The Phillies trade according to Nate Mulberg (’10)

Nate Mulberg ('10)/ Eastside Sports Editor

With the MLB trade deadline approaching later this month, there has been much talk about the Phillies potentially going out and acquiring a big name pitcher. Perhaps the most appealing player being mentioned is All- Star pitcher Roy Halladay of the Toronto Blue Jays. Without a question, Halladay is one of, if not, the best pitcher in the game right now. He would dramatically improve the Phillies’ pitching rotation and would provide consistent pitching performances well into October should the Phillies make the playoffs and make another run at the World Series like almo

Happs success this year is one of many reasons why the phillies should not trade for Halladay.
Happ's success this year is one of many reasons why the phillies should not trade for Halladay.

st all Phillies fans expect. But while acquiring a type of pitcher with the talent and ability like Halladay has would surely provide a boost to the team’s prospect of winning now, I still have my doubts. My doubts make me believe that the Phillies are better off not trading for Halladay, and here are my reasons why:

-Halladay’s contract: Should the Phillies acquire Halladay, his contract would keep him a Phillie through the 2010 season.  This year, Halladay is making $14.25 million. Is it really worth trading numerous Phillies prospects that could salvage the success of the franchise for many years just to have a better chance to win now? Not to mention, Halladay is 32 years old. If the Phillies were to resign him after his two year contract is over, he would be 34. Who knows how effective Halladay will be at that age. Also, the Phillies already have to pay a large salary to its players. Adding on Halladay’s salary would make it very difficult for  the Phillies to sign free agents in the next two years should a player they covet become available.

-J.A. Happ- Happ has been one of the Phillies prospects mentioned as trade bait to acquire Halladay. This makes no sense to me. It is hard to believe, but Happ may even be pitching better than Halladay has this season. This is not to say that Happ is a better pitcher than Halladay. This is clearly not the case. But what is the point in fixing something that is not broken? This Phillies starting rotation has been pitching well as of late, and Happ has been the catalyst to the recent success. Just look at both pitchers stats for the season as to date:

Happ: 94 innings, 75 hits, 2.68 ERA, 33 walks, 65 strikeouts, 1.15 whip (walks and hits given up per inning), 7-0 record

Halladay: 132 innings, 124 hits, 2.73 ERA, 17 walks, 113 strikeouts 1.07 whip, 11-3 record

Now look. Halladay’s stats are clearly better. But not by much. The Phillies have a great chance at winning when Happ takes the mound. And as I said before, why should the Phillies trade a pitcher that is having unbelievable success, and is a front runner for NL rookie of the year, for another pitcher that is also having unbelievable success. It just does not make sense to me to try to fix something that is not broken. Happ is having an awesome year, so the Phillies should just keep him for now. And oh yeah, one more thing. Happ is only 26 years old and is making $405,000 this year, a fraction of the salary of Halladay’s.

– Pedro Martinez: Sure, Pedro is well past the days of his prime when he threw 13 complete games in 1997 as a member of the Montreal Expos, and was a 20 game winner twice in 1999 and 2002 as a member of the Boston Red Sox. Nonetheless, they signed the 37 year old to a one year, one million dollar contract for a reason, and that reason is surely not to let him develop in the minors until his contract runs out at the end of the year. He was signed because the Phillies truly believe he can contribute in the starting rotation this year. Even though I am skeptical that Pedro has anything left in the tank, the Phillies surely believe he does. If this is the case, then the Phillies have already improved their starting rotation by signing the MLB veteran.

Other prospects that the Blue Jays are reportedly interested in acquiring from the Phillies:

Catcher Lou Marson, Shortstop Jason Donald, and Starting Pitcher Kyle Drabak

To me, the untouchable prospect here is Kyle Drabek, the 18th overall pick of the Phillies in the 2006 draft. He is the son of former Cy Young winner Doug Drabek, who won the award in 1990. Drabek clearly has the genetics to be a success in the MLB, as his father was one of the best in the game back in his glory days. He also is only 21 years old, which gives him many years left to develop. He also has been tearing it up in the minors, as he is 10-2 with a 2.80 era in 17 starts this season (9 games started in single A and 8 in Double A). He is one of the Phillies top prospects and has a crackling fastball that is consistently in the 90’s. There is no doubt that he has the potential to succeed in the MLB down the road. Right now the Phillies starting pitching rotation is doing fine without Halladay, so why should the Phillies risk the success of their starting pitching rotation in the future when they do not absolutely need Halladay to win. The Phillies have shown they can win without him and bottom line, the Phillies should not trade for Halladay.