July 08, 2009

I don't want to talk about it ...

And neither does The Ack. But, really, we're left with no choice.






It's not news that J.P. Ricciardi will listen to offers for Roy Halladay; that's his job, fools.

What is news, and worthy of a drink or seven, is the fact that Ricciardi has "spoken with [Doc] and prepared him for the possibility that he will bring trade possibilities to the pitcher in the weeks or months ahead."

Now that, that is fucked up.

I love Doc. With all my Blue Jays fandom being. In all my years, I've never seen anyone do it better. But if he won't sign a contract extension, and I completely understand him potentially not wanting to, Ricciardi's got to trade him. Period.

I found it ironic that on the night Halladay speculation hit the fan, Marc Rzepczynski, fresh from the minors (he's never had an ERA higher than 2.93, at any level), went out and threw a gem against a very tough, all-star riddled lineup. Can we keep him?

Look, all I know is that I can't deal with another superstar - especially Doc, THE superstar - leaving town and the Blue Jays receiving nothing in return, a la Carlos Delgado. I just can't. He's in the middle of the Sports And The City banner, for fuck's sake.

The chances of a trade are slim. But the lure of 2010 may not be enough to get Doc's signature on the dotted line. Basically, we're fucked. The team, the fans, the banner; everyone.

If Doc leaves, I trust in Ricciardi that the package coming north will be formidable. If Doc leaves, he'll also take a part of me with him. His new team will become my new team; team 1A, if you will. (First Mats, now Doc. This is some bullshit.)

There's nothing I want more than for Halladay to win the World Series. Because I know there's nothing Halladay wants more. In a perfect world, it happens in Toronto. But if I've learned anything over the years, it's that dreams of this nature don't come true.

It's not about the money for Doc. Never has been. He's the anti-A.J. Burnett. It's about giving himself the best odds to win, as the window closes, ever so slowly, year after year. And I can't be mad at him for that.

I will always root for Harry Leroy Halladay III. Whether in a Blue Jays uniform, or another.

In grief-stricken times such as these, I'm looking for positives. Any positives. Here's one, I think, from Blair Facts, which should be high atop your Monday morning reading list:

"After watching Roy Halladay's face following Johnny Damon's cheap homerun at the new Yankee Stadium on Saturday, I guess it's safe to scratch the Bronx as a possible future destination for Doc."
- Jeff Blair,
GlobeSports

Thank God. Anywhere but New York, or Boston. Please.

Looks like I picked the right year to embark on Mission: Doc, a quest to watch every Halladay start at the Rog Mahal. It might be his last.

(I promised myself I wouldn't cry.)

UPDATE: If Rogers gives the green light, and that's a HUGE if, put a four-year $80 million extension in front of Doc. If he signs, and Rogers allows the payroll to balloon (I'm thinking $120 million) so the Jays can surround Doc with the necessary parts, end of story.

If Rogers doesn't give Ricciardi the green light to show Doc the money, or surround him with adequate talent, well, then he must be traded.

It's really up to Rogers, not Ricciardi.

Way too many ifs.

UPDATE #2: "Ricciardi acted on Doc's orders." The fuck? If that's the case, just keep it in mind, Ricciardi haters.

Oh, Doc.

UPDATE #3: From Joel Sherman, of the New York Post: "This is not a decision initiated by Halladay. In other words, Halladay did not come to Toronto and say, 'get me out of here, my baseball biological clock is ticking and I want to go some place I can win and get paid.'"

Not that I believed Doc was behind this, but it's still a relief.

However, as The Ack pointed out, the money quote, from J.P.:

"We have kept him from free agency twice and I don't think we ahve the resources to keep him from free agency a third time, so I have to investigate what is out there. But my gut feeling is no trade gets done because we value him as one of the five best players in the game, and I don't think people will meet the price tag for that kind of talent."

For now, that's the final word.

27 comments:

Down Goes Brown said...

I heard Buster Olney on ESPN radio this morning saying he thinks there's a 50/50 chance that Roy is dealt. He thinks the Phillies make the most sense.

I'd hate to see him go, but I think it's time. This current team can't make the playoffs in the AL East. It's time to think of a few years down the road.

Is it possible that two or even three guys on your banner could be dealt at the same time?

Aquamelli said...

I dont want to see Doc go, but if he does... we sure as hell better get something in return. It would almost make sense to trade him - hes not getting any younger and his stock has never been any higher. We have some great young arms and if Doc leaves, I think its safe to say that Ricky will be our opening day starter. We need a power lefty badly - and if we can get that along with some pitchers for Doc... I say go for it. In my opinion, I think the Jays are in a win-win situation with the Doc dilemma.

If Doc leaves, I think Ricky should get the honorable spot in your banner

The Ack said...

Hey yo. I was waiting for you to go epic on this. And you did. Kudos.

I went off on my emotional tangent last night. Probably should have held off, but I'm not embarrassed about it. This is Doc we're talking about. I never, ever went fucking bizarro like this over Vernon's impending free agency, or AJ, or even Delgado back in the day. So, yeah.

I get it, though. I really do - if you can't extend him, then you have to deal him for all you can. The problem I have is....aren't the Jays even going to try? You just goddman well know Doc would sign on for 3,4,5 more years if Rogers would just commit to winning. Again, easy enough for me to say, it's not my extra $40 million that the Jays would need to spend on payroll to level the playing field. Business decisions will rule the day.

re: Romero - too early, dudes. Too early. Hill should be next up on the banner under the doomsday scenarios. He's good, and he's locked up.

re: Olney at 50/50.....Stark put it at 5%-10%....fuck the odds. All we can do is wait it out. And never speak of this again.

(Yeah, right....)

Johnny G said...

It will kill me if it happens.

I don't even want to think about it. I know that if we were to trade doc the package would be awesome, but I don't care. Even with Sundin or anyone else for that matter I felt trading made sense, but with Doc, I just don't care what makes sense I don't want it to happen. I want an extension.

eyebleaf said...

@ DGB: 50/50 seems high to me. Everything I've read and heard says the possibility of a deal is much, much slimmer. But, really, who the fuck knows, right? I'm still loathe to throw in the towel on this season, and 2010. We need Doc. But he's 32. It's messed. And, I think it's possible that in the course of the next year, all three of the guys in the banner could be dealt. Cursed, for real.

@ Aquamelli: The only thing that makes the thought of Doc being traded half acceptable is all the young arms we've got stockpiled. But none of those young arms are equal to Roy Halladay. He's a once-in-a-generation type pitcher. I would definitely not label this situation a win-win. As for Romero, and the banner, I love Ricky, and am glad to see him up in the bigs, but just remember that he wasn't even penciled in as the 6th starter going into this year. Ricky's been a huge, huge surprise, and, like you, I hope his play continues. Again, I love how he runs off the field after the third out, hopping over the base line. Beauty.

@ The Ack: Broseph, your post, in the heat of the moment, was a beauty. Once you passed over the ESPN link, saying JP had talked to Doc, I knew it was on. That's when it became real. Even I felt a sort of apathy towards the Delgado situation; I knew he was leaving, there was nothing to be done other than accept it. As for Wells, I gave in to the idea that there was no way he was coming back. (That one's worked out well.)

The bottom line is the the Jays, and Rogers, know that this team has ZERO FUCKING CHANCE to win in this division with an $80 million payroll. If they're not willing to let that number get to at least $120 million, Doc has to go, and we have to get the highest return possible (which means the sooner he's traded, the better.) You're absolutely right: business decisions will rule the day. And I'm with you on Hill; he seems like the logical choice. Vernon and Rios can fuck right off.

@ Johnny: The Ack's label on his post said it all: "I don't know what I'll do if the Jays trade Doc." I think we all want an extension.

I've got a question; from Griff: Both sides long ago agreed that any negotiations for a Halladay extension would not begin until the end of the current season.

That can't possibly be the fucking case, right? If JP gets the go-ahead to offer Doc 4 years at $20 million, he's got to do it, right? It seems impossible to me that the Jays would explore trading Doc before offering him an extension, just because they agreed long ago to not talk during the season. That just can't be. A trade only goes down if Doc doesn't sign the extension put forth on the table.

Fuck. This is crazy.

Good news: Marcum's in Dunedin, back in the rotation by August. Nails.

More bad news: The Jays aren't considering sending The Beej to Vegas. The Beej should basically donate his fucking salary to Halladay.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if anyone else has looked at this situation from this angle, so here goes. If I'm JP Ricciardi, there is no fucking way I'm trading Roy Halladay this year because that would pretty much guarantee my ass got fired after the season, if not sooner. Not because he traded Roy, but because it would naturally set the team back in the short term and would give Rogers the justification they need to replace him.

Scott

Callum said...

All of the rumours and shit is bullshit. JP should sign doc to a 1 year extension and if the Jays don't win it, then trade him in '10 or '11. If JP trades him now, I renounce my Blue Jays Fan Club membership.

eyebleaf said...

@ Scott: J.P. might be done after this season, regardless. If Beeston finally brings in a new president, said president is likely going to want his own GM. Unless Beeston remains on board until after 2010, and I don't see that happening, I'm not sure Ricciardi is around next season.

@ Callum: Did you read that last link, out to SportsNet, saying Ricciardi is simply acting on Doc's orders? If that's the case, we're truly fucked. If that's the case, it's not JP's fault. If that's the case, a Blue Jays fan you must remain.

Ian H. said...

Is the reason for trading Doc to drop salary? That makes no sense to me. So that means Roy Halladay has to suffer because the Blue Jays signed fat contracts to flat players like Wells, Rios and Ryan? If anything, Doc has been one of the bright spots for this team over the past few years and they want to throw that all away? Please don't go, Doc. PLEASE!

Jason M said...

Regardless of the circumstances, if Doc leaves, this franchise is light years from becoming relevant, and will be so for a long, long time. I really love watching Doc pitch and I hope he does for many more years in a Jays uniform. If (when? oh god...) he leaves it will be a sad day, and unless JP commits highway robbery in a trade (and I ain't holding my breath on that count) the Jays can forget about playoffs for many many years.

*Sigh*

"Dave Schultz" said...

I'm no expert, I'm with Ian H. on this one.

What is in the water in Toronto that sports teams give "fat contracts to flat players" ?

The DEVIL rays announcers last night were saying Jays need to trade Doc because how could they justify spending 25%+ of their player salary money on one guy, how would they have money left to build a team around him. Which is a valid point. And admittedly, I'm new to all this shit, but if it's like hockey, you build through smart drafting and developing. Finding diamonds in the rough, kids that'll be a pleasant surprise, like Romero.

ok, I'll shuttup, I don't know what I'm talking about.

furcifer said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again if Doc has to leave because the Jays can't afford to pay him due to the inflated contracts they gave to Vernon your Vernon hatred scale would not be able to contain my level of hate.

They better find a way to keep him. Otherwise let's burn the sucker down.

eyebleaf said...

Ian: I wouldn't classify it as a salary dump. If he's traded, I'd classify it as a "he won't sign an extension and Rogers won't increase payroll to surround him with talent, so if there's any shot at all for Toronto, Doc must be traded to bring in more serviceable parts at different positions."

It's weird, it seemed that during that summer when we signed Burnett, and Ryan, we were ready to spend with the big boys. A year later, we upped Wells, locked up Rios and Hill, and now it seems like management wants to go back to the thrifty days. They've had an about-face, and we're going to lose out on Doc because of it. They need to make that decision - either Toronto is an $80 million ball club, or a $110-120 million ball club.

@ Jason: That's where it gets tricky. Scoots is a free agent, and we've got a ton of arms, albeit unproven, in the system. If we can get a solid pitcher, ready to join the rotation in return, and a shortstop (either prospect or ready to play), and another prospect, does that push the Jays closer to the playoffs?

I'll agree with you, though, that trading Doc sends the worst possible message to the fans, the city, and to baseball.

@ Schultzy: Toronto's water is pretty bitching. Like I said above, I think Toronto's in the midst of an identity crisis; they don't know what type of team they are in terms of payroll. They shelled out a lot of money to Wells, Rios and Hill. Two-thirds of what seemed like a very solid foundation have struggled this season, making everyone scratch their heads and say "what the fuck do we do now?" If the Jays are an $80 million dollar club, then Vernon and Doc's massive salaries cannot co-exist. There was an interesting tweet by the Beyond the Boxscore fellas (sick blog, read it): package Wells in any deal for Halladay. If a team really wants Doc, they'll have to take V-Dub with him. Suckers!!!1

@ Furcifer: Like always, it's all Vernon Wells' fault! But, really, in this situation, it can't be. It comes down to Rogers, in these eyes; not Wells, or Ricciardi.

That being said, some links.

Great post by The Southpaw on creatively restructuring Wells' contract to free up $$$$ to sign Doc, and get people off his back: http://mvn.com/thesouthpaw/2009/06/29/the-vernon-wells-dilemma.html

SI's Jon Heyman on the whole situation, and who might be able to offer what: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/jon_heyman/07/08/halladay.trade/index.html?eref=writers

(I'm too lazy to format them so you can click straight through. Blogger needs to fucking get to work on that shit and make it easy.)

bkblades said...

As much as we Blue Jays fans thought it was forever, I think we all knew deep down this was an eventuality. But I certainly didn't think Roy Halladay's departure would come this close, this soon. It wouldn't make it any easier, of course, nor will I willingly accept the inevitable, but at least resignation would have set in. Purely for my own selfish reasons, I'm not ready to see Halladay leave, even with the boatload of prospects the Jays would supposedly receive in return. It's the emotional investment that will never reach equal value.

Maybe it's Halladay's quiet demeanor that's drawn so many of us in. After all, we don't really know much of Roy Halladay outside the ballpark and quite honestly, it has only increased his stature. He will never embarrass himself, his teammates or the logo. Ever. He's as professional as they come. But more than that, after all the complete games, innings, and victories he amassed simply fueled by his indomitable will to win, Halladay never fails to come out to the diamond and play with his kids after the game. Something so trivial (after all, Halladay is simply doing what every good father does), yet so resonating. Those little glimpses of his life and you realize, this man gets it. Roy Halladay approaches everything the right way.

I realize this sounds like an eulogy for Roy Halladay, a player the Jays still have control over and won't be pressured into trading him right now. But if the moment ever arises where I will have to witness Halladay taking off his Blue Jay uniform forever, I will not be writing, reading, or logically comprehending that day. It will just be too painful.

eyebleaf said...

BK, I think you've summed up perfectly how we all feel about Doc. There is no equivalent.

And I think you also perfectly summed up how we'll feel if the day of reckoning, the day he is no longer a Blue Jay, does indeed come.

twentyfifthhour said...

I know we have argued many times on J.P. In some cases you have even changed my mind on J.P. I will without question agree, J.P.'s eye for young talent is incredible (see Romaro, Lind, Hill and the array of young arms).

However, J.P. is a BITCH when it comes to signing free agents and spending money. When he had the green light to spend money, he completely FUCKED it up. You can argue that B.J. Ryan, A.J. Burnett & Frank Thomas were HORRIBLE signings. Ryan has been a complete bust, Burnett bolted after his one good season due to a horrible opt out clause that J.P. gave him and Frank, well he just tanked.

Then there's the re-signings of Vernon Wells and Alex Rios. While Rios isn't as bad at 10 million a year. Vernon Wells has got to be one of the worst contracts in all of sports period. In fact, it is possibly the signing of Vernon Wells that may end up costing us Doc.

Right now I hate J.P. And if Doc leaves, I will forever HATE J.P. Enough so, that if I ever see him on the street I will without question spit on the bastard. I loved Carlos Delgado and J.P. let him walk away saying we can't win by paying him that much money. Then the hypocritical bitch went and gave Vernon "I fucking SUCK" Wells the worst contract in baseball history. I will always love the Jays, always, but if Doc leaves, my love will never be the same. I already had to endure Robby Alomar being traded away, then Carlos being allowed to leave and now Doc.

FUCK YOU J.P.

twentyfifthhour said...

On another note about your banner. It's quite possible that by the off season of 2010 there will be 3 new guys on that banner. In all honesty, the only one i'll lose sleep over is Doc. I love Kabs, but I actually have faith in Burke.

I just plain don't like Bosh. I just wish he would shut up. Just someone please put a muzzle on that moron.

Also if Doc does get traded, I say you just leave him on the banner till the end of the season. As a tribute to the greatest pitcher to wear a Jays uniform.

eyebleaf said...

OK, 25th, first of all, agree with you on Ryan and Thomas; busts, both of them. As for A.J.'s opt-out, depending on how the rest of this season and next season goes, I reserve judgement. If he hits the DL, or just straight stinks it up, the opt-out may have worked out in our favour.

Now, a question: at the time of the deal, Vernon was thought to have received "market value" from the Jays. Fucked up, I know, but that's baseball. So Rogers OK'd a "market value" deal for Wells, and are now tightening the purse strings on Ricciardi, saying they can't give Doc market value or, if they do, can't surround him with talent. Who's to blame? Rogers or JP? It's easy to look back on Vernon's contract now, but circumstances have clearly changed up top, and Ricciardi's hands are seemingly tied. I'm pretty sure he wanted a bat this past off-season, but he was told he wasn't allowed. He saw all the kids, the free agents, playing in the sandbox, and Rogers kept him out. I'm trying to get you to think about where you're channeling your anger. I sense much anger in you. Use the force, young Jedi warrior. Use the force.

And, yes, the banner is apparently cursed. Doc would hurt me the most, too, out of all three of them. I love Kabby, but there's no question that Doc is in another stratosphere compared to Kabs and CB4.

And if Doc is dealt, I'm with you; Doc remains in the banner until April 2010. Here's hoping the middle of that banner never gets changed. If it does, it's more work for you; you put that shit together (props).

Escaped Lab Rat said...

Remember when Ray Bourque got traded to Colorado and won a Cup? And then Boston held a parade for him and I laughed at how pathetic they were?

I think I would consider going to a parade for Doc if he won a title somewhere else.

If we trade Doc (and I'm not optimistic that we will be keeping him), no matter what we get back, it'll feel like a part of our heart and soul has been taken as well.

twentyfifthhour said...

@eyebleaf - Well with all do respect, Vernon Wells at the time was never considered market value. I never thought that was a fair deal when Vernon got signed. I thought then it was too much then and now I believe it to be ASTRONOMICALLY STUPID.

I also truly do remember all the pundits, experts, analysts also claiming it seemed very high for a guy who had only one truly great season in his career. The main argument for signing him at the time was, well we couldn't just let him walk away like they did with Carlos.

I agree hindsight is 20/20, but J.P. had a 5 year plan that is now in year 9. J.P. would be much better served as the head of scouting, not the general manager. I hope to god he gets fired. I really do.

@ELR - I would attend a parade for Doc, no matter where he wins a world series.

eyebleaf said...

@ Escaped: I'm always down for a parade. For Doc, even more so.

@ 25th: I'm sorry, but I'm calling COMPLETE BULLSHIT on you, dude. Vernon signed his deal, an average of, what, $19 million, in December 2006. Market fucking value.

Torri Hunter signed his 5-year, $90 million dollar deal ($18 million) in November 2007.

Andruw Jones, Andruw mother fucking Jones (!!!1), signed his two-year deal with the Dodgers in December 2007 for an average of $18 million and change.

So how are you going to tell me Vernon didn't get market value, bro?

And fuck that five-year plan bullshit, man. Jeff Blair has written, and talked on radio, that that shit never was the case, and was taken completely out of context.

If you're going to come at me with the fire J.P. noise, you better do some homework, because I just took you to school.

eyebleaf said...

I forgot to mention one more centre fielder who's taking home $18 million this year: Ichiro.

Thanks.

twentyfifthhour said...

@ eyebleaf

You want research? You brought up Andruw Jones and Tori Hunter. Alright, let's do some research. Let's look at the #'s. Let's look at the 3 years previous to their contract years and see if it's fair market value.

Tori Hunter 2005 - 2007 (Contract Year 2007)
Games Runs Hits HR RBI AVG OBP OPS
405 243 427 73 261 .278 .336 .818

Vernon Wells 2004 - 2006 (Contract Year 2006)
Games Runs Hits HR RBI AVG OBP OPS
444 251 498 83 270 .281 .338 .830

Andruw Jones 2005 - 2007 (Contract Year 2007)
Games Runs Hits HR RBI AVG OBP OPS
470 285 429 118 351 .249 .340 .847

So as we can see that Tori Hunter posted pretty much the same #'s as Vernon while playing almost 40 less games.

Andruw Jones while playing 30 more games, his #'s are much better than Vernon by posting 40 more HR's, almost 100 more RBI's

Another very important note is that Jones and Hunter signed their contracts ONE YEAR AFTER Vernon Wells. So in fact, Vernon Well was not market value, he signed his contract first and set an INFLATED market value the following year. Andruw Jones and Tori Hunter are also incredibly overpaid, but Vernon set that inflated market by being overpaid first.

Secondly, Andruw Jones can say that he hit 50 and 40 HR's in a season and Tori Hunter was a proven playoff performer. Something neither Vernon can ever lay claim to and that also plays a factor in determining market value.

SO NO, VERNON WELLS NEVER WAS AND NEVER WILL BE MARKET VALUE. SO FUCK J.P. AND VERNON WELLS.

twentyfifthhour said...

As for Ichiro, Vernon is nowhere in the same league as Ichiro. Vernon isn't good enough to wipe Ichiro's cleats.

twentyfifthhour said...

One more note...

Vernon Wells has 3 Gold Gloves as compared to Tori Hunter who has 8 Gold Gloves and Andruw Jones who has 10. Oh yeah... Vernon is market value.

eyebleaf said...

Thullard.

Vernon was one of the three biggest offensive players set to be unrestricted free agents that winter; Wells, Alfonso Soriano, and Carlos Lee.

Their contracts:
Soriano - 8 years, $136 million - $17 per
Lee - 6 years, $100 million - $16.66 per
Wells - 7 years, $126 million - $18 per

Other contracts handed out at that time:
Zito - 7 years, $126 - $18 per (same as Vernon; both elite hitters and pitchers were getting the same amount of money, although Zito's contract was, and remains, bat-shit insane.)
J.D. Drew - 5 years, $70 million - $14 (he was a decent player, then ripped it in his contract year; the nature of the that time was to overpay like fuck, and Drew is a prime example. If Drew is getting $14, obviously guys like Soriano and Wells will make more.)
Aramis Ramirez - 5 years, $75 million - $15 per

So, essentially, J.P. gave Wells $1 million more per season, to keep him at home. I believe J.P. got Wells to sign before he hit the market, and that's the price he paid for it - $1 million extra. In a market where it would have been tough to attract big names to Toronto - I don't recall hearing anything about Soriano or Lee coming to Toronto - it was the price J.P., and the Jays as an organization, had to pay to keep the slugger in town.

In the end, the total amount was still less than what was given to Soriano, so please, enough. It was market value.

I don't know how Vernon got looped into the same hitting class as Soriano and Lee, his luck I guess, but your anger needs to be channeled towards someone other than Ricciardi for this deal. It was the going rate for the top sluggers in 2006.

twentyfifthhour said...

While it may have been market value for Carlos Lee and Alfanso Soriano, it was not for Vernon Wells. As for Barry Zito, he was a Cy Young winner, however Zito's contract can possibly content with Wells' contract for the worst in sports.

In that 2006 years, Carlos Lee had 37 HR's and not to mention that he averaged 30 HR's a year the previous 6 years.
Soriano in 2006 hit 46 HR's and stole 41 bases. Soriano also averaged 34 HR's over his previous 6 years.

Vernon was not in the same market as those two outfielders. So no, Vernon was not market value, Soriano and Carlos Lee were market value, Vernon was not.

As for J.D. Drew and Ramirez, no one said those contracts were market value. At the time, everyone was shocked at J.D. Drew's contract.

Vernon was never had the same market value as Soriano and Lee and never will.