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The Halladay Two-Step

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I've been quiet about the All-Star starting pitcher while I considered my position.

I was against a Santana trade because I wanted to see Hughes develop and I didn't like the subsequent hole in center field.

I voted to wait on C.C.'s free agency.

But I would trade for Roy Hallady.  

The quick hit reasons:

1) the rumors revolve around hitters (Jesus Montero and Austin Jackson), and since the Yanks usually field a group of All-Stars around the diamond there's not as much room for a young hitter to work his way onto the team as for a pitcher (see the difference between Ramiro Pena and Francisco Cervelli vs Phil Hughes);

2) I'm more protective of AAA prospects than A prospects- I didn't want to trade Joba or Hughes because they were so close to contributing; in addition to the lack of a spot for Jesus Montero (and he's not a catcher unless you thought Mike Piazza was Gold Glove worthy), he's still only logged 119PA at AA and is still a few years from major league ready.

3) trading for C.C. or Santana would have been the first piece of the rotation, but the 2009 rotation is much stronger than recent years, so Halladay would represent a tipping point from competitive to dominant.

All of that comes with the knowledge that if JP Ricciardi can't figure out a way to send Halladay to the NL he deserves to be tarred and feathered.  Halladay should never be moved within the division.

And, courtesy of LoHud, here's the bait and switch- Ricciardi says he'll listen to offers, fields the phone calls, and talks about July 31st.  But Halladay's not moving before the deadline, because the classic unnamed source says:

the Toronto Blue Jays will not allow any interested team to negotiate with a player should a trade be agreed upon prior to the July 31 trading deadline

So play this game for a minute: you're Roy Halladay, most consistent pitcher in baseball.  You are the Toronto Blue Jays.  You have a no-trade clause.  Why are you going to waive it without a payday?

Now flip the switch and become Brian Cashman: let's imagine you're willing to part with Phil Hughes, Jesus Montero, and Dellin Betances.  Are you willing to let them go without the security that Halladay is a long term investment?

My prediction is that Halladay doesn't move at the deadline; instead, during the offseason Ricciardi chooses between the best packages from the Dodgers, Phillies, and maybe the Cubs or Giants.