Obviously the biggest trade of the off-season was Roy Halladay shipping off to Philadelphia (and Cliff Lee moving to Seattle in conjunction). No argument there.
Bob Elliott with the Toronto Sun has an interesting piece about how it went down, from the 2008 off-season all the way to the actual trade. (You can read the full article here.)
JULY 5, 2009: Yankee Stadium
Then-GM J.P. Ricciardi asks Halladay if he intends to sign another contract with the Jays or does he want to leave?
Halladay told Ricciardi he’d wait and see “where the Jays were after 2010.” If they had a strong finish, he would re-sign with Toronto. If not? Adios.
The Jays want infielder Gordon Beckham from the White Sox for Halladay.
The Cards say they will not include outfielder Colby Rasmus in a Halladay package.
The Dodgers say the Jays are asking for five or six of their best prospects.
The Jays ask for starter Derek Holland and first base prospect Justin Smoak from the Rangers.
The non-waiver trade deadline has passed and Halladay is still a Blue Jay.
Having replaced the fired Ricciardi as Jays GM eight days earlier, Anthopoulos summons Halladay as part of his one-on-ones with each player.
Halladay tells him: “I’ve always tried to do the right thing for this organization.
The new GM remembers Halladay as being “very apologetic,” but tells the pitcher he didn’t need to “apologize for anything.”
“Whether it was jumping on a plane in the winter to help us recruit a free agent, structure his contract (his salary went from $12.8 million in 2007 to $10 million in ’08) or anything else Halladay always did what was best for the club,” he said.
Kinda tragic. Anthopoulos seems like a cool guy.
There’s a ton more behind the scenes stuff, and it gets even more interesting when Elliott gets into the winter meetings, but you’ll have to go read it. Very good reporting and note keeping by Elliott.