Toronto Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi said earlier this week that the team will be listening to offers for superstar pitching Roy Halladay. The ace is signed through next season, making $14.25 million this year, and $15.75 million next year.
Even if it makes no sense at all, given the costs involved and the constitution of the team, Cubs fans everywhere are bound to clamor: what about us?
Buster Olney indicates that the Cubs are at least in the discussion, along with 10 other teams, but notes that they may not have the prospects to pull the deal off. Talking heads said the same thing about the possible Jake Peavy deal, and we all learned that was not the case. If the Cubs were serious about picking up Halladay, they could load up enough prospects – starting with top prospect Josh Vitters – to make a serious offer.
Halladay, 32, has been one of the best and most consistent starters in baseball over the last decade. His ERA has topped 4.00 just once in the last eight years (his injury-shortened 2004 season), and has been sub-3.00 in four of those years. Any team – including the Cubs – would be better for his presence.
But even with Ryan Dempster out for a few weeks, Halladay seems like a luxury the Cubs are highly unlikely to pursue. The Cubs’ least successful starter this year has been Rich Harden, and it’s hard to imagine him getting displaced in the rotation. Which leaves Dempster-Lilly-Zambrano, none of whom are going anywhere, and the young guy who’s pitched better than all of them, Randy Wells. Of course, given a straight up choice of Halladay or Wells in the rotation, no one is going to choose Wells; but the fact that this would become the choice means that the Cubs are all the less likely to pursue Halladay.
Long story short: don’t get your hopes up.