Having not typed the name "Roy Halladay" at any point in the last 24 hours, I fear my fingers are losing the muscle memory I had built up in preparation for this final week before the trade deadline. As I Twitter-ed a couple nights ago, it is my opinion that the Phillies odds at landing Halladay have increased over the week. Kyle Drabek is still in play, regardless of the reports you read stating that he was out of contention. But if the Phillies are going to give up the package it might take to land Halladay, don't be surprised if Doc isn't the only Toronto player headed south. The Blue Jays have several role players would could help the Phillies fill another one of their needs, whether it is another arm for the bull-pen or a right-handed bat off the bench.
Below are six players who could help the Phillies, four of whom would appear to be in the realm of possibility.
Would the inclusion of any one of these players make a blockbuster package that includes Drabek more palatable?
Here is a breakdown (P.S. - Pedro Martinez will indeed start on Sunday for Class A Clearwater, as has been expected. But I'm sure you already knew that):
1) Marco Scutaro, INF
Plusses: He is 33 years old, a right-handed hitter, and a free-agent-to-be who is owed roughly $500,000 for the rest of this season, which means he is an ideal candidate for the Blue Jays to move. He is hitting .286/.383 with eight home runs and 43 RBI, is 8-for-12 on stolen bases, and is hitting .286/.406 against lefties. He can also play anywhere in the infield, and has spent some time in the outfield.
Minuses: Doesn't have a lot of experience as a pinch-hitter (7-for-42 career). Is a career .252 hitter against lefties.
2) Jason Frasor, RHP
Plusses: Is 31 years old and due to make roughly $700,000 over the rest of the season. Is a free agent after this year. Is 5-2 with a 2.25 ERA in 39 appearances (36 innings pitched). Has held righties to a .156 average. Since June 1 has held opponents to a .226 average and posted a 2.08 ERA. The Phillies already have three pitchers capable of going multiple innings in Chan Ho Park, Clay Condrey and Chad Durbin and two lefties in Scott Eyre and J.C. Romero, which means there is a spot for a guy who can come in and run through a stretch of right-handed batters.
Minuses: Adding Halladay's salary could make Frasor cost-prohibitive, unless the Phils move another salary out.
3) Kevin Millar, INF
Plusses: The Phillies looked at Millar in the offseason, but like most right-handed bats, the veteran opted to head for somewhere where playing time was more plentiful. A veteran who has been part of winning clubs. Has power. Is due to earn roughly $400,000 the rest of the season and is a free agent at the end of the year. Is hitting .298/.347 vs LHP this season.
Minuses: At 37, has seen his production drop each of the last three seasons. Has been used mostly at DH this season, although can play third and first. Career .200 pinch-hitter, including 0-for-8 this season. Hitting .237 this year.
4) Brandon League, RHP
Plusses: Due to earn roughly $300,000 the rest of this season. Arbitration-eligible. Has held righties to .233 BAA (.276 lefties). 4.80 ERA.
Minuses: Would he be an upgrade?
5) Scott Downs, LHP
Plusses: 2.08 ERA with nine saves this season.
Minuses: Owed roughly $1.75 million for rest of this season and $4 million next. Phils probably wouldn't want to take on that kind of salary, with Madson, Romero and Lidge due to earn signficant money next year.
6) Scott Rolen, 3B
Plusses: Would make for a great story, not to mention a hell of a right-handed bat to break up the Phillies' lefties. A line-up of Rollins, Utley, Rolen, Howard, Ibanez, Victorino, Werth, Ruiz would present some intriguing possibilities. Plus, who wouldn't want to see the smoke steaming from the stands at Citizens Bank Park as fans try to figure out if they should cheer or boo him.
Minuses: Besides the fact that there is no way it will happen? Pedro Feliz is hitting .293/.341 this season, has displayed more power than Rolen over the last two-plus years, and is not a huge drop-off defensively. Oh, and there is the $17 million Rolen is owed through next season.