Roy Halladay is obviously dominating the rumor mill
right now as fans across the country assess their favorite team’s
chances of landing one of the truly elite pitchers in baseball.
However, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reminds everyone that another ace may also be available with the trading deadline now just 10 days away.
In fact, take a look at how our mystery man compares to Halladay since the beginning of last season:
GS IP ERA W L AVG OBP SLG
Halladay 51 378 2.76 31 14 .241 .275 .347
Player X 51 359 2.83 27 12 .265 .301 .364
Player X is Cliff Lee of the Indians, who won the Cy Young award
last season and has a 3.31 ERA in 20 starts this year. Lee’s potential
availability doesn’t generate the same number of headlines as Halladay
because his track record prior to 2008 isn’t as good and terrible run
support has him sporting an ugly 5-9 record, but since the start of
last season he has the third-best ERA in baseball behind Halladay and
Both pitchers are signed through next season, but Lee is 15 months
younger and will make just $8 million in 2010 compared to $15.75
million for Halladay. All things being equal I’d certainly choose
Halladay over Lee, but the gap between them hasn’t been as big as most
people seem to think and given the likely costs involved in acquiring
each player Lee could prove to be a better target.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.