According to various reports, the Toronto Blue Jays have agreed to trade former Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay to the Philadelphia Phillies, who will in turn deal another former Cy Young winner, left-hander Cliff Lee to the Seattle Mariners.
ESPN.com is stating that Halladay would likely agree a three-year extension worth around $60 million that would also include vesting options for additional years. His agreement to an extension would be contingent on the deal being completed.
The Phillies would then reportedly send catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud, outfielder Michael Taylor, and either pitching prospect Kyle Drabek or left-hander J.A. Happ to Toronto for Halladay, though reports late on Monday suggest that it would be Drabek, not Happ who would be heading to Toronto.
In a corresponding move, the Phillies would send Lee to Seattle for highly regarded Canadian pitching prospect Phillippe Aumont and another prospect, believed to be 21-year-old outfielder Tyson Gillies.
The 22-year old Drabek who is the Phillies top pitching prospect, and the son of former MLB'er Doug Drabek, was a combined 12-3 in Single and Double-A last season. He had a 3.19 ERA and 150 strikeouts in 158 innings pitched. During that span, he only allowed 50 walks.
Taylor, who will turn 24-years old next week, hit .320 with 20 home runs in 116 combined games in Double and Triple-A last season. The 6'6" right-handed batter could possibly start the season in Toronto in a corner outfielder spot.
D'Arnaud, was recently ranked as the Phillies fourth best prospect by Baseball America. The 20-year old hit .255 with 13 home runs and 71 RBI in 126 games at class-A.
Aumont, a 6'7" right-hander from Gatineau Quebec was the Mariners first round pick - 11th overall in the 2007 MLB Draft. He pitched exclusively in relief last season and in Single and Double-A, he racked up a combined 2-6 record with a 3.88 ERA and 16 saves. He appeared in 44 games and threw 51 innings, striking out 59 hitters.
Halladay's current deal expires at the end of the 2010 season, at which point he could become a free agent.
The Associated Press is reporting that the commissioner's office granted a 72-hour window on Sunday for Toronto and Philadelphia to complete their trade.
Philadelphia was one of the teams that was in hot pursuit of Halladay prior to the July 31 trade deadline last summer. When it became clear the Phillies would not land Halladay, they instead traded with the Indians for Lee.
Lee pitched well for Philadelphia as the team won its second straight National League pennant. Lee won two games in the World Series against the New York Yankees.
Like Halladay, Lee has one more year remaining on his contract with a value of $9 million. He will also be a free agent after 2010.
Fox Sports sources say that the deal is very complex, with the Blue Jays paying a portion of Halladay's $15.75 million salary for next season to make the deal work.
Halladay's methodical preparation, competitiveness and near legendary work ethic have made him into one of the best pitchers in the game. He captured the 2003 American League Cy Young Award after he went 22-7 with 3.25 ERA and nine complete games. He has been named to the American League All-Star team on six occasions (2002, 03, 05, 06, 08 and 09).
While his career has been somewhat hampered by a series of minor injuries, he has thrown over 200 innings in a season five times over his career. Halladay has also led the AL in complete games for a season four times.
"Doc" was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 1st round of the 1995 draft and went through the farm system twice. Halladay climbed through the minors and made his first appearance with the big club in 1998, pitching well over 14 innings and then having a solid campaign in 1999 (8-7 with a save and 3.91 ERA over 149.1 IP). But he struggled in 2000 crafting a 4-7 record with an ERA of 10.64 in 67.2 innings with the Blue Jays.
Halladay started back at Class A in 2001 and made his way up once again, putting up strong numbers in 105.1 innings with the Blue Jays after being called up in July (5-3, 3.16).
The right-hander took his place as one baseball's best starters in 2002 putting up a 19-7 record with 2.93 ERA over his 239.1 innings pitched.
In the years that followed, Halladay's Cy Young season, 'Doc' struggled with injuries in 2004 and 2005, but in the four season span from 2006-2009, he never won less than 16 games or threw less than 220 innings.
The 32-year old went 17-10 in 2009 with a 2.79 ERA. He threw a league leading nine complete games and racked up an impressive 239 innings.
Halladay has a 148-76 career record, with a 3.43 ERA.