Report: Halladay, agent check into Philly hotel

According to a report by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Roy Halladay and his agent have checked into a Philadelphia hotel.

Could a trade between the Phillies and Jays be imminent?

It is not known if a trade sending Halladay to the Phillies is imminent, but if Halladay and the Phils are negotiating–as is indicated by the pitcher’s presence in Philadelphia–that would suggest that the Phils and Blue Jays are far enough along in talks for Halladay to discuss a potential contract extension with the Phils. Halladay has one year remaining on his contract before becoming a free agent.

The Phils have long been linked to Halladay, and were actively involved in trade talks last July, before the team acquired lefthander Cliff Lee from Cleveland.

Allow me to get ahead of myself for a moment: Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels…NL hitters everywhere just crapped themselves.

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Phillies: Jays want too much for Halladay

According to a report by the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Phillies can have Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay. All it would cost them is young major league pitcher J.A. Happ, top pitching prospect Kyle Drabek, high-ceiling outfield prospect Dominic Brown, the International Space Station, Citizens Bank Park, the moon, a fighter jet, an HD copy of Erin Andrews’ peephole video and a rare (never been heard) collection of Guns N’ Roses songs on vinyl.

Shockingly, the Phillies don’t want to part with all of that:

According to an executive of one team that has spoken with the Phillies’ brass, the Phillies are adamantly opposed to giving up both Happ and Drabek. There are indications they would like to substitute pitching prospect Carlos Carrasco for one of those two, preferably in place of the highly regarded Drabek.

Blue Jays officials have told other clubs that Philadelphia still hasn’t informed them it was unwilling to include both pitchers in a package for Holliday. But another source said the two sides are currently discussing “a list of seven or eight names” that will constitute the framework of a 3-for-1 or 4-for-1 deal.

Drabek, Happ and Brown are on that list, along with Carrasco, outfielder Michael Taylor, catcher Lou Marson and shortstop Jason Donald. It’s believed that hard-throwing Class A righthander Jason Knapp was also on the list at one time. But Knapp just went on the disabled list with “shoulder fatigue.” So, according to one source, talk about him has “cooled.”

Now that the Blue Jays have finished scouting the Phillies’ system, the two sides have reached the stage where they are swapping names back and forth, according to multiple sources.

What’s interesting about this situation is that it appears that both of these teams are somewhat close to striking a deal for Halladay. But Toronto is going to have to back off its demands a tad (maybe they don’t go after Drabek and the space station) in order to complete a deal.

A package of Happ, Carrasco and Brown for Halladay seems like a fair deal for both sides. It would still be a steep price to pay for Philadelphia, but Halladay is as close to a guarantee as you’re going to get and he would dramatically raise the Phillies’ chances at getting back to the World Series.

Ten Predictions for the MLB second half

The second half of the 2009 MLB season has kicked off and with that, I’m going to make some predictions that are sure to be proved wrong in a couple months.

Feel free to whip out your crystal ball in the comments section but before you do, please do everyone a favor and take off your favorite team prescribed glasses and be objective for once in your life, will ya?

1. The Blue Jays will trade Halladay…to the Phillies.
Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi is reminding everyone who will listen that he doesn’t absolutely need to trade Roy Halladay – which he doesn’t. But the bottom line is that he’ll probably get more in return for the “Doc” this season than he would next when Halladay is set to become a free agent after the 2010 season. And despite Ricciardi stating that he’s open to trading Halladay within the division, he’s not stupid. He’s not going to trade Halladay to the Red Sox or Yankees and risk becoming public enemy No. 1 in the eyes of Jays fans for not only getting rid of their best and most popular player, but also trading him to a division rival in the process. In the end, I think Ricciardi will trade Halladay to an NL team and my guess is that it will be Philadelphia that will eventually puts a package together to acquire him. Although they might balk at the $7 million that’s remaining on Halladay’s contract, the Phillies are built to win now and need more starting pitching to make another run at a World Series. They also have enough appealing prospects to entice Ricciardi to make a deal.

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