So, I was at Hershey Park yesterday, enjoying a four-hour flashback to my childhood, where a buddy of mine who I was with received a phone call saying that it was “inevitable” that the Phillies were going to acquire Roy Halladay from the Blue Jays.
Coming home hours later and immediately jumping into the internet, it was easy to see how the rush to that conclusion was made. The headline on ESPN.com was the exact title of this post, and for good reason. The Blue Jays made a formal offer to the Phillies, a trade that would send Halladay to the Phils for J.A Happ, top pitching prospect Kyle Drabek, and the top overall prospect in the organization, outfielder Dominic Brown.
The consensus is that the Phillies denied that first offer, which likely seems to be the case because a deal is not done yet. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t discussing a very similar counter-offer, but the overall opinion around baseball circles is that when Toronto made that offer, the Phillies branch thought they would be giving up too much, and declined.
So since the Phillies “denied” the initial offer, does that mean that this trade for Roy Halladay won’t happen?
Well, that depends who you ask.
Jon Heyman, a writer from Sports Illustrated who has been following this situation from the time the rumors started spreading about three months ago, believes it will. Heyman believes that the Phillies will only include one of J.A Happ or Kyle Drabek instead of both (something that has been rumored for some time now), but that Blue Jays GM J.P Richardi will ultimately pull the trigger on a deal because he realizes that the Phillies give the Blue Jays the best shot to get ultimate value in return for Halladay. That’s why he says that a trade that was once viewed as “50/50″ now has a good shot of getting pulled off.
However, Jayson Stark of ESPN, who reported that the Blue Jays want to much in return for Halladay, believes that the Phillies and Blue Jays are much further away from a deal than some think. Stark reported Saturday that while the Phillies and Blue Jays have narrowed it down to seven or eight names of guys who may be included in a potential deal that Halladay, J.P Richardi, and the Phillies believe that no deal will be done come the July 28th self-imposed trade deadline made by the Blue Jays.
Personally, I am one who thinks like Heyman, and I believe that there is too much involved in this deal to pull the trigger. The Blue Jays want Happ and Drabek, they’ve said that from the start. The Phillies do not want to give up both Happ and Drabek, they’ve also said that from the start.
Something has got to give, right?