The Phillies, Mariners and Blue Jays were close to finalizing a three-way deal that would ship Cliff Lee to Seattle and bring Roy Halladay to Philly, according to SI.com's Jon Heyman.
The reason why Lee was shipped out was because he wasn't willing to do what Halladay would do -- sign a multi-year contract extension, according to Heyman.
That extension would pay Halladay his full $15.75 million for 2010 and then $60 million more to remain in Philly through 2013, according to ESPN's Jayson Stark.
Halladay would waive his no-trade clause and sign a three-year extension that would give the Phillies would get long-term security -- something they didn’t have with Lee who was excited to enter the free-agent fray next off-season.
By giving up Lee the Phils would save $9 million this season, which could help the team afford the $15.75 million owed to Halladay on the last year of his contract.
Lee, the Phillies postseason ace, was part of the deal because he wasn't willing to re-up long-term at a value below what Johan Santana and CC Sabathia got last off-season, said Heyman.
In partnership with NBC Sports Philadelphia
"Doc" Halladay was seeing Phillies' docs Monday as he underwent a physical, NBCPhiladelphia Sports learned.
Don't expect specific details to emerge Monday because the deal could be very complex, sources told FOXSports.com.
Which prospects the Phightins would be willing to give up along with the former Cy-Young Award winners remained a mystery. But, desired Phillies prospects including outfielder Michael Taylor, catcher Travis d'Arnaud and pitcher Kyle Drabek could be shipped to Toronto, according to Stark.
The Phils could also give up pitchers J.A. Happ, Joe Blanton and outfielder Dominic Brown all of whom took physicals Monday, a source told the AP.
The Blue Jays desire top-notch prospects. The M's should be offering a few prospects possibly including Canadian-native Phillippe Aumont who could land in Philly.
Despite the obvious money concerns it begged to be asked why the Phillies wouldn’t want to enter the 2010 season with Lee and Halladay atop the rotation. Add in Cole Hamels and the Phillies could have had the greatest trio of left-right-left hurlers in years.
There is no doubt that Lee and Halladay are both great pitchers.
Halladay is certainly a super ace going 148-76 with a 3.43 ERA and 49 complete games over 12 seasons in Toronto. He won the 2003 Cy Young Award and finished in the Top-5 of CYA voting four other times.
But, Lee also has a Cy Young and he was great for the Phillies posting a 3.39 ERA while going 7-4 in the regular season and posting a miniscule 1.56 ERA and perfect 4-0 record in five postseason starts.
This wasn't the first time the Phillies danced with the Jays about acquiring Halladay. The two teams tried to work out a deal before last season's trade deadline but after talks fell apart the Phillies grabbed Lee from Cleveland instead.
If the Phightins do officially pry Doc out of Toronto by giving up Lee then they would stake a claim amongst baseball’s big boys (Yankees and Red Sox) as a team willing to do what it takes to compete for a World Series -- no matter the possible cost.