I can understand the excitement from my Phils fans friends and of course the disappointment and otherwise seemingly white-flag-waving (and sweet irony befitting a Mets fan) in preparation for 2010 of my fellow Mets fans. Roy Halladay is one of the best pitchers of his day by far and they ended up getting CASH in the end too.
Let's take a look at the big picture and see if this deal is as bad for the Mets as you would think it is.
On the surface, yes. Like my buddy Ed over at Studious Metsimus said in so many words, yes while the Mets are sitting with their thumbs up their collective asses, we once again get no one and everyone else is all happy-happy joy-joy. So I can understand the malaise permeating the Mets fan base. Shit, I've been dealing with it since before All-Star Break of this year.
But big picture, I just can't see the fuss. Ray Halladay is an elite pitcher, you can't deny that. Plus they are able to give him a contract extension and while not cheap, he will be willing to do it at a discount.
Here's the kicker -- the Phillies had to trade Cliff Lee in order to make the deal happen. Why isn't anyone paying attention to this?
Roy Halladay has never pitched in a huge market -- all right, Philly is far from "huge" like L.A. or New York but now that Philly has a decent team, there's going to be plenty of pressure to perform there. I think he'll do well under pressure, as well as Lee did in his abbreviated stay in Philly. Roy Halladay has never pitched in a post-season either while Lee has two under my watch. Plus he's two years younger than Hally and a southpaw. My point is, the Phillies got marginally better right NOW, with the edge going to Toronto in this transaction.
But you know who really made out on this deal was Cleveland, who weren't even involved in this particular menage-a-trois. The Phillies traded seven prospects for basically a half-year rental of Lee. Sure, it netted them Halladay, on the flip side they had to part with coveted Kyle Drabek, who they were adamant about not including before (but of course, you can argue this would be the guy you'd trade him for).
I'm not saying that the Mets, constructed as they are for 2010 with no big FA promises (maybe Jason Bay, but you know he'll get more money/years someplace else), are going to be world-beaters. But how does this trade make the Phillies any better? In fact, if you want to wax intellectual about it, it's made them theoretically weaker once you factor in all the prospects they had to give up.
Jeff Passan over at Yahoo! Sports was my inspiration, with this article here. Sure having Halladay on any NL East starting pitching staff is daunting. But so does having Johan Santana. I guess my point is, I think Mets fans need to chill out as this deal does not in essence lock up the NL East for the Phillies. It already WAS locked up by them without this trade. So in essence, nothing has changed. What is clearly evident though is NOTHING has changed for the Mets.
The major undertones from Mets fans here after hearing about this trade are that the Mets NEED help. That is for certain. CoreyNYC brought this up before on BMF, where he said the Mets gave up a shit-ton of prospects in the JJ Putz deal and got zero in return since he signed elsewhere this offseason and was injured last year...they are essentially the anti-Phillies. With no one on the horizon in the free agent splashy market, a depleted farm system (that was getting bit by the injury bug by breathing near CitiField last season) that has nothing attractive for a decent trade and everything other question mark contemplating the IFs for 2010, I understand it well.
Once again, for 2010, the Mets will be the bridesmaids and not the brides.
Wait, I take that back.
We are the ugly stepsisters of Cinderella, and oh wait, she just discovered her glass slipper.
Happy new year everyone!!!