Tuesday, November 3, 2009
The Alex Anthopolous Game Plan
By Ian Hunter
He's been in the midst of attempting to rebuild this team, solidifying the coaching staff last week and now the next thing on Anthopoulos' agenda is the players.
Last week on Primetime Sports, Paul Beeston assured us that fans would have a better idea of what kind of expectations when it comes to total payroll by the end of this week. It looks like he and AA just might deliver in time before next week's General Manger's meetings.
Anthopolous dropped a few sound bytes about particular free agents and whether or not they would return next year. John McDonald, Rod Barajas and Marco Scutaro were names that he mentioned and could not say whether or not they would be back next year.
My suspicion is that at least two out of those three players will leave via free agency, with Johnny Mac almost certainly out the door. It simply doesn't make sense to pay John McDonald over $2 million dollars a year to play 30 games at shortstop
Of course the giant, glaring elephant in the room that Alex Anthopolous needs to address is what to do with Roy Halladay. Whatever happens with this team in the next 3-5 years basically hinges on whether or not Doc is traded this off season.
The longer that time goes on and the more and more that Roy Halladay sees his former teammate A.J. Burnett pitching in the World Series, perhaps he's developing a little bit of resentment towards the organization that has failed to make the playoffs the past sixteen years.
Not only would Halladay be looking for a winning team, but he could very easily find a suitor that would be willing to pay top dollar for him. Regardless of whether the Phillies win the World Series, many teams have seem the impact that adding an ace like Cliff Lee to the pitching staff can do to solidify themselves as a contender.
Teams like the Dodgers and Angels will be looking for that added insurance to get them over the hump, and Roy Halladay could be that player who gets them over the edge.
We will have to wait and see if that happens under the watch of Alex Anthopoulos, or if Doc just walks away via free agency at the end of 2010. Either way, the gears of change are in motion and things in Toronto are going to look a lot different next year.