Imagine meeting an alien race. This alien race – we’ll call them the Bleugiays, so as not to obviously name something fictitious after a real baseball club – has something you covet: a new technology that will make you significantly more powerful and give you a distinct advantage over all of your enemies.
This weapon, the Leroy Gun, comes with a price. A hefty one, too, but not an unpayable one. All the Bleugiays are asking for in return are some resources. They’re running a little thin on these resources on their home planet, and are turning to you for a little help.
The aliens aren’t desperate – they can certainly turn elsewhere, they have the upper hand with this Leroy Gun – and can decide that maybe you aren’t worthy of such an advantage for refusing to part with renewable, albeit valuable, resources.
Welcome to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. of A, Earth, where such a standoff has begun. The Toronto Blue Jays have a certain Roy Halladay that they’re willing to part with in return for certain top-notch prospects. The Phillies have these prospects, and almost desperately need Halladay. They are not in a position of power.
Why, then, is this team leaking a list of “untouchable” minor league prospects?
Usually, posturing like this is only done by teams with the upper hand in a potential deal. The Phillies, sad to say, are not that team here. Yet, here we are. I’m surprised the Bleugiays didn’t just decide to turn their massive planet-busting ray gun on us immediately after news that GM Ruben Amaro and manager Charlie Manuel have a list of untouchable players in the minor league system.
Uh, hello? I’d rather not be left floating in space with no planet, thanks.
The Philly farm system is deep, deeper than it’s been in 10 years, if not longer. It has the talent that a team like Toronto could want for a player like Roy Halladay. The reward is almost 99.99% worth the risk of dealing these prospects. But any hope of making a deal that would not have the Phils part with at least two of their best young players is now gone, thanks to the emergence of this Untouchables List.
Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi now has every right to say, “well, if Philadelphia values these young players so much, surely they’ll pay up if they’re serious about getting my pitcher,” and subsequently demand a haul similar to the one that landed Dan Haren in Arizona.
In fairness, maybe Kyle Drabek, Jason Knapp, and Dominic Brown were already near the top of Ricciardi’s shopping list for Doc. Now, there can be no uncertainty. Halladay must net at least two of those players in return or the trade will be a failure. It’s all thanks to this untouchables list, which has all but cemented the price the Phillies must pay for the game’s best right-handed pitcher.
They have the resources, and I want a Leroy Gun.
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