A trade of this magnitude cannot help but elicit emotion from all sides, whether it's joy, grief, anger or bewilderment or all of those emotions in a 30-second span.
So stealing a page from my competitor Geoff Baker at the Times (I'm sure he's okay with it, more than he is with the way his Steelers are playing right now), I thought I would do a little surfing late Monday night and this morning to see what people think of the possible trade.
As of this morning ... here's what we have heard in terms of logistics:
Mariners get LHP Cliff Lee and and send RHP Phillippe Aumont, RHP J.C. Ramirez and OF Tyson Gillies to the Phillies.
Phillies get RHP Roy Halladay and $6 million from the Blue Jays and send RHP Kyle Drabek, C Travis D'Arnaud and OF Michael Taylor to the Blue Jays.
All of this is contingent on Halladay negotiating an extension with the Phillies. He's in Philly with his agent Greg Landry trying to get it done. It's supposed a three-year extension at $60 million.My source confirmed everything but the $6 million and the possible player the M's may be getting. But this deal could be tweaked in the next day or so.
Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer also tweeted that the deal may not get done today, but more likely tomorrow. I will now stick my head in a vice and start turning the wheel to the right.
Anyway let's take a look at how people are reacting to the trade -- the possible trade.
Let's start here in the Pacific Northwest ...
I haven't had time to gather my thoughts completely here's some bullet points on it:
- Cliff Lee is one of the 10 best pitchers in baseball
- One season of Cliff Lee is worth giving up three prospects who have never been above Double A.
- The Angels lose Figgins and Lackey, and didn't get Halladay or Lee. It's a serious hit and GM Jack Zduriencik smells an opportunity to take the AL West.
- Even if Lee doesn't sign an extension, he will be a Type A free agent and you get two picks if he leaves.
- If something goes wrong with the M's early on, JZ can flip him at the trade deadline.
- Did I mention the M's are going to add a former Cy Young winner to pitch behind a future Cy Young winner?
- Miguel Batista is not around to provide relief in either pitcher's starts.
But enough of my thoughts. Let's get to others ...
Dave Cameron from the USS Mariner chimes in with this post. Featuring this thought ..
Seriously, dance in the streets. Build a bust of Zduriencik and place it on your mantle. Name your first born son Jack and your daughter Jackie. When this becomes official, hug someone. This trade is that good.
ESPN's Rob Neyeragrees with Dave
, calling it a "heist."
Cameron's right: It's a heist. And it's worth taking a moment and ruminating about where this franchise is today, and where it was just one year ago.
In a post early yesterday, Jeff Sullivan of the Lookout Landing offers somethoughts
, including hoping that Michael Saunders isn't included in the deal -- and he isn't. But he has this great line ...
It's weird for a team in Seattle's situation to go after a potential one-year star like Cliff Lee, but when you don't actually have to lose that much of significant value, you seize the chance without a second thought.
Jeff has another post up with this fantastic line ...
Still, at this point it would take something unthinkable to blow this deal apart, and in that event we're going to have bigger things to worry about than baseball anyway, like how to build and launch a new sun really really fast.
Seattle PI columnist Art Thiel writes about what asignificant day
with Jake Locker returning to UW and the Lee trade as only he can.
I know Locker was already here, and Lee isn't here yet. But this is Seattle, where we get passed over for good news like those Northwest Airlines pilots passed over Minneapolis.
Forgive us our premature gesticulation.
Besides, if I didn't write about Locker or Lee, I'd write about Seahawks coach Jim Mora saying that everyone is under extra scrutiny, the effort is good but the execution is bad, they're still fighting and clawing and blah, blah, blah. Nobody wants to write that, nobody wants to read that, and I'm guessing Mora is embarrassed to keep saying it.My buddy Larry Stone of the Seattle Times offers his thoughts, as he prepares to watch the "It doesn't matter" Bowl that his Cal Bears are playing in.
The Mariners no doubt hope that he finds the Seattle situation -- the team, the coaching staff, the ballpark -- so pleasurable that he winds up signing on with them long-term. But if not, a couple of positive things could still happen, first and foremost being, obviously, that a Felix Hernandez-Cliff Lee tandem at the top of the rotation leads the Mariners into the postseason. For a team that hasn't sniffed playoff baseball since 2001, that's no insignificant factor.
Perhaps one of my favorite comments came from Yahoo's Big League Stewblog
that ran down the trade and said this:
It's Jack Zduriencik's world and all other GMs are just living in it.
As you can tell, the folks in the Marinersphere (I don't know if that's a word, but it is today) are quite pleased. A lot of people believe it is a steal.
However, folks in Philadelphia are less than enthused. Yes, they are pleased about getting Halladay, but they still can't figure out why Lee had to be dealt in the trade. If you look at in on the surface, it looks as though they could have just sent Drabek, A'rnaud and Taylor to Toronto for Halladay, and kept Lee. Most view this as cost-cutting move by Ruben Amaro, who said he intended to trim payroll in the offseason.
From Philly.com -- home of the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News.
Daily News beat writer David Murphy has a good post breaking down a lot of the factors of the proposed trade.
I'm sure the Phillies asked themselves the same thing. Which is why they met with Lee's agent at the winter meetings. But Lee's camp has sent plenty of public signals that suggested they were looking for a monster deal. And who would you rather pay $20 million a year to? Halladay is 15 months older than Lee, but he also has 11 full big league seasons under his belt and has posted an ERA of under 3.75 in eight of his last nine. Lee has been one of the top pitchers in the game for the last two years. But he has a long way to go before he proves himself to be in a class with Halladay. Keep in mind, Lee allowed six or more earned runs in six or fewer innings in three of his 12 starts with the Phillies. Halladay has had one such start in the last two seasons, and just five in his last five seasons.
Here's Paul Hagen'sstory
, which speaks of the financial issues.
Amaro, however, has made it clear that he's operating under tight budget strictures this winter and that the payroll for next season will probably have to be in the $140 million range. While getting Halladay will inevitably stretch that to some extent, it may be impossible to stay close to that guideline while keeping both Lee ($9 million) and Blanton (expected to get about $7 million in arbitration).
Columnist John Gonzales offers thesethoughts
... including this interesting comment...
Amaro and the organization should be commended for pushing for another big trade. It clearly signals the club's deep commitment to winning the World Series again. And yet this is all sort of bittersweet. How do you fall madly in love when you're going through an unexpected divorce?
Long time columnist Bill Conlin has thiscolumn
with this passage ...
Or is this merely a further indictment of a broken economic system, where despite playing to more than 100 percent capacity of their ballpark last season, the Phillies are doing so much belt-tightening their offseason is starting to look like a NutriSystem infomercial.
So now it looks like my dream of a rotation with Halladay and Lee at the top is deader than golf's TV ratings are going to be.Even the national writers are questioning it from the Phillies aspect.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo has this column with this ...
Yet because the Phillies could have conceivably done this without sacrificing Lee – they have enough prospects, and Lee is a bargain next year at $9 million – the trade resonates as unsatisfying. The Phillies are still the class of the National League. They’re just not the best team in baseball, a stake they could have claimed with Halladay and Lee together atop their rotation.
The Phillies blogs are understandably measured in their response and most aren't exactly pleased with the deal, wondering why the Phils couldn't get Halladay and keep Lee.
From the Beerleaguer blog:
So because of that, they essentially had to sell some of their premium prospects to guarantee having a front-line starter for the next few seasons, while missing out on the opportunity to unleash the hounds of hell - Doc, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels - upon the league next season. What's more, if Amaro is dumping Lee as a way to free up funds to go toward free agent relief - and he fails to acquire some - than this series of deals smells like a sophomore slump for the second-year GM.
GM Ruben Amaro is clearly trying to position the Phillies for future success beyond 2010, for which you certainly cannot fault him. However, trading Lee and prospect(s) for Halladay and cash is essentially a lateral move for 2010, the team’s best shot at winning another World Series
FromThe Good Phight
under the postMakes No Sense at All
That the deal is pretty clearly worse than what Amaro could have done to get Halladay five months ago, when he had much less leverage, gives me some hope that either the reports are erroneous or that the team knows something about the Mariners prospects coming back that we don't.
There is also plenty of reaction coming out of Toronto -- mostly positive though - since they knew Halladay had to be dealt.
Rich Griffin of the Toronto Star said it was the right move.
Maybe at one time a mutual parting of ways would not have been acceptable for the Jays, but with Halladay unwilling to consider a contract extension beyond 2010 at a discount, former GM J.P. Ricciardi concluded that the pitcher was demanding a trade. That's baloney, but once Ricciardi went down that road, the relationship became as irreparable as that between Elin Nordegren and Tiger Woods.
But Bruce Arthur of the National Post admits that losing Halladayleaves a serious "void
But the loss of the man they call Doc is really the culmination of all these years of wasted time, of chasing the horizon, of persistent mediocrity. For the last few years the franchise has been promising that a run at the playoffs is just around the corner; the latest target was indeed 2010, or so Ricciardi kept saying.
But there will never be another Roy Halladay. There can't be.