So that’s the question everyone is asking, or at least one of the big ones: is Doc Halladay worth trading for? There are a number of good reasons to justify trading for him: he has 10 wins; he’s an All-Star, the starting pitcher no less; he’s in the prime of his career; he has a sick ERA of 2.85. Maybe the most importantly, the Yankees will probably try to get him. While I don’t think they have the package of prospects necessary to sign him, it doesn’t mean they won’t try, especially with the problems they’re having in their starting rotation (the first one rhymes with “Chien-Ming Bong,” the second with “Mandy Pettite”). And personally, I love to see the Red Sox screw the Yankees at every turn. I honestly loved the Eric Gagne signing, as disastrous as it turned out to be, because I knew how much the Yankees wanted a reliever, and seeing them get screwed gives me what the principal in Buffy the Vampire Slayer called “a tingly feeling.” So there are clearly a number of good reasons to trade for Doc Halladay.
The question is how much will we have to give away. It’s obviously gonna cost us quite a bit to get a pitcher as good as Halladay, especially since the Blue Jays are a divisional rival and will be less than eager to see their ace pitching against them on a routine basis. I think the package we’d have to give would start with Clay Bucholz. Then they’d probably want some more of our pitching prospects, either Michael Bowden, Daniel Bard, or maybe both. And they might want a positional player like Jed Lowrie or Lars Anderson. In any event, we’d be taking a chunk out of the Red Sox’s future to sign a player we can’t guarantee will stay with us beyond the next year.
Quite frankly, I don’t think Roy Halladay is worth it. I like Clay Bucholz a lot, and I really see potential in him. If he can develop into the pitcher I think he can, then the Sox will have a powerful weapon in their rotation for the next bunch of years at a fraction of the cost that Doc Halladay would. And as I’ve commented before (in my only other post), watching Daniel Bard pitch is one of my favorite sports-related things to do. He can throw 99 mph and then switch to an 85 mph change-up, and he already has pretty good command of both. Jed Lowrie seems like he would make a competent shortstop, which has always been Theo Epstein’s Achilles heel. Seriously, haven’t we had like a half-dozen different shortstops in as many years? If Lowrie works out (and anything would be better than Julio Lugo), then at least we don’t have to watch Epstein spend too much on a bad shortstop yet again.
So we’d be giving up way too much to get just one pitcher in return, as good as he might be. And then there’s the problem of what to do with him. Unless the Sox can get rid of Penny and keep Daisuke in the minors, I don’t see how the Sox could even find a spot for him in the starting rotation. The Sox have a gluttony of pitchers (a wonderful problem to have), and adding another one, even a great one, would just be adding to the problem. If we have to give up prospects, I’d rather give up fewer than the three or four necesary to get Halladay and address the problems the Sox have at shortstop and first/third (depending on where Youk plays). Here’s hoping Wake rocks the All-Star Game (and all the other sox All-Stars as well)!