Brewers don't have prospects for Halladay push

halladay.jpgThe Brewers need starters and one of the game’s best is available by trade. Seems like a good match, right? Don’t hold your breath.

Their pipeline of Minor League talent is not exactly dry, but the Brewers do not have enough top-level prospects to get into the Roy Halladay derby at next week’s Winter Meetings. 

The Blue Jays are listening to offers for their ace, who, with apologies to free agent John Lackey, will be the most sought-after pitcher on this winter’s market. Starting pitchers are at the top of Milwaukee’s wish list, but it’s clear to club officials that they won’t be able to match other teams’ offers to Toronto. 

“The Eric Arnett’s and Kentrail Davis’ of the world are too far away,” said Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash, referring to the Brewers’ top two picks in last year’s First-Year Player Draft. “They [the Blue Jays] are going to be looking for Double-A and Triple-A help.” 

And at those two levels, the Brewers are admittedly thinner, especially in the pitching department. It’s widely believed that the Blue Jays want at least one Major League-ready pitcher in a Halladay trade, and that’s why Ash believes that Halladay more likely will land with a team like the Phillies or the Yankees or perhaps the Red Sox, all of whom have young pitching studs either in the Majors or the top levels of the farm system. 

There’s also the matter of Halladay’s no-trade powers. He has the right to veto any deal, and Ash is convinced that he would do just that if presented with a chance to move to Milwaukee. Halladay, who is set to earn $15.75 million in 2010 in the final year of his contract, has more starts than any other active pitcher without a postseason appearance. 

“He has control of his destiny, and we’re not a part of his criteria.” Ash said. “For one, we’re not a Florida [Spring Training] team. I also don’t think he’s looking for a chance to win, he’s looking for a guaranteed win.” 

The Phillies and Yankees train in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area, mere minutes from Halladay’s house.
 
So the Brewers are looking for pitching help elsewhere, and club officials have been huddling for weeks pouring over every free agent possibility. If they seek pitchers via trade, then that Minor League pipeline could come into play.

For more on which prospects could come into play in 2010 for the Brewers, see my story on Brewers.com later today.

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