Halladay, Lee get new teams
PHILADELPHIA ó All it took was four teams, $60 million and a swap of Cy Young Award winners to finish off Roy Halladay’s long and winding trade saga.
He landed right where he wanted to pitch, with the two-time NL champion Philadelphia Phillies.
In one of baseball’s biggest trades involving top pitchers, the Phillies sent postseason ace Cliff Lee to Seattle and acquired Halladay from Toronto on Wednesday as part of a complicated, four-team deal.
Oakland also was included in the nine-player swap, marking the first time in history that two Cy Young winners were dealt on the same day.
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.
“This is where we wanted to be,” Halladay said at Citizens Bank Park. “It was an easy decision for me. Once the opportunity came up for me to be part of this, it was something I couldn’t pass up.”
Halladay has never pitched in the postseason in his 12-year career with the Blue Jays. He coveted the chance to play for the 2008 World Series champs, hoping for an opportunity to win his own ring.
“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,” Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. 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 deal.
“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. The five-month talks ended when all sides signed off on the deal.
Halladay 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.