Phillies acquire Halladay to extend championship window

Part of the INSIDE PITCH series
Written by: Craig Muder

Roy Halladay wanted a chance to win. The Philadelphia Phillies wanted a shot at another World Series title.

The two desires converged perfectly on Dec. 16, 2009, when the Phillies acquired Halladay from the Blue Jays in exchange for prospects Travis D’Arnaud, Kyle Drabek and Michael Taylor.

“I think the older you get, the longer you play in your career, the more important (playing in the Postseason) becomes,” Halladay told the Associated Press the day after the trade when he was introduced in Philadelphia. “This is where I wanted to be.”

Halladay had indicated during the 2009 season – his 12th with the Blue Jays – that he was eager for a chance to appear in the Postseason.

Toronto had only once finished as high as second in the AL East in Halladay’s stellar career which to that point featured 148 wins, six All-Star Game selections and the 2003 AL Cy Young Award.

“Roy is known as the best pitcher in baseball and will have instant respect,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel told AP.

“He’s a No. 1, a blue chipper, and I expect him to stabilize our pitching staff. He’ll have a big presence in our clubhouse.”

To make room for Halladay, the Phillies traded another former Cy Young Award winner – Cliff Lee – to the Mariners on the same day as the Halladay trade, receiving prospects Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies and JC Ramírez from the Mariners. It marked the first time in history that two Cy Young Award winners were traded on the same day.

The Phillies had won the World Series in 2008 and the National League pennant in 2009, but lost to the Yankees in the World Series in the latter year. Halladay immediately established himself as the ace of a staff that also included Cole Hamels and Jamie Moyer, winning 21 games in 2010 and capturing his second Cy Young Award.

In his first-ever Postseason game in the NLDS, Halladay no-hit the Reds -- authoring the second no-hitter in Postseason history following Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series. The Phillies advanced to the NLCS, but lost in six games to a Giants team that went on to win the Fall Classic.

The next season, the Phillies again restocked their rotation – this time bringing back Lee as a free agent while retaining Roy Oswalt, who was acquired in a trade during the 2010 season.

Halladay went 19-6 in 2011, but the Phillies lost to the eventual World Series champion Cardinals in the NLDS – with Halladay’s friend Chris Carpenter outdueling him in a 1-0 loss in the deciding Game 5.

By 2012, injuries began to catch up with the 35-year-old Halladay, and the Phillies run of five straight NL East titles came to an end.

Halladay retired after the 2013 season with a record of 203-105, a 3.38 ERA and 67 complete games.

Halladay died in a plane crash on Nov. 7, 2017.

He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2019.


Craig Muder is the director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

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Part of the INSIDE PITCH series