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Handicapping the Halladay chase

Nov 21, 2009, 10:46 PM EDT

halladay retro.jpg
With a deal seeming more likely by the hour, let’s run through the candidates to pick up Toronto’s ace:
Yankees – Money isn’t much of an issue, and the Yankees certainly have the pieces to get a deal done between Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, elite hitting prospect Jesus Montero and outfielder Austin Jackson. Also, new Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos has stated that he’s willing to trade Halladay within the AL East. If the Yankees are willing to part with Chamberlain and Montero together or Hughes and Jackson together, then they’d have easily the best chance of landing Halladay. Getting it done with just one of the first three players might be possible, but only if no one else steps up.
Odds: 3:1
Dodgers – With Chad Billingsley to dangle, the Dodgers are the one team that can exchange top-of-the-rotation starters with the Jays. They’re not going to give up Clayton Kershaw, though. If the Jays want to stay competitive in 2010, a package of Billingsley and major league-ready players like left-hander Scott Elbert, outfielder Xavier Paul, shortstop Ivan DeJesus Jr. and catcher A.J. Ellis could trump anything another team would offer. The Jays, though, might prefer to build for 2011 and beyond, and Billingsley, who is eligible for arbitration for the first time, is going to start getting expensive soon.
Odds: 5:1
Phillies - Able to hold on to much of their elite young talent in the Cliff Lee trade, the Phillies still have quite a bit to offer for Halladay. It’s doubtful that they’d be willing to send both of their top prospects, right-hander Kyle Drabek and outfielder Domonic Brown, to Toronto, but if they gave up one of those two, J.A. Happ and Michael Taylor, I doubt the Jays would turn them down. The problem is that a Halladay acquisition would push the Phillies’ payroll up to $135 million, and the team would still need a third baseman, a setup man and bench help.
Odds: 6:1
Red Sox – The Red Sox would be in a better position to pick up Halladay if it didn’t part with Justin Masterson and Nick Hagadone to acquire Victor Martinez over the summer. It could well come down to how Anthopoulos feels about Clay Buchholz. If the Jays see Buchholz as a potential top-of-the-rotation guy, then the Red Sox would be able to build a package around him, one of their two advanced outfield prospects (Josh Reddick and Ryan Kalish) and a couple of lesser pitching prospects. If not, then the Red Sox would likely have to trade closer of the future Daniel Bard and their No. 1 pitching prospect, Casey Kelly.
Odds: 6:1
Mariners – With no elite pitching prospect or top young shortstop, the Mariners may be too short on minor league talent to pull off a Halladay acquisition. Brandon Morrow and Phillipe Aumont have big-time arms, but Aumont is a reliever and Morrow might be. The Mariners would probably have to part with both and outfielder Michael Saunders to compete with what other teams have to offer. Lefty Ryan Rowland-Smith is another to throw into the mix.
Odds: 8:1
Angels – The Angels and Jays discussed Halladay at the trade deadline, but former GM J.P. Ricciardi held out for Erick Aybar and nothing got done. Unfortunately, the Angel farm system isn’t what it once was. Top pitchers Trevor Reckling and Jordan Walden didn’t help themselves this season, and there are no future stars on offense. Aybar would be a huge piece if the Angels relented and moved him, but barring that, they’d have to hope the Jays really like Brandon Wood, Mike Napoli and outfielder Peter Bourjos if they want to get something done.
Odds: 10:1
Rangers – Halladay to Texas was viewed as a possibility at the trade deadline, and the Rangers certainly have the talent to pull off a deal. Halladay, though, isn’t thought to want to pitch in Texas, and owner Tom Hicks’ financial woes might make a trade impossible anyway. It’s too bad, since a swap of Derek Holland, Chris Davis and Taylor Teagarden for Halladay could work out well for both teams.
Odds: 12:1
Mets – The Mets have so many problems that it would seem pretty foolish to commit $15.75 million next year and give up half the farm system to fill one spot. The Jays would likely hold out for outfielder Fernando Martinez, shortstop Wilmer Flores and two of the team’s best young arms.
Odds: 20:1
The field – The Orioles have all of the young pitching the Jays would require, but even the addition of an ace probably wouldn’t make them more than a fourth-place team next year. … The Diamondbacks might have the cash to take on Halladay, but their farm system still hasn’t recovered from the Dan Haren deal. … The Cubs don’t have the money or the motivation to acquire an ace with their offense in shambles.
Odds: 9:1

  1. Pythagoras - Nov 22, 2009 at 12:47 AM

    The cumulative percentages add up to more than 100%. You might want to take another whack at distributing the odds.

  2. Spice - Nov 22, 2009 at 7:23 AM

    It’s odds (in other words probability), not percentages. As this is odds weighted by OPINION as opposed to a calculation of probability based on the total number of teams (Minus the Jays, minus 5 or 6 teams that have said they will not be in the bidding) it doesn’t have to add up to 100%. Otherwise you could never have a 200:1 shot in a horse race and that is what this is after all. Odds are not distributed to equal 100% but you are too busy knowing everything to know that.
    I do not picture the Yankees going after Halladay with both barrels and I would hate to see them trade Austin Jackson. It would give the Yankees a ridiculous starting 4:
    Sabathia
    Halladay
    Burnett
    Pettitte
    But still no number 5 and a weakened bullpen.

  3. Spice - Nov 22, 2009 at 7:24 AM

    It’s odds (in other words probability), not percentages. As this is odds weighted by OPINION as opposed to a calculation of probability based on the total number of teams (Minus the Jays, minus 5 or 6 teams that have said they will not be in the bidding) it doesn’t have to add up to 100%. Otherwise you could never have a 200:1 shot in a horse race and that is what this is after all. Odds are not distributed to equal 100% but you are too busy knowing everything to know that.
    I do not picture the Yankees going after Halladay with both barrels and I would hate to see them trade Austin Jackson. It would give the Yankees a ridiculous starting 4:
    Sabathia
    Halladay
    Burnett
    Pettitte
    But still no number 5 and a weakened bullpen.

  4. KingJoe! - Nov 22, 2009 at 9:30 AM

    Wow Pythagoras, you don’t represent well at all. So what you are telling everyone is that you came upon the screen name “Pythagoras” and thought “wow, everyone will think I am really smart”.
    Trouble is that when you are going to choose a great Mathematician as your screen name, you should not make a 3rd grader like comment about math and percentages. Spice cleared up the math, so i will just go now.

  5. Matthew S. - Nov 22, 2009 at 10:15 AM

    “Otherwise you could never have a 200:1 shot in a horse race and that is what this is after all.”
    A 200:1 shot has a .5% chance to win the race. I don’t see how that disproves Pythagoras’s snarky comment.
    To be fair, with so many teams in the market for a #1 pitcher, it’s hard to handicap the field effectively. Maybe there are 1.34 Roy Halladays out there to acquire. I’d say Lackey is worth at least a third of Roy Halladay.

  6. Spice - Nov 22, 2009 at 10:26 AM

    You are absolutely right, I had not had enough coffee when I wrote that.

  7. rotohead - Nov 22, 2009 at 11:29 AM

    Back to original point – I think when push comes to shove, the Jays will want to deal him out of the division. Dodgers are on the cusp of winning it all, have the means with players and cash.
    LA makes the most sense…

  8. Pythagoras - Nov 22, 2009 at 2:22 PM

    Kind of surprised by the pushback, here. Wasn’t trying to be a jerk about it, and don’t even see what was snarky. I was just pointing out that a result of over 100% probability is untenable.
    Since there’s still some confusion, I’ll try again. As Matthew S has pointed out, odds are percentages. A 20:1 shot is a 5% chance of winning. And when you are adding up the percentages of winning, and one of those options is the field, then 100% should be the total. (If you don’t have an option for the field, then the result can be *under* 100%, that’s fine.)
    Let’s make this easier. Let’s say there are two people in a race. I say both have a 75% chance of winning. That’s silly, right? If one has a 75% of winning, then by necessity the other has a 25% chance of winning. This type of exercise is exactly the same, simply with more entrants. The process of assigning the odds may be entirely subjective in this case, but if one is going to go through the bother of the exercise, one might as well go through the bother of making the exercise make sense, right?

  9. bob l - Nov 22, 2009 at 8:01 PM

    I agree with you….the dodgers get starting top of the line pitchers, and if they all show up with there A game…the dodgers could win it all…..

  10. bob l - Nov 22, 2009 at 8:06 PM

    holiday and maybe sign wolf, and I am sure there are a few out there willing to go will less money….guess baseball has not heard that we are in a recession…..but if the dodgers get the pitching and of course a 2nd base who can hit…dan u. down in florida is a 2nd baseman who hits 30 plus home runs a year and of course he would make a good fit in the west…….you can never have enough hitting…manny will do well in the first half, but his knees are going as all knows…look at the way he plays outfield…so his percentage will only drop in the second half…so they need to get a big lead and keep it this year…and who knows the world series flag could be in the west……

  11. XTrust_No1X - Nov 22, 2009 at 8:06 PM

    The Yankees will take on the hugh contract of Vernon Wells, then the Jays will send Roy Halladay to the Yankees, with the Yankees only giving up a couple of essentially secondary minor leaguers and cash for the second best pitcher in the MLB(behind CC Sabathia)in Roy Halladay and the Yankees 28th 29th and possibly 30th World Series Championships. Thanks Jays! Now, all the Yankees have to do the rest of this 2009 off-season is to sign John Lackey, Chone Figgins, resign Johnny Damon and future Hall of Famer Andy “Mr Clutch” Pettite. Then,after the 2010 Season, Andy Pettite will retire, thus opening a spot on the World Champions rotation for their next big Free Agent signing of Cliff Lee, thus completing the Yankees rotation of:
    2010 Yankees Rotation
    CC Sabathia
    Roy Halladay
    AJ Burnett
    John Lackey
    Andy Pettite
    2011 Yankees Rotation
    CC Sabathia
    Roy Halladay
    AJ Burnett
    John Lackey
    Cliff Lee
    Relievers
    Joba
    Hughes
    Alfredo Aceves
    Brian Bruney
    Phil Coke
    Chad Gaudin
    Damaso Marte
    David Robertson
    then the Greatest closer in MLB History
    Mariano Rivera
    Yankees lineup
    Chone Figgins
    Johnny Damon
    Derek Jeter
    A-Rod
    Tex
    Wells
    Posada
    Cano
    Swisher
    Yankees Bench
    Ramiro Pena
    Brett Gardner
    Francisco Cervelli
    Melky Cabrera
    Juan Miranda
    Austin Jackson
    Introducing the Next New York Yankees Dynasty!!! GO Yankeess!!!

  12. jonny5 - Nov 23, 2009 at 8:44 AM

    Wrong!!!!Has it ever occurred to you that maybe some equally skilled people could have the same same odds of winning? When you have say 10 racers, then the two best could each have a 60% chance of winning (=120%). Your analogy blows and lacks any sense of intelligence, besides your very own sense of having more than you ever will. “Pythagoras” LMAO!!!

  13. jonny5 - Nov 23, 2009 at 8:52 AM

    Now onto baseball, I’d like to recite the prayer I said last night. “Dear Lord please don’t allow the evil Empire to acquire Roy Halladay,If you are as much of a baseball fan as I’d like to think you are you’ll like to keep the playing field at least somewhat level. They already have the most skilled players that could be purchased. Isn’t it a sin how much money they pay out already?? Amen.”

  14. XTrust_No1X - Nov 23, 2009 at 12:37 PM

    “Now onto baseball, I’d like to recite the prayer I said last night. “Dear Lord please don’t allow the evil Empire to acquire Roy Halladay,If you are as much of a baseball fan as I’d like to think you are you’ll like to keep the playing field at least somewhat level.”
    Hey Jonny5…I hate to break the news to you, but, God is a fan of the Greatest Professional Sports Franchise in History, the 27 time, World Series Champions, the Legendary New York Yankees! We, the Greatest fans in the World are proud to include God and his Son Jesus, his Mom & Pop, The 12 Apostles, Davey & Golith and all the Angels in Heaven as few members of the New York Yankees Universe! The only ones that root for your team, that if I remember correctly (from another message boards), are the Phillies. And, the only angels that root for them are the Hells Angels. Only the fans of the greatest team in History are associated with everything that is good in this world and the one we go to after we leave thse mortal bodies. There, now that we got that straightened out, do us a favor, if you’re going to pray to our lord, and you’re NOT a fan of the 27 time, World Series Champions, the Legendary New York Yankees, you must pray to the Yankees fans, and we;ll get your message through to the big guy!

  15. Brian - Nov 23, 2009 at 2:54 PM

    “Able to hold on to much of their elite young talent in the Cliff Lee trade, the Phillies still have quite a bit to offer for Holliday”
    Who is the moron who wrote that little tidbit? Hello, wake up. You’re talking about Roy Halladay, not Matt Holliday. This article stinks.

  16. Dave - Nov 27, 2009 at 9:30 PM

    As a teacher, I find this string of comments very depressing. Odds, probability, percentages – no matter what you call it, you are talking about the same thing. You can not have percentages that add up to greater than 100% if there is only one winner. If it were possible to have two winners, then the odds could add up to greater than 100% because there would be overlap between the successful outcomes of the different competitors. Saying that two racers in the same race, no matter the number of competitors, each have a 60% chance of winning is like saying that both tails and heads have a 60% chance of coming up when you flip a coin. It’s just inherently impossible.

  17. evan penn - Nov 29, 2009 at 8:29 AM

    Pythagoras and Dave are each 100% correct. The comments on the other side actually had me holding my sides with laughter.
    “Has it ever occurred to you that maybe some equally skilled people could have the same odds of winning? When you have say 10 racers, then the two best could each have a 60% chance of winning (=120%).”
    ….this has to be the funniest comment of them all. I suspect this guy is a writer for SNL, he couldn’t have been serious.

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