Jon Heyman reports that the rumored three-way trade in which the Phillies get Roy Halladay and ship out Cliff Lee has come to pass, with Lee going to the Mariners.
The Phillies landing Halladay is not the biggest surprise. He’s been rumored to be going there for a while. The Lee piece of this equation, however, was totally unexpected. The only person who had even suggested it before today was FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, who wrote up the scenario over the weekend, not so much as a news report, but as a hypothetical deal. I and many other so-called experts called it a crazy idea. And it is a crazy idea. It just now has the benefit of having happened. If I had to guess, I’d say that someone gave Rosenthal a tip over the weekend, but told him that he couldn’t report about it until today. That happens sometimes.
The latest on the deal: Heyman says that Halladay and the Phillies will likely reach a contract extension soon, but that it’s not likely to be announced today.
We’ll have a more in-depth analysis of the trade later today. As for now, one word: Wow.
12/14/09 3:18 p.m.
The Philadelphia Inquirer’s sports blog reports that “Roy Halladay and his agent have checked into a Philadelphia-area hotel.”
Man, I hope it’s to talk to the Phillies about an extension in advance of a trade from the Blue Jays as opposed to say, the two of them having an affair or something. Because that would be awkward. It would still be a hell of a scoop for the Inquirer, but it would be awkward.
UPDATE: 710 ESPN in Seattle is following up on the Rosenthal thing suggesting that this could be part of a three team trade between the Jays, Phillies and Mariners, which is where Cliff Lee would go.
Why The Phillies would pass up a year of a cheap Cliff Lee combined with Roy Halladay and a clear shot at the NL Pennant is beyond me. They have the chips to get Halladay now if they want him.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have agreed to terms on a minor league contract with right-handed reliever Javy Guerra. The deal includes an invitation to major league spring training.
Guerra was suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball last July after testing positive for a drug of abuse. That suspension is now over, though Guerra is probably ticketed for the Angels’ Triple-A affiliate to begin the 2016 season.
The 30-year-old made just three major league appearances in 2015 for the White Sox before getting outrighted off Chicago’s 40-man roster. He does own a 2.87 ERA in 150 1/3 career innings, but it has come with bouts of inconsistency and unreliability.
Maybe he can get everything going in the right direction with Anaheim.
As first reported by Bill Shanks of Fox Sports 1670, the Braves have signed right-handed reliever Carlos Torres to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Torres was waived by the Mets in January, somewhat surprisingly, and elected to become a free agent. The 33-year-old ultimately chose Atlanta, where he should have a good shot at an Opening Day roster out of spring training with the rapidly-rebuilding Braves.
Torres posted an ugly 4.68 ERA in 57 2/3 innings last season for the Mets, but he registered a gorgeous 3.06 ERA and 96 strikeouts across 97 innings in 2014.
If he gets off to a good start in 2016, he could become valuable trade bait.
Roberto Osuna became the youngest pitcher to ever play for the Blue Jays last season at age 20 and he rose to the challenge with a 2.58 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and 75/16 K/BB ratio in 69 2/3 frames. Osuna eventually took over as Toronto’s closer, earning 20 regular-season saves and one in the American League Division Series — a five-out effort in Game 5 to close out the visiting Rangers.
But the Jays upgraded the back end of their bullpen this winter, acquiring Drew Storen from the Nationals in early January for speedy outfielder Ben Revere. Jesse Chavez was also brought to Toronto in a trade with the A’s.
Storen has more experience at closer than Osuna, and Storen struggled when the Nationals tried to put him in a setup role. Storen, in his final year of salary arbitration, also gets paid much more. He’s probably going to enter spring training as the favorite for the Jays’ ninth-inning gig, but there will be a competition …
Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins told Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca on Wednesday that he doesn’t expect the team to choose between Osuna or Storen until midway through spring training, if not later.
There’s been talk of making Osuna a starter, so add that wrinkle.
Storen, 28, boasts 95 career major league saves.
Baltimore’s front office appears to be lining up a run of potential roster additions leading into the beginning of spring training.
We’ve already passed along the reports suggesting they are close to a three-year deal with free agent starter Yovani Gallardo, but now FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler could be next on the Orioles’ target list. It they get those two deals done, the O’s could then chase free agent slugger Pedro Alvarez.
Rosenthal says the Orioles are even eyeing Jay Bruce of the Reds, though the FOX reporter hears the O’s might not have the prospects to pull off that kind of trade.
The focus for the Orioles out of the gate this winter was re-signing Matt Wieters and Chris Davis. Wieters accepted his one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer in November and Davis was locked up to a seven-year, $161 million contract in mid-January.
Now the O’s are spending a little leftover cash on late-offseason additions to improve their position in what should be a tight 2016 American League East race.