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Mariners set to steal Lee in Halladay deal

Dec 14, 2009, 10:59 PM EST

ESPN’s Jayson Stark’s latest has some new twists in the Roy Halladay deal, and they seem to clearly favor the Mariners.
At 6:00 pm, the deal looked like this, according to Stark:
Phillies acquire Roy Halladay, Mariners prospect, Mariners prospect
Mariners acquire Cliff Lee
Blue Jays acquire Phillippe Aumont, Travis d’Arnaud, Phillies prospect (likely OF Michael Taylor)
However, the current deal has no one going from Seattle to Toronto.
Instead, the Mariners are set to acquire Lee from the Phillies for Aumont, a 20-year-old right-handed reliever, and 21-year-old outfielder Tyson Gillies. The Philies will simultaneously acquire Halladay from the Jays for three of their own youngsters: RHP Kyle Drabek, Taylor and D’Arnaud.
Stark said 2009 rookie J.A. Happ was a possibility to be included in Drabek’s place, but Drabek is the much more popular name elsewhere.
So, if this is the deal, then it’d be a stellar move for Seattle. Aumont could well turn into a closer and Gillies is pretty interesting, but to get one of the game’s top five pitchers for those two would be a flat-out steal and it’s incredible that the Phillies couldn’t do better elsewhere.
Things also look a better for the Blue Jays. Drabek isn’t without risk, but he’s one of the game’s top-10 pitching prospects. With his legitimate No. 1 or No. 2 starter potential, he’s a big upgrade from Aumont.
As for the Phillies, well, the price for Halladay is certainly fair, but they’re not getting nearly enough in return for Lee. That’s quite a bit of talent they’re bleeding for what should be a very modest upgrade in 2010. They definitely have their eyes on 2011 here, as Halladay’s extension will be quite a bit more reasonable than what Lee was requesting. Still, I don’t think it was worth sacrificing Drabek’s potential to get the swap done. There should have been a more reasonable deal available if they had let the league know that Lee was up for grabs.

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