Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Happy Halladays For Phils Fans...Really?

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!!!


Bear Man said...

You're absolutely right on all your points. While I was focusing on the Halladay trade, my one-track, fourth-place mind failed to realize that not only did the Philthies lose Cliff Lee, a younger lefty who not only had postseason experience but excelled in the postseason, but they also lost part of their future in Kyle Drabek.

I'm looking at the Philthies' rotation for next season and I see Halladay followed by these phailures:

Cole Hamels: has question marks after last season's inconsistent performance. Has been overworked at a young age due to extended postseasons.

Joe Blanton: gave up more hits than innings pitched last year and was one of only four pitchers who gave up at least 30 HR in 2009. However, every other pitcher who gave up 30 HR made at least 33 starts. Blanton only made 31.

J.A. Happ: good young pitcher, but faltered down the stretch and in the postseason. After his last start in August, he made five more regular season starts. In those starts, his ERA was 4.84, his WHIP was 1.66 and opposing batters hit .344 against him. It got worse in the playoffs, where his ERA was 5.68 and his WHIP was an ungodly 2.21. There are clearly some durability issues here.

Jamie Moyer: The man is so old, he got misty eyed when the Philthies played the Yankees in the World Series because it brought back childhood memories of the 1950 Phils-Yanks World Series matchup. His 2009 ERA was just south of 5.00 and his 25 starts were his fewest since 1996, when Todd Hundley was setting catcher home run records.

They also have Kyle Kendrick and that Bastardo named Antonio to step in whenever Moyer needs to change his adult diaper.

That doesn't look too different from the Mets staff. We have a #1 starter, followed by Question Mark and the Mysterians.

The big difference between the two teams is in the offense. The Phillies hit more home runs with men on base (96) than the Mets had home runs (95).

Fine, so the Mets didn't get an ace pitcher who could complement Santana in the rotation. But their rotation is still comparable to the Philthies' starters, even more so if they can add Jason Marquis or Joel PiƱeiro. They need to sign a big bat and hope for a return to form by the injured hitters. If Danny Boy Murphy leads the Mets in home runs again, it won't matter what our pitching staff looks like. It'll be another postseason where we root for certain teams to lose instead of rooting for the Mets to win.

Michael Solwecki said...

Not to be a pain Phillies fan, but..

The prospects they got from Seattle supposedly have the same ceiling as the ones they gave up, but are younger and therefore less of a sure thing.

So it's not like they blew through their farm system, they got some decent prospects back for Lee. Two pitchers, which help cancel out the initial trade for Lee where they gave up Carrasco and Knapp.

So the Phils reclaimed some prospects by giving up Lee, got Halladay without giving up Happ (as was the deal in July), and also got $6 million from Toronto with which to get another reliever.