If it does indeed happen, if he does really get traded, it will be hard to see Roy Halladay go. Very hard.
As Jays fans, we've been treated to watching the best pitcher in baseball the last five years, and our admiration for him - his demeanor, his work ethic and talent - is considerable.
But ultimately, moving him is necessary.
If you want to watch one great start every fifth day, keeping Halladay makes sense. If your goal is to play more than 162 games a year (Hello Playoffs, you may not remember us but we're the Toronto Blue Jays!), trading 'Doc' for multiple prospects is the only way to make it happen.
If the Jays could get Manny Parra and prospects Alcides Escobar (SS) and Matt Gamel (3B) from the Brewers (or a similar-type package from someone else) in exchange for Halladay (cnnsi.com writer Jon Heyman speculates)...that would be awesome. It might even save J.P. Riccardi his job. Seriously. An infield of Aaron Hill, Escobar, Gamel and possibly Adam Lind (after next year when Overbay's contract runs out, or sooner if Overybay is also traded) would be very promising and just as importantly, under contract control the next few years. That means cheap.
A rotation featuring any five of Ricky Romero, Sean Marcum, Dustin McGowan, Jesse Litsch, Brett Cecil, Scott Richmond and Manny Parra (again all are under team contract control) would offer depth to protect against injury, and on paper appears very solid overall.
Obviously Vernon Wells and Alex Rios, because of their contracts, are going to be in Toronto for the foreseeable future (2014 if you're actually counting, but I wouldn't recommend it) and have to factor into any equation, but it's not like they aren't talented players. Both still have the potential and ability to bounce back, to perform like they did prior to receiving a combined $196 million. No really, they do. It could happen.
Even with the Pop-Up artist (Wells) and the Strike-out artist (Rios) eating up over $30 million a year going forward, the group discussed above along with Travis Snider completing the outfield, makes the Toronto roster look a lot like the Tampa Bay team that began developing a couple years ago.
And that is a good thing. A very good thing. The Rays have shown fellow A.L. East fodder (hello Baltimore and Toronto) how to compete with the Yankees and Red Sox, and guess what? It's not by trying to spend with them! After years of wasting money on free agents in hopeless efforts to keep up with their free-spending big brothers, throwing away millions on players who were never going to be the difference between making or missing the playoffs, Tampa finally tried something different. Of course all the top-end draft picks helped them, but still, they proved the way to sneak past the Yanks and Sox and into the playoffs isn't by spending. It's by developing. Push through as many high-end prospects and break them all in at the same time. Let them build and grow together, experience the ups and downs of Major League baseball, and then cross your fingers it works out.
Oh, and maybe hire a new-age goofy-looking but strategically sound manager to run the team. Just a hunch.