Nobody can ever accuse Ruben Amaro of being gun shy. A zillion
reportstweets have Roy Halladay moving to the Phillies as part of a three-team blockbuster. Initial reports claim Cliff Lee would go to Seattle with the Jays receiving a small army of Rainiers, Diamond Jaxx, and AquaSox. Halladay and his agent were spotted in Philadelphia today, negotiating a contract extension the likely reason.
With stories circulating that Cliff Lee would not offer hometown discount when he hits the free agent market after 2010, the Phillies felt they needed to make a move. Halladay is a creature of habit who's focus is on winning rather than securing max money; the widely-held belief is Halladay will sign an extension at a lower dollar figure to stay in a place he's comfortable. Also, Roy Halladay is a massive upgrade over Cliff Lee because he's the best pitcher in baseball. There, I said it.
This Phillies get the finest of top-line starters, coming to an easier league with a contract already in hand. The Phils are primed and ready for another run at the World Series. The Mariners get the perfect piece for their ballpark (provided it's Lee. J.A. Happ/Cole Hamels are attached to the deal and would also fare well at Safeco.)
Roy Halladay pitched in zero post-season baseball games for the Toronto Blue Jays and was part of zero pennant drives. Yet Roy Halladay is, unequivocally, the greatest Blue Jays pitcher of all time. This deal figures to make the Blue Jays a very, very tough sell in 2010 and beyond, Even if the pieces coming back form the core of a very good team in a very short period of time; this will prove to be one of the more pivotal days in Blue Jays history.
Personally, this hit me like a brick in the center of my chest. I knew it was going to happen, I coat myself in a thick layer of detachment and laissez-faire at all times, yet the prospect of soldiering on without Roy Halladay is not an inviting one. This isn't about money or small-market tears. It's about a good team that took their shot and missed and now must start again. Without the face of their franchise. With Ricky effin Romaro as their Opening Day starter. It sucks. I'm not excited. Congrats to Phillies fans, you don't know how lucky you are. May the t-shirts fly off the virtual shelves.