Phillies Looking to Trade Cliff Lee for Roy Halladay

Cliff LeeThe 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.

  • mike

    i dont understand this trade for philly. they traded one group of prospects to get lee. now, if they are going to trade another group of prospects to get hallyday, why not just trade them to Tor to get hallyday straight up to add Roy to lee? in effect, philly has now traded two groups of good/top level prospects for roy hallyday.

  • mgbode

    the issue was that Halladay was willing to sign a 3-year extension. Lee wanted at least 5 years and probably 6 years….he also wanted to test free agency before signing any contract.

    the phillies just locked up an ace for 4 years rather than risking losing one after this year. smart move by them.

  • mgbode

    @mike – Toronto said to get Halladay, they had to get back a very good minor league pitching prospect and wanted Drabek from the Phillies. that was a non-starter with Philly.

    so, they could not pry Halladay from Toronto without a 3rd team to get that prospect. the mariners were willing to give up their best pitching prospect to get Lee.

    the M’s better either resign Lee, trade him at the deadline for a better prospect, or win the WS this year. if they don’t do any of those 3, then this was a disastrous trade for them.

  • mike

    thanks. i guess philly also got a few solid prospects back for Lee from seattle.

  • DocZeus

    I’ve said this before but trading Cliff Lee for Roy Halladay simply means that Cliff Lee is going to end up in pinstripes sometime before next season. I hate this trade.

  • S-Dub

    What makes this crazy to me is that the Phillies are saying they aren’t playing just for next year. That they can’t afford to sign Lee and Halladay and just getting back to and winning the world series next year isn’t all their focused on. I mean honestly, if you have Lee, Halladay, Hamels, Happ (possibly) and Pedro, HOW COULD YOU NOT MOVE FORWARD WITH THAT!? These are things that Indians fans can only dream of. God baseball sucks.

  • dgriff13

    I was saying the same things, Craig. Key point: Cliff wants to test Free Agency, won’t sign long term contracts. Phils want long term contracts, and Roy agreed to one. Bye bye Cliff.

    Show of hands: who’s looking for Cliff to end up with CC in NY? (insert long groan here)

  • CJG


  • MaimLarry

    Guys, you have to understand, the Yankees need some more talent. How can you expect that city to go through another ten year drought? That would be unbearable.

  • Eli

    Lee won’t end up with the Yankees. After Boston falls about 6-7 games behind in the June-July timeline, they are going to break the bank for Lee. Boston is hurting way more for quality starters.

  • Chris

    Can we please get 2007 Cliff Lee back this year?

  • Chris

    That was worded poorly. What I meant to say was I’d like to see Cliff pitch like he did in 2007. Not for the Indians, obviously.

  • kurt

    Uhh… did anyone see Cliff pitch for the Phillies last year? Do we really think we can improve on that?

  • dr. cleveland

    Living in Philly (from OH, diehard CLE), mgbode has it exactly. Lee wants CC money and contract length. Halladay has already said he’d sign short-term extension for “cheap” if he moves to a contender. The Phillies’ have an organizational philosophy which does not support giving starters long-term contracts to starting pitchers. Everyone here wants Lee, but it goes against the conventional logic that the Phillies’ purport has gotten them to where they are now. As was also mentioned, the Phillies are looking to replenish the prospects lost through the M’s. In the long run it’s prob a win for the Phillies, at least on paper.

  • JD

    @ Eli –

    I don’t think that a Beckett/Lackey/Lester/Dice-K/Buchholz/Wakefield rotation indicates a dire lack of starting pitching for Boston this year. True, Beckett may leave via FA after this year, but that just means that it’s either Beckett or Lee that winds up wearing pinstripes.

    That, of course, probably means the other one just winds up wearing a nice red B on his head.

    Oh well, at least we can hope Carlos Carrasco gets better! AMIRITE?

  • saggy

    the phillies got to where they are now because the Mets suck – not necessarily because they are doing groundbreaking things in the front office. Morons. I hate philly.

  • Chris Humpherys

    You made some great points.

    I’m wondering if this trade won’t come back to bite the Phils.

    Here’s my take on the Christmas cheer spread between the Phils and their former ace, Cliff Lee.