I think J.P. Ricciardi is bluffing, too. At least I hope so

Here’s a quick link to a great article on the Roy Halladay situation from Michael Rosenberg. It pretty much sums up what I’ve been thinking throughout this process, in that JP really needs to trade Doc now that he’s come this far. And the fact is, elite prospects are a huge return versus the risk of having Halladay for one final pennant race in 2010. Otherwise, the team can lose him for pretty much nothing (compensation picks aside).

Rosenberg says it well:

“Please, J.P., tell me you’re lying. Tell me you really ARE going to trade ace Roy Halladay, despite what you told FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal Sunday. Tell me you have thought this through, and you know the best move is to deal Halladay now, while he is as valuable as he’ll ever be, and while it can help the Blue Jays the most.

I can only hope, for his sake, that Ricciardi is bluffing. I hope he is smoking out offers with the full intention of taking the best one. In fact, by this point, I hope he already has an offer that he is willing to take, and is simply trying to get an even better one.

And I really hope he has asked this question:

What happens if the trade deadline passes and Roy Halladay is still a Blue Jay?

If that happens, then Ricciardi will have announced to the world that he might trade Halladay, then turned down several very nice offers in the hope that the stars align for Toronto in 2010. He will have surrendered his chips.

This is what you need to know about Halladay: right now, he has more value to the teams that are trying to trade for him than he does to the Blue Jays. Significantly more.

Consider: the Blue Jays owe Halladay roughly $20.45 million between now and the end of the 2010 season. But since they are sure to miss the playoffs this year, they are basically paying him for one potential pennant race, next year, in a division with the Red Sox, Yankees and Rays. That is a huge chunk of money for one starting pitcher in one pennant race.

And if the Blue Jays don’t contend next year, then what? Halladay won’t come out and say it, but he’ll be out of there. He will have pitched 12 seasons in Toronto without throwing a postseason pitch. Why would he sign on for any more? Halladay’s reluctance to sign an extension is presumably what fueled these trade talks in the first place.

The Blue Jays could then try to deal him by next summer’s deadline, but the haul would be significantly smaller than it would be now, because he would be a two-month rental instead of a season-and-two-months rental.

The teams that are pursuing Halladay, on the other hand, are all contenders. They believe they will have him for two pennant races, minimum. And unlike Toronto, those teams are in prime position to sign Halladay to an extension, because they are contenders.”

I had this conversation earlier today with friends – Do we trust JP to make this decision?

Not really…

Do you?

-DL

Rosenberg is here.

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