Could the Phillies have had Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee in the rotation?
Ruben Amaro Jr. said they could have, but he said they needed to restock the farm system. And he said he needed to trade a talent like Lee to make it happen. I’ve been asked a lot about this being a simple salary dump, but it wasn’t. If Amaro were told, “You can get Halladay just as long as you clear $9 million from the payroll,” he could have found other ways to trim the budget. He could have traded Joe Blanton, who could make $7 million or more, and somebody like Greg Dobbs, who will make $1.35 million. There’s almost $9 million right there, and you still have Lee on the roster. But Amaro chose prospects over a 2010 super rotation with Halladay, Lee and Cole Hamels. Was that the right call? In the short term, we won’t know until we see how Hamels bounces back from a disappointing 2009. In the long term, we won’t know until we see what happens with Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies and J.C. Ramirez. If the three prospects contribute — really, truly contribute at the big league level —