Disclaimer: This blog post is based purely on my own opinion. I have not been told in any way, shape or form that this trade will actually happen or that the Yankees are pursuing a trade at all. Please do not link to this post like it’s news. It’s not.)
Derek Jeter is having one of the best seasons of his career. Jorge Posada is somehow still one of the game’s best catchers at the age of 37 and Mariano Rivera is as great as ever.
The point is that these three key Yankees are still championship-caliber players in 2009. Will that be the case in 2010 or 2011? None of us know that.
The Yankees can win right now and I’m not so sure they have the pitching to do that. Joba Chamberlain and Andy Pettitte are far more erratic than anticipated and the No. 5 starter looks like rehab case Sergio Mitre.
The Yankees have used their bullpen for 283.1 innings already. Only three bad teams — Baltimore, Oakland and Cleveland — have used their bullpens more often in the American League. It’s a recipe for disaster.
Obtaining Roy Halladay would solve a lot of problems. He gives the Yankees a rotation that can get them to the playoffs and beyond while at the same time taking heat off a soon-to-be-overworked bullpen.
But how to how get him? That is the question. Here are my conditions:
• Vernon Wells can stay where he is. Taking that ridiculous contract is a non-starter.
• I’m not giving up Phil Hughes.
That said, here is what I will give up:
• Joba Chamberlain. The unexplained loss of velocity is a concern. So is the stubborn unwillingness to listen to others. There is a chance he could be great. But as each day passes, there seems to be more of a chance that he won’t be. He has a great story, but maybe we’ve already seen the best part. Look at this way, what the odds he will be as good as Halladay will be for the rest of this season and next? Zero.
• Jesus Montero. There has to be pain in this trade and this is it. Jesus of Venezuela might be the best power hitter in the minors and could be a difference-maker for any team. But he’s a catcher and that is the one position where the Yankees are loaded. The defensively refined Austin Romine is developmentally close to Montero and Francisco Cervelli could well prove to be an adequate stopgap. Plus the Yankees have a bunch of impressive young catchers in the pipeline including Kyle Higashioka, Gary Sanchez and (soon enough) J.R. Murphy. It’ll hurt, but Montero could well be a DH in five years. The world is full of DHs.
• Anybody else: Yes, anybody else in the minors. Austin Jackson, Dellin Betances, Zack McAllister, take your pick. This is Roy Halladay, after all.
Sure, Halladay will add $7 million to the payroll this season. Big deal. The Yankees are drawing more fans than any team out there and inventing new revenue streams every day. Broadband access, Yankees Universe, etc. There must be $7 million in there somewhere. Check the Legends Seats for loose change.
So there you have it. I don’t for a second think the Yankees will do it. But if J.P. Ricciardi will take Joba, Jesus and anybody else, I’d make the deal.
The Yankees need a starter and can’t do better than Halladay.