"If it happens I'll be happy, but I'm not â¦ fired up. Teams
that have a chance to win find ways to improve. Hopefully if we have a
chance to make a move, we do it."
Twins 1B Justin Morneau to MinnPost reporter Pat Borzi on the possibility that general manager Bill Smith makes a trade
In Sunday's Chicago Tribune, columnist Rick Morrissey implores the White Sox to complete a trade for the best pitcher in the American League -- Toronto's Roy Halladay. His proposal: shortstop Alexi Ramirez and pitcher John Danks. The Twins could and should top that. Yes, I am sober as I'm writing this and not messed up mentally from seeing FSN North's Ron Coomer shirtless while at the Wisconsin Dells.
If the idea is to win now -- sometimes we doubt that with the Twins -- why not make every effort to acquire a superstar who has a reasonable contract? Halladay is due roughly $6.75 million the rest of this year and $15.75 million in 2010. If you believe the Twins can't absord that kind of financial commitment, I've got some oceanfront property in International Falls to sell you. One potential problem: Halladay does have a no-trade clause, but with a chance to go to the postseason for the first time in his 11-year career, is there any doubt he would welcome a move to Minnesota?
We have no reason to believe that Smith has even made a phone call to inquire, but we suggest this offer: Kevin Slowey or Francisco Liriano (their choice), Alexi Casilla, and prospects Ben Revere and Carlos Gutierrez. You have to give up something to get something. Slowey and Liriano are good, but neither strikes fear in the opponent and both become arbitration eligible soon. Casilla gives them a replacement for soon-to-be free agent Marco Scutaro. Parting with Revere would be extremely tough, but the Twins do have a few different outfielders in the system they like. Plus long-term, many experts, including some in the organization, think Aaron Hicks has a higher ceiling. Keeping him is more important.
With Halladay, the Twins would be a lock to win the Central and possibly secure homefield advantage in round one of the playoffs. With Halladay, the Twins would also be a sure bet to win the division again in 2010. With Halladay, it shows Joe Mauer the team is serious about competing and gives him an extra reason to sign a contract extension this winter. With Halladay, they would for the first time since Johan Santana, have a pitcher who does strike fear in the opponent. With Halladay, the Twins would have a bulldog for the postseason -- someone who could make two starts in a best-of-five series and possibly three in a best-of-seven.
Halladay did spend time on the disabled list recently with a groin issue, but there's no evidence to suggest he'll have any arm problems anytime soon. Anyway you slice and dice the numbers, he comes out top-five in all of baseball. At 32-years-old, he still has many good years left. And who's to say after back-to-back playoff appearances, that he wouldn't want to stay here when his contract is up?
His career numbers vs. the Yankees: 32 starts, 2.90 ERA, opp. avg. .237, .762 win percentage
vs. Detroit: 15 starts, 2.19 ERA, opp. avg. .223, .857 win percentage
vs. White Sox: 12 starts, 3.28 ERA, opp. avg. .249
His numbers against Boston -- a presumed playoff team -- aren't as good, but Sunday afternoon he displayed what he can do against the best team in baseball. He went the distance, allowing just one run, while striking out six, and walked none. He lowered his ERA to 2.73. It was his 44th complete game and fourth this year.
Toronto has pubicly stated that its listening to offers. Halladay's value will never be higher. There's better than a 50/50 chance he's moved before the July 31 non-waiver deadline. Instead of seeing him go to Philadelphia, Chicago, or even Detroit -- why not here? Paging Bill Smith -- at least make a call.