Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Halladay sweepstakes heating up

No surprise that the Red Sox are interested in making a trade for Roy "Doc" Halladay, particularly considering their early playoff exit. But the Red Sox are reportedly trying to speed up the pace of negotiations, with an eye toward completing a deal before the winter meetings start on Dec. 7, when trades will be the hot topic of conversation.

Brian Cashman has said he won't meet with the rest of the Yankee brass until after the Thanksgiving holiday when the team is expected to finalize the 2010 budget. But Cashman needs to be prepared to swoop in with an offer if things go according to the Red Sox schedule. We all know the lengths Theo Epstein will go to get a starter over the holidays. He flew to Curt Schilling's home in Arizona over the Thanksgiving holiday in 2003, having Thanksgiving dinner with Schilling and his family, to get him to agree to a trade to Boston. And Yankee fans all know how that worked out. Let's hope we don't see any reports of Epstein spending the holiday in Odessa, Florida, where the Halladays live.

I can live with losing Cuban lefty Aroldis Chapman to the Saux, but Halladay going to Boston would be devastating for the Yanks. It would solidify the Boston rotation to the point that they can go head-t0-head with the Yanks. Boston may even have a deeper rotation with Halladay than the Yanks given the uncertainty over whether Andy Pettitte will pitch one more year and the Yanks troubles with the 4th and 5th starting slots.

But the Yanks have a few things in their favor. They just won the World Series and Halladay has never even made the postseason so he will want to go to the team that has the best chance to win. Despite talk of their budget, the Yanks can outbid Boston on the the long, multi-year extension Halladay is going to want. They also have AJ Burnett, who is close to Halladay and considers him a mentor. AJ can be an ambassador for the Yanks and lobby his good buddy to join him in New York.

Of course, the Yankees acquiring Halladay would reignite all the "Evil Empire" talk, but it's something I can live with to have a dream rotation in CC Sabathia, Halladay, Burnett and Pettitte.

Thanks to Keith Allison via Wikipedia for the photo.

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