pelicansnowslide@aol.com

    they need to find Montero a position. Its not going to be catching. Catching is a defensive position.

    Sorry, I forgot we are talking about the yankees, who have Stone hands,no block it, or throw it, but sure can’t hit it Posada behind the dish, and you wonder why our starters don’t excell.

  7. sadaharuo

    yankee7777, we get it. You don’t like Michael Kay. Understood. Would you rather listen to Sterling and Waldman?

  8. letsgoyankees

    Steve, can we please set up a filter or something for people who think that you need some mystical skill for calling games? Or that Posada is NOT having a very decent year defensively (he is)? Or that even if he were really below avg. defensively his great offense more than makes up for it. Sorry if this sounds mean spirited.

  9. ctyank

    It is so delightful when Michael Kay is not doing the play by play. I am so sick of him calling average plays great and making deep fly balls sound like they were caught at the wall. He still has the radio mentality thinking he can exagerate the play for radio. Does he not realize people are watching?
    As for Sterling, he is an embarrassment to the Yankees with all these home run calls and names. Why can’t we get professional announcers. Waldman could be somewhat OK with a good partner as she can be intelligent when she is with someone who also is, unlike Sterling.

  10. yankeesith

    I think Kay is a great announcer. He brings up alot of good points. He is kind of like a spark plug that gets the other announcers talking. My only issue is that I feel he over analizes things. As for Halliday, I doubt he will be a Yankee. If he does come over you can bet that we will be parting with Hughes, Wang, Chamberlain and maybe Montero. I for one say don’t do it.

  11. stakadolla2003@yahoo.com

    Honestly the yankees are in serious trouble! I know they have a good record, but they continue to let teams own them(angels, red sox). I have their solution though: Put joba and wang in bullpen if wang comes back, and GET HALLADAY! Give the jays gardner, pena, and joba or wang but either way get HALLADAY. Also dont let joba or wang start again this year!!!!!!

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