The prize of this year’s baseball trade market will obviously be Roy Halladay. The big right hander is not only one of the best, most consistent pitchers in the majors. He’ll give an instant boost to whichever team eventually lands him. But there’s a huge catch that will come with Halladay: Vernon Wells’ gigantic contract.
Right now the Toronto Blue Jays are holding firm to the stance that whoever wants Halladay must be willing to take Vernon Wells with him. Wells is due to make $99.25 million between now and the end of his current contract (2014). The 30-year-old center fielder is currently hitting just .263 with nine homers 38 RBI, a .312 on base percentage and a .723 OPS.
Since inking a huge seven-year, $126 million contract following the 2006 season, Wells hasn’t been the same player.
Whoever wants Halladay will have to swallow Wells’ contact and be willing to part with three top-tier prospects. That’s what Toronto is currently demanding. While Halladay is definitely worth the three prospects, in this economic climate we think it will be nearly impossible for the Blue Jays to get those players and dump Wells in the same deal. The problem is that too few teams could add that kind of payroll. The usual suspects being the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, Dodgers and Angels.
The Red Sox don’t need a starter and the Cubs have new ownership that probably won’t be interested in adding another bloated contract to a roster that is already underperforming.
Two other teams reportedly interested are the Phillies and Cardinals. The Phillies are apparently prepared to make an aggressive offer right now, but can they afford to take on Wells’ contract?