Phillies emerging as the favorite to acquire Halladay?’s Tom Verducci writes that the Phillies are the emerging favorite to acquire Blue Jays’ ace Roy Halladay.

After almost a decade in which democracy ruled in the NL, Philadelphia is becoming the Yankees of its league: the king who wants more. Already the two-time league champion, the Phillies, given their aggressiveness and stockpile of young talent, are emerging as the favorite to land Toronto ace Roy Halladay. Anybody want to pick against the Phillies being the NL’s first three-peat champ since the 1942-44 Cardinals if Cole Hamels is their number three pitcher behind Halladay and Cliff Lee?

“They’ve been very aggressive,” one baseball source said about the Phillies’ pursuit of Halladay. “They’re putting together a package, even if they need another team. They’re trying to find the players [on other teams] the Blue Jays want to get it done.”

Hmm, one day the Angels are the frontrunners and now the Phillies are. The biggest storyline of the MLB winter meetings is only getting more intriguing.

This is an interesting report because on one hand, a rotation of Halladay, Lee and Hamels would be unbelievable and would make Philadelphia the perennial favorite to repeat as NL champions. But on the other hand, do they really want to give up more of their farm system?

The other question is whether or not they would sign Halladay to a long-term deal if they did acquire him. It wouldn’t make much sense to trade away most of your farm to acquire Halladay for just one season, would it?

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Report: Angels make offer to Blue Jays for Roy Halladay

According to a report by the Toronto Sun, the Angels have offered starting pitcher Joe Saunders, shortstop Erick Aybar and outfielder Peter Bourjos to the Blue Jays for ace Roy Halladay.

For the second day in succession the Angels are the lead team in the chase for Halladay, a year away from free agency.

And unless someone steps up with a better offer could the Angels wind up with Halladay? Will Halladay report to a west coast team which has spring training in Arizona?

“Let me ask you this,” said one major league executive, “do you think that the Angels would be running through hoops, having one conversation after another with the Jays and not know whether Halladay would report to Los Angeles?”
Good point.

The Angels are also in on free agents John Lackey, Jason Bay and Matt Holliday.

For the past three seasons, the Angels have made the postseason and have yet to even sniff a World Series appearance (although last year they did push the Yankees to a Game 7 in the ALDS). Thus, it would make sense that they’re trying to load up in efforts to match the Yankees and contend for a title next season.

As the article points out, the question now becomes whether or not Halladay would want to join a club that holds their spring training in Arizona instead of Florida. It has become public knowledge that Halladay wants to go to a team that trains in Florida, because his home is in Tampa.

That said, if Halladay truly wants to play for a contender, this might be his best and most realistic shot.

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Halladay puts the squeeze on the Jays

Roy Halladay’s message to the Blue Jays is simple: Either deal me before spring training or get nothing in return for my services when I walk at the end of the season.

Halladay’s people recently informed the Jays that he would not accept a trade after he reports to spring training this season. So if the club had plans to trade him before the trade deadline to a desperate buyer willing to give up more in a package deal, then they should think again.

This is power move by Halladay, who doesn’t want to spend another second in Toronto if he doesn’t have to. If he knows he’ll eventually be traded, he might as well force a deal before the season so he can get acclimated to his new team from Day 1 of spring training.

On the other side, this could either be a great thing for the Blue Jays or a terrible one. Sometimes when teams wait to trade a marquee player, they get less at the deadline than they would have in the offseason. While it’s true other clubs are more desperate at the deadline, GMs will know that the Jays want to trade Halladay and may try to low ball them in terms of offers.

On the other hand, if new GM Alex Anthopoulos can’t pull the trigger on a deal before the deadline and Halladay sticks to his guns, then there’s a big chance that Toronto will get nothing in return for the ace.

With this move, Halladay just amp’ed up the intrigue surrounding this situation.

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Halladay would approve trade to Yankees

According to a report by Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun, Roy Halladay would approve a deal to the Yankees.

It always has been a possibility. Now that chance has been upgraded.

“I don’t know who Toronto will wind up with,” a major league executive said yesterday. “I don’t know when he is going and I don’t know where he’s going.

“But I do know that Halladay has told the Jays he’ll approve a trade to the Yankees.”

The unknown wild card in any Halladay talks, as it was prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline when then general manager J.P. Ricciardi attempted to move his best starter, has been Halladay.

Halladay has a full no-trade clause in his contract, but it would likely take a haul to get him in a deal from Toronto. The Yankees certainly have the money to make Halladay happy, but can they put together a package intriguing enough to entice the Jays?

That said, Halladay has already stated that he has no interest in re-signing with the Jays and with that in mind, Toronto could be more apt to take a lesser deal so that they get something for “The Doc” before he bolts at the end of the year.

This situation will be the most intriguing storyline of the year next season.

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Report: Tigers could have had Halladay?

According to a report by Lynn Henning of the Detroit News, the Blue Jays wanted starter Rick Porcello, Ryan Perry and Casey Crosby from the Tigers in exchange for ace Roy Halladay but Detroit declined.

Porcello is a 20-year-old right-hander who is 9-7 with a 4.62 ERA and likely will draw votes for American League rookie of the year.

Perry, 22, another right-hander, was the Tigers’ first-round draft pick in 2008 and has pitched effectively out of the bullpen for manager Jim Leyland’s club. His ERA is 3.90, but 1.80 since his recent recall from the minors.

Crosby, 20, was the Tigers’ fifth-round draft pick in 2007 and is regarded as perhaps its top minor league prospect. He is a left-hander who pitches at Class A West Michigan, where he is 8-3 with a 2.92 ERA.

Let’s operate under the assumption that this report is true. Why wouldn’t the Tigers pull the trigger on a deal like this? I understand that Porcello, Perry and Crosby would have been quite a steep price to pay, but the Tigers have a solid pitching rotation and adding an arm like Halladay would have given them an opportunity to compete for a World Series.

The postseason is all about who can compile the best four-man rotation and Detroit could have had a quartet of Halladay, Justin Verlander, Edwin Jackson and Armando Galarraga. Granted, Galarraga would have been a weak link, but Tiger opponents would still have had to deal with a top three of Halladay, Verlander and Jackson in a seven-game series. That rotation, coupled with a solid lineup, could have potentially lifted the Tigers back to the World Series for the second time in four years. (That’s not to say that the Tigers can’t compete for a World Series without Halladay, but you get the point.)

With baseball transforming back into a young man’s game, I respect that the Tigers want to hang onto their youth. But Halladay is damn near a guarantee, which can’t be said for the three prospects Detroit would have had to give up. Plus, with Halladay not set to become a free agent until after the 2010 season, if the Tigers weren’t satisfied with the trade, they could have flipped the “Doc” next year and got prospects (not those prospects, but prospects) back.

I just don’t understand why the Tigers wouldn’t take a chance and pull the trigger on a deal like this. It could have been the difference from winning the AL Central and winning the AL Pennant.

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