SportsProf

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Friday, July 24, 2009

The Phillies Are Also Scouting Closers

Interesting article by MLB.com's Todd Zolecki regarding the Phillies' hot pursuit of Roy Halladay. Zolecki reports that the Phillies are also looking at Diamondbacks' closer Chad Qualls and Orioles' closer George Sherrill.

Smart thinking. I was wondering last night about the horrible ironies the Phillies could suffer if they traded similar-caliber prospects to the Jays that the Expos did to the Indians 7 years ago when they acquired Bartolo Colon (they landed Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips and Grady Sizemore). Zolecki's article indicates that the Jays are looking for a Colon-like exchange, or, a similar exchange that Baltimore received from Seattle for Erik Bedard. The similarities in those two deals is that the team that traded the star did much better than the team that got the star. If that's what the Jays are looking for, the trade probably won't happen.

The ironies, of course, would be a) that Halladay gets hurt and doesn't contribute, b) that the prospects turn out to be superstars, or c) that Halladay excels but with the injuries to the Phillies' bullpen and the below-par performance of Brad Lidge, the bullpen costs the Phillies the World Series. So, it makes sense to pursue Halladay and a closer -- the Phillies do need help in the bullpen.

Will they acquire Halladay? This morning's Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the Jays have asked for rookie-of-the-year candidate J.A. Happ and the Phillies' best pitching and position playing prospects -- AA pitcher Kyle Drabek and High A outfielder Dominic Brown. Is that too rich? It might be the right deal if the Phillies can ink Halladay to a 2-year contract extension, guaranteeing that he'll be in Philadelphia through the 2012 season, when he'll be 34. There's plenty of time until it's July 31, so lots can happen between now and then.

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