The undisclosed sources are chattering up a storm right now about a three-team trade that would send Cliff Lee to Seattle, Roy Halladay to Philly and prospects in all directions including Toronto. So after being dealt from Cleveland to Philly and playing his buttocks off for the Phillis, Cliff Lee again finds himself trade bait so Philadelphia can get the guy who was their first choice all along at the deadline last season. What a strange game baseball is though. I understand that Roy Halladay was the Phillies’ first choice a season ago, but after making a great deal for Cliff Lee and seeing him pitch unbelievably down the stretch and into the playoffs, they are still pining after the guy they couldn’t get? I honestly can’t understand it at all.
Roy Halladay has a decidedly better pedigree than Cliff Lee. Halladay is a proven veteran who has performed year in and year out on a pretty mediocre to bad team in Toronto. Cliff Lee has only really been Cliff Lee for a few years now. Still, I looked up the numbers and consider the following.
Roy Halladay is a year older than Cliff Lee, but look at the difference in “mileage.” Roy Halladay has pitched 2046 innings in his career. Cliff Lee has pitched 1146 so far in his career. On top of that, Cliff Lee is pitching this season on a $9 million option that Philly picked up. The chattering sources are indicating that the deal for Halladay would certainly include a 3-year extension for somewhere in the neighborhood of $60 million.
I know Philadelphia is probably playing with house money now that they have appeared in the World Series two straight years, but I would still think there would be some kind of value in paying Cliff Lee half as much as Roy Halladay. Then again, it has been quite a while since I have rooted for a team that was basically playing fantasy baseball with its roster like the lucky few in the majors.