Seeing how the Jays have brought back Gibbons for a second go around have made me nostalgic for another person to come back to the Jays... you guessed it - Roy Halladay.
Back then, the Jays were stuck in mediocrity, Roy was entering his last year and made it clear that he wants to win. Philly had a contending team put together with high ceiling prospects to spare as well. Fast forward to the present, however, and its quite eerie how the tables have turned for the two teams. Phillies, and also Halladay himself, stunk it up pretty badly last year and are no longer considered the favourites to win the NL East. It reached the point where extension talks for him have been shelved. If their team get off to another slow start, and the Jays are in contention, who here would be opposed to bringing in Halladay for a postseason run?
Halladay isn't without risk, given his age, salary and injury problems last year. Chances are he wont be an ace-level pitcher anymore, but would still make for a solid #2 or 3 in other rotations. it makes sense for both teams (jays and phillies) to wait until midseason to explore this trade - Jays need to see whether or not Halladay still have anything left in the tank, while Phillies may want to keep Halladay if they're playing well/are still in contention. If the stars do align though.. I think a trade around a package like this would work pretty well for both parties:
Blue Jays trade:
Drew hutchison/Kyle Drabek.. whichever is healthy.
+fillers (some of our lower level pitcher(s), depends on whether halladay is back to ace form or just a mere mortal)
Post TJ surg pitcher + high ceiling/tools but raw CF + young catcher of future.. sounds familiar right?
Seriously though, Phillies unload 2 veterans on their walk years in exchange for a long term answer at catcher, a good prospect in OF for when whoever they sign for CF this summer gets old/slow, and a young, major league ready pitcher to step in. Jays get an upgrade at catcher for their playoff run, and Ruiz would make for a great stopgap until D'Arnaud is ready. Hutchison dont really have a place in the Jays rotation after our big trade and is certainly expendable if the return is a playoff tested/front of rotation starter. As an added bonus, Roy will probably go into the hall as a Jay if we make the playoffs with him!