Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Should the Mets Trade for Roy Halladay?

I say no; but Dayn Perry says yes. His reasoning:
"There's making personnel decisions, and then there's performing triage. In the Mets' case, it's the latter. The Mets fell to pieces in 2009, but they still return an enviable core (Johan Santana, Carlos Beltran, David Wright, Jose Reyes, Francisco Rodriguez). The challenge, then, is surrounding that enviable core with something other than dreck. Enter Halladay. When he's healthy (and once you adjust for strength of opposition), Halladay is the best pitcher in baseball. He's also bound for free agency, and that's why the Jays are willing to trade him. The Mets can send Fernando Martinez and Wilmer Flores to Toronto, and — just as critically — they can take Vernon Wells' contract off the Jays' hands (wings?). That's a hefty cost for the Mets, but for their troubles they'll trot out one of the best one-two punches ever."
Perry's argument is a simple one: Roy Halladay is one of the best pitchers in baseball and having both him and Johan Santana in the same rotation would be dynamic. No one is denying that. Any Mets fan would kill to see that.

But the reason why Perry's suggestion will never happen is because of Vernon Wells. If the Mets agree to take on Wells and the $105 million owed to him over the next five years, then we can all declare GM Omar Minaya to be psychologically insane. There is no way that the burden of Wells's contract right now is worth one year of Roy Halladay. the suggestion that the Mets would even consider taking on Wells is laughable.

Think about the cost of this deal for the Mets: for one year of Roy Halladay, the Mets would have to take on a declining player, who owns the worst contract in baseball; give up a substantial amount of prospects, and potentially pony up $40-$60 million to Halladay for a contract extension.

Honestly, if the Mets are that set on paying a starting pitcher a boatload of money this winter, then it would make more sense to go after John Lackey, who would cost roughly the same as Halladay this season ($15 million or so), but not require that the Mets give up prospects or have to take on a terrible contract.

But on top of all the Vernon Wells nonsense that Perry brings up is this reality: the Mets have many holes. Over the past few seasons, the Mets have struggled to assemble the right complementary pieces to surround their fantastic core group of players. Given the Mets unstable financial situation (thanks, Bernie Madoff), the Mets simply cannot throw all their money at one guy and neglect to address all their other needs. Under Perry's scenario, the Mets would certainly be throwing whatever financial flexibility they had this winter away by committing themselves to more than $35 million in payroll in 2010. There's no way the Mets would be able to take on that much salary and fill the rest of their needs.

Bottom line: if the Mets are economically able to make a run at a expensive, big time pitcher, then by all means, they should do it. But it would be a huge mistake to just add one player to the core and forget about all the other complementary players that the Mets need to add this winter if 2010 is going to be a success. The Mets need more than Roy Halladay, John Lackey, or any other top flight pitcher can offer.

And the Mets need to stay as far away from Vernon Wells as possible. Far, far, far away.

****** ******

(Jorge Says No! on Facebook)

(Follow Jorge Says No! on Twitter)


Anonymous said...

What if the Mets were able to rework Halladay's contract in the deal?

Jorge Says No! said...

If the Mets have to take back Vernon Wells's contract in the deal, it's still not worth it.

If the Mets have to take back some of Vernon Wells's contract in the deal, then it might be worth talking about, but probably still a no.

If the Mets have to take back a minimal amount of Vernon Wells's contract in the deal, then it's worth it. But I doubt this would ever happen from the Blue Jays' perspective.