Analyzing The Blue Jays-Phillies Roy Halladay Trade Nine Years Later

The Roy Halladay trade took place on Dec. 15, 2009, with the blue jays landing catcher Travis d'Arnaud, pitcher Kyle Drabek, and outfielder Michael Taylor from the Phillies. Taylor would be moved the same day going from the Jays to the Oakland Athletics.

Already one can see the scale of this trade was grand with three teams involved almost right away. Taylor would be turned into Infielder Brett Wallace, who the Jays would keep until July 29, 2010, when he'd be flipped for the player the Jays actually wanted initially in the Halladay trade — outfielder (now pitcher) Anthony Gose. What did the Jays then turn Gose into when they traded the struggling young outfielder? Second Baseman Devon Travis.

Of the three initial assets the Jays acquired, the only moderately successful one has been d'Arnaud. Though he would not reach those heights with the Jays, as he would be traded in another large trade when the New York Mets acquired him along with catcher John Buck (who the Jays had acquired in a trade with the Miami Marlins about a month previously), Pitcher Noah Syndergaard, and Outfielder Wuilmer Becerra. What did the Jays get for a prospect Catcher who turned out to be relatively impactful and possibly one of the best Pitchers in the game today? An aging knuckleballer named R.A. Dickey and two catchers that were supposed to compete for Dickey's personal catcher and back-up to then "Catcher Of The Future" J.P. Arencibia. This portion of the trade lives in infamy.


via Sports Illustrated

As mentioned previously, the initial players that the Jays were able to get in the Halladay trade were really poor. Taylor has been out of the game since 2015, never really working out with either the Oakland As or the Chicago White Sox —who Taylor was traded to for pitcher Jake Sanchez on June 14, 2014. Wallace last played in the MLB in 2016 and presently is a free agent, though with his mediocre stats and at age 31, he isn't likely to ever make a return to professional baseball. Drabek was so bad that the Jays waived him on March 27, 2015, and would be claimed that same day by the Chicago White Sox. He has since bounced around the minor leagues, even going to independent ball last year before being released. He is currently playing Pericos de Puebla of the Mexican League. It's no wonder Drabek didn't stick around at the Majors with a 5.26 ERA (Earned Run Average) and an 8 - 15 record.

Gose landed in Toronto thanks to a trade that saw the Philadelphia Phillies trade him,  Pitcher J.A. Happ, and middle infielder Jonathan Villar to the Astros. Houston then traded Happ to the Jays for his first stint with the team on July 20, 2012 — a trade which had multiple moving pieces. One of those pieces was Joe Musgrove who the Astros turned into Garrit Cole as part of a multi-player deal. Happ was flipped to Seattle in a later trade for Canadian Outfielder Michael Saunders who eventually made the All-Star game representing the Blue Jays in 2016. Saunder's career would fall off a cliff.

So, in essence, the Jays directly acquired their starting Second Baseman when Travis is healthy, and someone one could argue is the current ace of the staff indirectly (Happ). There have certainly been a lot of missteps and wonky moves that came about because of this trade, and in the short term Jays fans certainly missed Doc Halladay, but this trade really did set the Jays up for what their present future is. Without this trade it's hard to imagine the Jays would make the playoffs in 2015 and 2016 — their first playoff appearances since winning the World Series in 1993.

via New York Post

Happ is an aging asset at age 35 and having one of his strongest seasons with a 10 - 3 record and a 3.62 ERA over 16 starts. He has been one of the few bright spots in the Jays starting rotation this season before he was traded to the Yankees for Brandon Drury and Billy McKinney before being placed on the IR.

The Phillies kept Doc until his body fell apart in the 2013 season, which was cut short because of injuries that required surgery to removed a bone spur, fix a torn labrum, and a damaged rotator cuff. Halladay would never win the World Series he coveted, though his time with the Phillies was memorable. He would pitch a Perfect Game on May 29, 2010, making him the 20th MLB pitcher to record the feat. He also picked up a No-Hitter in the 2010 playoffs as well. Unfortunately, Halladay passed away in 2017.

Earlier this season, the Jays retired Halladay's number 32 in honor of his memory. Halladay will be eligible for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 2019 and given his stellar 203 - 105 record and excellent 3.38 ERA he's likely to be a first-ballot Hall Of Famer.

Halladay was one of the most impactful pitchers of all time, even his trade from the Blue Jays is something that's being felt through the organization—as well as a few others—to this day.


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