Michael Taylor Rumors

A’s Notes: Taylor, Gomes, Damon, Outman, Moscoso

On this date in 1986, the Mets and Twins completed a five-player trade involving former first rounder Billy Beane. Now the Athletics’ GM, Beane completed a trade today, obtaining Seth Smith from Colorado for Guillermo Moscoso and Josh Outman. Here are the latest Athletics-related links… 

  • Beane says the Athletics are still looking for right-handed hitting outfielder depth, Joe Stiglich of the Bay Area News Group tweets. Michael Taylor will have to play his way into the picture, according to Stiglich.
  • John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle hears that the A's are pursuing a Jonny Gomes/Ryan Ludwick type for depth. The A's haven't ruled out Johnny Damon, Shea tweets.
  • Outman told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that the trade was "bittersweet," but that he's "not mad by any means," Pitching so far above sea level will be an adjustment for the fly ball pitcher, however.
  • Moscoso told Slusser that he's "in shock," although he's looking forward to the opportunity in Colorado.

Quick Hits: Leyland, Phillies, Trumbo, Taylor

Some notes from around the majors as Casey Kotchman is a walkoff hero for Tampa Bay….


Roy Halladay-Cliff Lee Trade Finalized

3:27pm: Over at BlueJays.com, Blue Jays Alex Anthopoulos talked about the players the Jays received in the Halladay deal, as well as recent signing John Buck.  A few notes: Anthopoulos sees Wallace as a first baseman, and he has still has ongoing trade talks about other players.

1:48pm: The Mariners announced the trade in a press release, with GM Jack Zdruriencik congratulating the Phillies and Blue Jays on the way the deal was handled.  ESPN's Jayson Stark notes that the deal will be complete all-around once Bud Selig signs off on the $6MM going to the Phillies.  Elliott says an MRI on Wallace's shoulder cleared the Taylor part of the swap.

1:31pm: Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail heard that the report of a failed physical is a "totally false rumour."  ESPN's Shannon Drayer tweets that the deal is official and Lee is a Mariner.  MLB.com's Todd Zolecki agrees, saying a Halladay press conference is set for 4pm CST.

12:38pm: Davidi passes along an AP report that has Phils GM Ruben Amaro Jr. saying he's hopeful the trade can be completed today but talks may go into Thursday.  Larry Stone of the Seattle Times doesn't expect the deal to unravel, and is hearing it's not a Mariners prospect who failed a physical.

11:47am: The three/four-way trade involving Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee is not yet official; here's our post yesterday for a refresher.  The latest bit of news kicking off today's post: Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun tweets that he heard someone involved in the trade flunked their physical (one of the minor leaguers).  Shi Davidi of The Canadian Press says Phillippe Aumont passed.  There appears to be six other prospects involved in the deal, if you include the Michael Taylor-Brett Wallace component.  Drabek had Tommy John surgery in July of '07, while Aumont had elbow issues toward the end of the '08 season.

A recap of the expected deal:

  • The Phillies get Roy Halladay, Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies, Juan Ramirez, and $6MM.  The Phillies will give Halladay a three-year extension plus vesting options.
  • The Mariners get Cliff Lee.
  • The Blue Jays get Kyle Drabek, Brett Wallace, and Travis d'Arnaud.
  • The A's get Michael Taylor.


The Roy Halladay-Cliff Lee Blockbuster

8:28pm: Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi report (scroll down to 7:50pm) that Billy Beane and the A's first became interested in Taylor last summer when the Phillies tried to acquire Matt Holliday.

6:39pm: Jayson Stark reports on the historic maginitude of this deal as this will be the closest two Cy Young winners have ever come to being traded for each other.

6:35pm: It appears as though one of the last hurdles has been overcome as Todd Zolecki reports that Halladay has passed his physical.

2:54pm: Olney says the option vests if Halladay is close to as durable as he's been for the last two years. Halladay's made 65 starts and thrown 485 innings the last two years; he's as durable as they come.

2:43pm: Yahoo's Tim Brown hears that the Halladay extension runs through 2013 at $20MM per season. A vesting option for another $20MM could prolong the pact by another year. The deal is now pending physicals.

11:56am: Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that the Phillies have agreed to an extension with Halladay.

10:00am: Rosenthal hears there's a chance for a fourth year. It's still under discussion, but it could be guaranteed and it could be a vesting option.

9:42am: A source tells Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer that the deal is "very unlikely" to be completed today. We could see resolution tomorrow.

9:36am: The Phillies are still working out extension details with Halladay, according to Heyman. The teams may not complete the deal until tomorrow.

9:02am: Halladay will agree to a three-year extension worth $60MM, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. The deal will include two vesting options, so it could keep Halladay in Philly through 2015.

(more…)


Blockbuster Trade Reactions

One of the biggest trades in recent memory is nearing completion. Here are some reactions to the Roy Halladay-Cliff Lee-prospects swap from around the game.

  • ESPN.com's Keith Law expects Brett Wallace- the player the Jays will obtain for Taylor – to end up at first base. Law likes the prospects Seattle gave up, but doesn't love them. Given that Seattle has other prospects, he says "making a legitimate run at a division title is a pretty good reason to empty out your farm."
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says the Phillies couldn't afford to have Halladay and Lee in the same rotation because it would have cost too much in terms of money and prospects.
  • Scott Lauber of the News Journal says Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has staked his legacy on Halladay.
  • Yahoo's Jeff Passan says two teams have reason to celebrate this deal: the Jays and the Mariners. The Phillies, on the other hand, are "not demonstrably better" than before. 
  • One veteran talent evaluator tells ESPN.com's Buster Olney that the only clear winner is Seattle. Olney hears from some Yankees people who believe the Jays got less than what they were demanding from Brian Cashman & Co.
  • Jon Heyman of SI.com says the Yankees were willing to offer Jesus Montero in a package for Halladay, but not Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain.
  • Rob Neyer of ESPN.com agrees with Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner: the deal is a "heist" for the Mariners. Cameron likes the deal so much he tells Mariners fans to "dance in the streets."
  • Over at FanGraphs, Cameron says all three franchises had understandable motivations for making the trade. Still, he wonders if Philly could have obtained more for Lee.
  • Marc Hulet of FanGraphs wonders why the Phils didn't wait and deal Lee for more.
  • Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star says the Jays "should be embarrassed" by the return they got for Halladay.
  • One member of the Phillies organization tells MLB.com's Noah Coslov that he doesn't understand the trade because Michael Taylor is MLB ready now.
  • Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer says it was never realistic to expect Halladay and Cliff Lee to pitch in the same rotation.

Michael Taylor Will Be Traded For Brett Wallace

The Blue Jays will trade outfielder Michael Taylor to the A's for third base prospect Brett Wallace, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney.

The A's acquired Wallace from the Cardinals when they sent Matt Holliday to St. Louis in July. The Jays drafted Wallace in 2005 and  were rumored to have interest in him last summer when Roy Halladay first hit the trade market.

Wallace went to college and signed with the Cards as a first rounder in 2008. The 23-year-old hit .281/.403/.438 in the upper minors for the A's and Cards last year. Ben Badler of Baseball America isn't crazy about the deal for the Jays, but Keith Law of ESPN.com says Wallace can be a better hitter than Taylor.

Taylor, who's eight months older than Wallace, hit .320/.395/.549 in the upper minors for the Phillies and fits into Oakland's system better, in Law's opinion.


Phils, Ms, Blue Jays Agree On Halladay-Cliff Lee Blockbuster

12:45am: Jason Churchill of Prospect Insider has had this info for quite a while today – the Phillies will get Aumont, Gillies, and righty Juan Ramirez from Seattle.

11:33pm: Rosenthal reports that the Phillies get $6MM from the Jays. Kyle Drabek, Michael Taylor and probably Travis D'Arnaud are headed to Toronto, Rosenthal says. Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies and a third player are apparently headed to Philadelphia.  

10:12pm: Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun (via Twitter) has Toronto getting Kyle Drabek, Michael Taylor, and Travis D'Arnaud; Philly getting Roy Halladay and Phillippe Aumont; and the Mariners getting Cliff Lee, plus another piece (or, pieces).

9:46pm: One Mariner prospect headed to Philly would be 21-year-old outfielder Tyson Gillies, writes Stark in his latest update.

9:25pm: As the deal stands now, M's prospects would only be going to Philadelphia, not Toronto, sources tell Todd Zolecki of MLB.com (via Twitter).

(more…)


Roy Halladay Rumors: Thursday

11:36pm: One baseball source tells Tom Verducci of SI.com that the Phillies have been "very aggressive" in their efforts to obtain Halladay. Apparently the Phils are trying to find the players the Blue Jays want, even if that means looking on other teams.

10:00pm: Angels GM Tony Reagins didn't comment on the reported offer of Saunders, Aybar and Bourjos, but two sources shot the rumor down when Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times asked them about it.

Reagins said the Blue Jays have targeted Saunders, Bourjos and Mike Napoli. It's even "possible" that the deal could be expanded to send more Blue Jays to Anaheim.

"They have a lot of pieces that are attractive," Reagins said.

8:33am: Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. had this to say to Scott Lauber about acquiring Halladay:  "I don't think there's any likeliness. None."

6:01am: Mark Feinsand of The NY Daily News spoke to a source who said "Don't rule out them including Cole Hamels" in a potential Halladay deal. I'm not sure it's wise for Philly to sell low on Hamels for only one year of Halladay, but that would be something.

4:47am: Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com says that the Angels and Phillies have emerged as the frontrunners in the Roy Halladay sweepstakes. Philadelphia is prepared to offer a package that will likely include J.A. Happ, plus either Michael Taylor or Domonic Brown. Echoing a report from yesterday, Rosenthal says the Angels offered Joe Saunders, Erick Aybar, and Peter Bourjos to the Blue Jays.

Halladay will likely require a contract extension in exchange for waiving his no-trade clause according to Rosenthal, and the Phillies would almost certainly have to make another move to fit Halladay into the payroll. Joe Blanton is a prime candidate to be that sacrificial lamb. Meanwhile, the Angels are trying to re-sign John Lackey, and could withdraw from the Halladay pursuit if he returns.


Odds & Ends: Rays, Phillies, Indians

A few more evening links….

  • Bill Chastain of MLB.com writes that the arrival of Reid Brignac in Tampa Bay could lead to the Rays buying out Akinori Iwamura's option this offseason. The $4.25MM 2010 option can be bought out for $250k. Chastain suggests that the emergence of Ben Zobrist and the recent strong play of Brignac could make Iwamura expendable.
  • Todd Zolecki of MLB.com passes on news of Phillies' minor league players of the year Kyle Drabek and Michael Taylor being honored before Tuesday's game against Washington. Given the Phillies' talent and depth on the major league level, Zolecki predicts that both prospects will start 2010 at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Like Ryan Howard before him, Taylor has his path to the major league roster blocked by veterans with bigger contracts. Howard eventually took advantage of a Jim Thome injury and excelled in Philadelphia. It will be interesting to see if Taylor and Drabek, who were so coveted at this year's trade deadline, will earn similar opportunities in 2010.
  • Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer blogs about a few former Phillies prospects, expressing some concern about the Indians' haul in the trade that sent Cliff Lee to Philadelphia.

Ricciardi: Chances Of A Deal “Very Slim”

8:00pm: FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal just heard from Ricciardi that the chances of Halladay leaving Toronto at this point are "very slim."  Here's more from the general manager:

"We've said that we would listen, but that we would have to be motivated and 'wowed.  Right now we haven't been. I've said all along my gut tells me I won't be. I still stand by that."

"If we get to the last week," Ricciardi added, "and haven't really made any progress with anybody, I'm not going to say it's 100 percent certain, but I would have to pretty much think it's not going to get done."

It sure sounds like the Blue Jays aren't going to lower their asking price.

7:38pm: Olney notes that the Rangers have also been handed a "this-is-what-it-would-take proposal by the Blue Jays in the last 72 hours."  It's more about salary for Texas, though, than it is about prospects.  Sources have deemed them "semi-alive."

7:18pm: Christian Caple of MLB.com passes along this little note: 

[Halladay is] scheduled to pitch on Wednesday, but whether he makes that start is up in the air. Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi said last week he wants Halladay assured of his future when he takes the hill for that outing — in other words, if Halladay does pitch on Wednesday, supposedly, he won't be traded before the deadline.

This goes back to the self-imposed pre-July 31 deadline that Ricciardi suggested in early July.  It'll be interesting to see if they stick to it.

5:21pm: According to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, the prospect-heavy Rangers "are talking to the Blue Jays about Halladay and they have asked the Indians about Lee… but financial considerations may make any deal tough.  As Sullivan adds, "The Rangers are unlikely to take on a significant salary in any deal."

4:54pm: FOX Sports reports that the Red Sox remain in the mix for Halladay as well, and the Jays have made a multiple-prospect proposal in recent days. The Jays still prefer not to deal within the division, however.

2:05pm: Jon Heyman provides an update, via Twitter, stating that the Phillies are beginning to consider Cliff Lee as an alternative to Halladay. Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer confirms this, and adds that the Phillies are expected to have a scout watching Lee in Seattle. Martino also tweets that Toronto is scouting Dominic Brown today.

11:16am: ESPN's Jayson Stark is reporting that the Blue Jays have rejected the Phillies latest offer of Carrasco, Donald, J.A. Happ and outfielder Michael Taylor. The Jays are telling interested teams they are only going to deal Halladay if they are "wowed" by an offer.

9:45am: Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports says that as of Saturday night, the Angels "were of the mind to remove themselves from the Roy Halladay talks, believing they were never going to come close to the Blue Jays’ asking price of Joe SaundersErick Aybar, Brandon Wood and a prospect such as outfielder Peter Bourjos."

9:36am: Late last night we learned that the Phillies were "trying to steer" the Blue Jays towards a package centered around prospects Carlos Carrasco and Jason Donald for Roy Halladay, but no agreement was imminent. Let's start the day off with a a few Halladay-related links, and add to them as we go. Make sure you check back in for updates throughout the day.

  • Helene Elliott of The LA Times reports that "Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti has said the Blue Jays have identified three players on the Dodgers' major-league roster that they'd take for Halladay, but Colletti hasn't exuded optimism that a deal will get done."
  • Andy Martino of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes about how all the trade talk has impacted the Phillies clubhouse.