BREAKING: Monster three-way trade: Halladay to Philly, Lee to Seattle

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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.

Astros talking to Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole about extensions

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It’s extension season and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros — who already agreed to an extension with Alex Bregman — are discussing contract extensions with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.

Funny thing about Verlander, by the way: when he got his current $180 million deal, most people fell into the “oh, there’s an overpay!” column. What’s more, this past winter, when everyone was talking about how bad it is to give guys big long term deals, Verlander’s name was notably absent in the conversation despite the fact that his deal has turned out to be quite good. I suppose that says something about how good the anti-long-term deal folks are at cherrypicking.

That being said, Rosenthal says “it would be an upset” if either Verlander or Cole signed extensions. I can see that. Verlander is locked up this year and has a vesting option for 2020, and a lot can happen in a year or two. Cole is a Scott Boras client and Boras clients tend to hit the market rather than sign extensions. Perhaps their former teammate, Dallas Keuchel‘s, terrible experience on the free agent market this winter will alter that calculus. Hard to say.