Here's a statistic that should give the Phillies or any other team serious about pursuing the Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay. Only two pitchers in the last 13 years traded at the deadline have pitched in a postseason game. Oliver Perez was one for the 2006 Mets and journeyman David Weathers was the other for the 1996 Yankees. While no starting pitcher can be expected to single-handedly lift a team to the postseason, they can make a difference in getting them there by winning a number of games in the last two months of the season. However, it's hard to argue with a stat that suggests it rarely plays out that way.
Ken Rosenthal at FOXSports is reporting this morning that the Phillies appear to be the front runner for Halladay's services.
Rosenthal has more to say about who might still be shopping for Halladay:
The Dodgers and Rangers, who have discussed Halladay with the Blue Jays, didn't have any contact with Ricciardi on Friday. The Yankees initially expressed interest, but Ricciardi has yet to engage them in talks. The White Sox have been involved — remember that they put together a compelling offer for San Diego's Jake Peavy two months ago — but it's not clear if they're an active bidder now.
The Angels, very involved in the market for pitching, may have increased their offer, according to one executive with knowledge of the Halladay situation. But it's doubtful that they could match a package from the Phillies if GM Ruben Amaro is willing to part with Drabek and at least one other premium player, such as left-hander J.A. Happ, or outfielders Dominic Brown or Michael Taylor.
One of the greatest things about the game of baseball is that there is a statistic for everything. You want to know who was pitching in the sixth inning on a Thursday in July when another player stole his 30th base of the season in his home park on his birthday, you can actually look that up! So, a stat such as the one I mentioned above should be viewed as a warning. Is a two-month rental, even one as seemingly a sure thing as Holladay going to get a team to postseason glory? The odds are not great...