Our Daily Dread: The trade winds vs. a bunch of hot air


As of this morning, Roy Halladay, in the top one of those paid to deliver baseballs on the Major League level, was was still a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, employed under contract through 2010.

Lucky us.

It means, without further delay, the Dodgers, and Angels, have time. If only to catch their breath and knock their GMs over the head with a hammer.

If the Blue Jays really want Clayton Kershaw off the Dodgers’ roster, plus a couple of other prospects, for the playing rights to Halladay for the rest of this season, plus all of next season, the deal should have been agreed upon a week ago. Perhaps, after pausing for two seconds to make sure you heard all the names correctly.

If the Blue Jays really want Jered Weaver off the Angels’ roster, plus Brandon Wood and some other prospects, for the playing rights to Halladay for the rest of this season, plus all of the next, the deal should have been agreed upon a couple of days ago. Perhaps, after pausing two seconds to see if Halladay wanted some family passes to Disneyland thrown in there.


In Kershaw, the Dodgers give up someone with a fountain of potential — someday, he may even make it past the seventh inning. They’ve nurtured him this far. He’s become, in many ways, the No. 2 bullet in a rotation that has an interesting mix of experience, deception and promise.

But our promise to you: The fact the Dodgers are just one of two teams this morning with a record of better than .600, and with 60 wins, is an illusion. In a short series, against a team like Philadelphia (flash back to a year ago), they’re not going to be very armed and dangerous.

In Kershaw, you give up the chance of a 23-year-old developing into an elite hurler. In Halladay, you already have that.

Kershaw could also never adjust to a livestyle in the Great White North and kind of flounder around. Halladay could be back on the disabled list, as he was for some time in ’06 and ’07, and never live up to the $15 million he’s owed next year. That’s a chance you take.

If the Dodgers aren’t jumping at this opportunity to snatch someone of Halladay caliber when he’s available for a postseason run, and allowing a potential playoff foe like Philadelphia to make the strongest play, something’s amiss.

Is it Halladay’s salary? He’s due $15 million next season, and after that, he goes free. Do economic reasons prevent it? That’s understandable, since Kershaw and friends don’t even add up to 1/15th of that equation. Is it Halladay’s medical history? Again, that makes sense. Is it the fact that if Halladay is free after 2010, you’ll think about it and then perhaps add him (if the Yankees, Mets or Red Sox don’t do it first)? That’s long-term thinking that doesn’t help the short-term problem.

Don’t be deceived by the chance that Kershaw could end up like another Edwin Jackson — a former Dodger prospect, sent off one season to Tampa Bay, and now an All-Star in Detroit. Down the road, you sign him back as a free agent, for the same price you’d probably have had to pay him if he was still on the roster.

In the meantime, you sub Halladay for Kershaw. How does that not make your team better, more feared, as the last three months of the season inch forward?

The Angels have little chance of success as well moving forward with a shaky Ervin Santana, and still recovering John Lackey and a couple of youngsters who sport decent W-L records but have ERAs worthly of long reliever status. Take a gulp and throw in Jered Weaver for Halladay. Wood would have produced by now if he really had the chance.

Our trade proposal weeks ago involved the Dodgers sending Matt Kemp to Toronto for Halladay, if that’s what they wished for. Others suggested Russell Martin, a Canadian native who’d be a prized possession in the land of maple leaves.

We can sit here and play GM all day and night — again, the beauty of the game is that fans have a voice, if not one that can always be heard, or understand all the dynamics involved in why something can and can’t be done. It’s still a business. That’s why fantasy leagues seem to flourish.

This Dodger road trip to St. Louis and Atlanta will expose them to teams that do have some decent pitching, and they can see how they’d react. Will Derek Lowe put a choke hold on them?

For a team that sits atop all of baseball, it has a 6-4 record in its last 10 games — all of them at home. Pitching has been the problem in each of them. A few wins can be rescued with some bloop hits in the ninth inning, but more likely than not, that magic won’t be there in the postseason. The opposing team’s bullpens will be stronger, and situations where the Dodgers are rallying back from an 8-0 deficit aren’t that likely.

The Dodgers have a team that appears to have very nice chemistry, and is going to post up fine numbers in the regular season. The irregular season — after October — is what matters. And a Roy Halladay standing on the mound with a ball, facing either the Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox or Angels looks a whole lot more promising than a knee-knocking Clayton Kershaw.

Halladay opportunities don’t come up very often at this time of year, to help a team immediately rather than at the start of the next season.

The Dodgers can’t blow this chance. Otherwise, it’ll be just more hot air swirling around, and alot of prayers starting Saturday, when the rosters are set for the rest of the season.

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