Better Trade Target: Halladay or Lee?

While most of the trade talk in Milwaukee has centered around Roy Halladay (the Brewers are still in that hunt, apparently), Tom Haudricourt had an interesting report yesterday noting that the Brewers have also been scouting Cleveland lefty Cliff Lee.

For a lot of reasons, Lee may make more sense for the Brewers than Halladay…but will the cost be any less?


Last year’s trade involving CC Sabathia worked out well for all
parties, which should help improve Doug Melvin’s relationship with
Cleveland GM Mark Shapiro.  Sabathia performed even better than
expected for the Brew Crew, while Matt LaPorta is sporting a .927 OPS
for the Tribe’s AAA affiliate this year.  Melvin has noted in the past
that he prefers to make trades that help both clubs, as ripping people
off is never good for fostering good will when it comes to future
trades.

We also know that there are other players in the Brewers’ system that
the Indians liked in a potential Sabathia deal last year before the two
clubs settled on a package.  Taylor Green, an infielder that was
believed to be on last year’s list of possible Players to be Named
Later, could be a possibility.  If the Brewers want to keep Green,
perhaps they’d be willing to move Brett Lawrie in a deal for Lee.

Both Lee and Halladay are under contract for the 2010 season, making
them more valuable than Sabathia was last year, but Lee may make more
financial sense for a team with a mid-level payroll like the Brewers. 
Halladay is due $15.75 million next season, has a full no-trade clause,
and reportedly has the right to void the last season of his deal if
he’s traded.  With Lee, however, the Brewers would only have to pay the
remainder of this year’s $5.75 million salary and they would also own
an $9 million club option for 2010 that would likely be picked up in a
heartbeat.

Toronto is reportedly asking the moon for Halladay, and rightfully so. 
Cleveland would likely demand something similar for Lee, and
personally, given the choice between the two, I’d prefer to get the
cheaper (and left-handed) ace if the Brewers are going to give up a
substantial package. 

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