Red Sox targeting Roy Halladay

According to a report by the New York Daily News, the Red Sox are targeting Blue Jays’ ace Roy Halladay.

If the Red Sox are serious about dealing for Halladay in the next two weeks, the Yankees will likely have their chance to get involved in the sweepstakes for the Blue Jays ace, although it will take a package of top prospects – as well as a sizeable contract extension for Halladay, who has a full no-trade clause – to get a deal done.

To land Halladay, Boston would likely have to give up Clay Buchholz, the organization’s top young pitcher, as well as Casey Kelly, the pitcher/shortstop who signed with the Red Sox in 2008 after being recruited by Tennessee to play quarterback. Red Sox GM Theo Epstein is said to be smitten with Kelly, which could be a sticking point in talks with Toronto if Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos insists on the 20-year-old being included in a deal.

The Yankees would love to acquire Halladay, although Cashman has been reluctant to deal away top prospects such as Austin Jackson and Jesus Montero for a player he would then have to sign for more than $100 million, such as Halladay. Toronto would also likely require either Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain in a deal.

Halladay, Josh Beckett and Jon Lester would form one of the best top 3’s in all of baseball. But is it worth it for Epstein to give up Buchholz and Kelly in a deal with no guarantees that Halladay will re-sign once he becomes a free agent at the end of the 2010 season? One would think that “The Doc” would want to re-sign with a contender like Boston, but again, there are no guarantees and Boston might lose a couple valuable prospects for just one year of Halladay.

We’ll see if this report has any teeth to it over the next couple of weeks. Storylines like these are created all the time around the winter meetings and some are just fabricated rumors.

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