Phillies get Halladay, Mariners acquire Lee
Roy Halladay heard so many rumors last season he was being
traded to Philadelphia, he couldn’t help but imagine standing on
the mound in red pinstripes when they played in the World
“I can’t lie,” he said. “I did. I had quite a few dreams
about it, too.”
Halladay has a few more years to make it a reality now that he
got his wish and was traded to the Phillies.
Philadelphia sent 2008 AL Cy Young winner Cliff Lee to Seattle
on Wednesday and acquired 2003 AL winner Halladay from Toronto as
part of a complicated, four-team deal, marking the first time in
history that two Cy Young winners were dealt on the same day.
“The biggest thing is having a chance to win and hopefully do
it a couple of times,” Halladay said at Citizens Bank Park. “For
me, that was the biggest factor.”
All it took was four teams, $60 million and a Cy Young swap to
finish off Halladay’s long and winding trade saga.
Oakland also was included in the nine-player swap, Money was a
key factor, too. The Blue Jays sent $6 million to Philadelphia with
Halladay, who then agreed to a $60 million, three-year contract
extension through 2013.
“He is a pitcher we have coveted for a long time,” Phillies
general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said.
Halladay has never pitched in the postseason in his 12-year
career with the Blue Jays. He wanted the chance to play for the
2008 World Series champs, hoping for an opportunity to win his own
“I think the older you get, the longer you play in your career,
the more important that becomes,” Halladay said. “The more I
play, the more I realize how important that is to me.”
Halladay received a standing ovation when he was introduced at
Wednesday night’s 76ers game. He waved to the nearly 20,000 fans
from his suite.
Halladay has an offseason home near the Phillies’
spring-training complex in Clearwater, Fla.
Toronto sent the 32-year-old Halladay to Phillies for three
minor leaguers: catcher Travis d’Arnaud, right-hander Kyle Drabek
and outfielder Michael Taylor. The Blue Jays flipped Taylor to the
Athletics for third baseman Brett Wallace.
“We weren’t sitting back and seeing what was offered. We asked
for specific players and were trying to get the best value that we
could and that’s why we explored a lot of three-, four-, five-team
deals,” Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos said.
The Phillies dealt Lee to Seattle for three prospects:
right-hander Phillippe Aumont, outfielder Tyson Gillies and
right-hander Juan Ramirez.
The Phillies actively pursued Halladay at the trade deadline,
but balked at parting with lefty J.A. Happ. The Phillies could have
made this deal with Toronto and kept Lee to form a formidable 1-2
Cy Young punch at the top of the rotation.
“If I had my druthers, I’d love to have both of them on the
club,” Amaro said.
Amaro said he didn’t keep Lee, who has one year and $9 million
remaining on his contract, for two reasons. He felt Lee wanted to
test the free-agent market next winter and couldn’t afford to keep
him and lose him for nothing. And he needed prospects to replenish
the ones lost in both the Lee-from-Cleveland trade and the Halladay
“I had a little discomfort that we’d be able to do the type of
deal that I’d feel comfortable with,” Amaro said.
Halladay had been prominently mentioned in trade talk since the
All-Star break. He went 17-10 with a 2.79 ERA last season. The
righty led the AL with four shutouts and nine complete games. The
six-time All-Star won the 2003 AL Cy Young.
“I’d hate to play my career based on where you get the most
years,” he said. “I want to do it for what I believe are the
right reasons. All the right reasons are here.”
The deal began building in talks with new Toronto GM Alex
Anthopoulos months ago. Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik
spoke to Amaro at last week’s winter meetings – and even in the
Indianapolis airport as both GMs were leaving town.
Zduriencik’s interest peaked when Amaro, who had pushed hard to
get Halladay last summer, asked Seattle’s GM, “If I’m able to do
Halladay, would you be interested in having Cliff Lee?”
Zduriencik’s answer was an enthusiastic yes.
“When you have the opportunity to acquire a pitcher of Cliff’s
caliber, immediate effects are (obvious),” Zduriencik said. “Did
I think we’d be getting a guy of this caliber? You always set your
expectations high. We’re really glad it came to fruition.”
Lee was the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner when the Phillies
got him from Cleveland last July 29. The 31-year-old lefty went 7-4
with a 3.39 ERA down the stretch, then excelled in the postseason
by going 4-0 with a 1.56 ERA in five starts.
Lee earned both of the Phillies’ wins in the World Series
against the New York Yankees.
Halladay will make $15.75 million next year. The amount of cash
the Phillies got from Toronto almost covers the difference in the
salaries for Halladay and Lee.
Halladay’s extension pays $20 million annually from 2011-13.
There is a $20 million option for 2014 that becomes guaranteed if
he meets all three of the following: pitches 225 innings in 2013,
pitches 415 innings combined in 2012 and 2013 and is not on the
disabled list at the end of the 2013 season.
“If we had just acquired Roy and not moved Lee, we would have
been in position to have lost seven of the best 10 prospects in our
organization,” Amaro said. “That is not the way you do business
Gillies, 21, hit .341 last season and led the California League
with 44 stolen bases at Single-A High Desert. He scored 104 runs
and had a .430 on-base percentage.
Aumont, 20, went a combined 2-6 with 16 saves and a 3.88 ERA for
High Desert and Double-A West Tennessee last season. A first-round
draft pick in 2007, he pitched for Canada in the 2009 World
Ramirez, 21, was 8-10 with a 5.12 ERA for High Desert.
Drabek, 22, was a combined 12-3 with a 3.19 ERA at Single-A
Clearwater and Double-A Reading. He was the Phillies’ first-round
draft pick in 2006 and his father is former NL Cy Young winner Doug
D’Arnaud, 20, hit .255 with 13 home runs and 71 RBIs at Single-A
Wallace was acquired by Oakland last season as part of the trade
for Matt Holliday. At 23, Wallace hit a combined .293 with 20 home
runs and 63 RBIs for three teams.
Taylor, 23, hit a combined .320 with 20 home runs, 84 RBIs and
21 stolen bases at Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He
joined a relatively small group of players who have been traded
twice in one day.
AP Sports Writers Ronald Blum in New York and Gregg Bell in
Seattle contributed to this report.