The Twins need an ace. They unequivocally need a pitcher who can go out every fifth day and shut a team down. They need a pitcher with a Jack Morris mentality. A guy who says, “Give me the ball and I will win this game.”
The Twins need Roy Halladay.
Obviously, every team wants a pitcher of Halladay’s caliber, but the Twins actually have the pieces to make a deal. Odds are they won’t do it, because Bill Smith and company won’t want to give up young talent. The fact is, however, dealing for Halladay is the one thing they absolutely should do.
Think for a minute how many potential starting pitchers the Twins have on their roster: Scott Baker, Kevin Slowey, Nick Blackburn, Brian Duensing, Jeff Manship, Francisco Liriano, Glenn Perkins, Boof Bonser, and Anthony Swarzak.
Some of those pitching options are better than others, but they are still options. Couple that with the seemingly mutual interest between the Twins and Carl Pavano, and you have ten starting pitchers to choose from.
Even if you assume Perkins will be gone because of his prima donna AWOL routine, and assume Bonser will be in the bullpen, that still leaves nine potential starting pitchers (eight excluding Pavano); each one being young, full of potential and, no matter how minimally, Major League experienced. Most teams would kill for that kind
of pitching depth.
And what do you do with depth? Trade it.
Not all of it, obviously, but if it takes two or three pitchers to get Hallday, so be it.
Instead of throwing out the spare parts trades most baseball fans love to dream up, let’s look at a realistic trade scenario for both the Twins and the Blue Jays.
The Twins should start by offering one out of their three most established Major League pitchers (Baker, Blackburn, Slowey). Obviously these guys have each proven they can pitch in the Majors, and while hard to part with, they would become expendable if Halladay joined the mix – especially if Pavano is re-signed. Couple the aforementioned established pitcher with a few young arms, and you have a nearly unmatchable package.
Here is my hypothetical trade:
Twins get: Halladay
Blue Jays get: Baker, Duensing, Swarzak, and Danny Valencia
From the Twins point of view, they get the ace they need to be a legitimate World Series contender.
From the Blue jays point of view, they get an established 15 win pitcher in Baker, two young pitchers who have had at least some Major League success, and a future third baseman. (Really, though, I just want the Twins to get rid of Valencia now, while he has some value. Because if Danny Valencia is the answer at third, I can’t imagine what the question is. Who is the next Scott Leius, possibly?)
If Baker, Duensing, Swarzak, and Valencia aren’t enough, I would even be willing to trade either Aaron Hicks or Ben Revere (in lieu of one of the other four). Either way, the Blue Jays have to be able to find an acceptable deal somewhere in the slew of prospects listed above.
The Blue Jays are pretty much in the identical situation the Twins were in with Johan Santana two years ago: Trade him now or let him walk later.
Somewhat ironically, the Twins are theoretically in position to make a sort of reverse Santana trade, and by trading Gomez they have basically admitted the Santana deal was a bust. So why not pull the complete 180 (or I guess kind of a 360 in this case…) and pull the trigger for Roy Halladay?
The fact is, Halladay is exactly what the Twins need, and the Twins have the pieces to do it.
Plus, what could be better than cheering for a guy named “Doc” 35 games a year?