Mariners set to steal Lee in Halladay deal

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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.

Brewers sell Michael Choice’s contract to the Nexen Heroes

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The Brewers offloaded outfielder Michael Choice’s contract to the Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization, per a team announcement on Friday. Choice signed a minor league deal with the Brewers in early May, but did not earn a major league stint in 11 weeks with the team.

It’s been two full years since the 27-year-old outfielder snagged a big league opportunity of any kind. He last appeared with the Rangers in 2015 and played in just one game, striking out in his only at-bat. His production rate sagged through three consecutive minor league assignments with the Indians, Orioles and Brewers and peaked in 2016 after slashing .246/.304/.456 with 14 home runs for the Indians’ Triple-A Columbus. He was off to a decent start this season for the Brewers’ Double-A Biloxi, working a .272/.349/.503 batting line with nine home runs and an .852 OPS through his first 195 PA.

Choice is poised to join several other ex-major leaguers on the Heroes’ roster, including left-hander Andy Van Hekken, right-hander Jake Brigham and infielder/outfielder Danny Dorn.

6:43 PM: Danny Dorn no longer plays for the Nexen Heroes, as he was released to clear roster space for Choice.

Must-Click Link: The Best “Irony Jerseys”

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Our old friend Joe Posnanski tackles a venerable topic over at MLB.com: guys you totally forgot played for a given team. Mostly superstars who had brief stops at non-signature stations at the end of their careers. Or guys, like Mike Piazza and Reggie Jackson, who were with a team for a blink of an eye in between more famous way stations.

We’ve all had this conversation before: remember Willie Mays with the Mets? Doc Gooden with the Astros? John Smoltz with the Cardinals? Heck, I had forgotten about Smoltz with the Cardinals and he was a star on my favorite team once upon a time.

Posnanski calls them “Irony Jerseys.” That’s pretty appropriate, as one can totally imagine someone buying, say, that Dale Murphy Rockies jersey in the name of obscurity. Whatever you call it, it’s a good read.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to get my Ted Simmons Braves jersey for a party at some place uptown that you’ve probably never heard of.