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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Report: Angels enter Roy Halladay derby

According to Jon Heyman of, the Angels are interested in Blue Jays’ ace Roy Halladay, but only if he’s interested in agreeing to a long-term deal with them.

The Yankees, Red Sox and perhaps Phillies are among other teams interested in what’s expected to be a select group in the bidding for the Blue Jays superstar.

Executives with multiple teams interested say they believe Halladay’s value is enhanced if he’s willing to sign on long term, and that Toronto’s take will be diminished greatly if Halladay prefers to wait to sign until he becomes a free agent after the year. But the Angles are at least one team that will walk away from talks without a long-term deal in hand.

Halladay has a full no-trade clause and is known to want to go to a perennial winner. He is also believed to strongly prefer a team that trains in Florida, as his winter home is just outside Tampa. Halladay rejected the Rangers last year but could be slightly more open to the Angels. Halladay’s agent, Greg Landry, has said they will consider opportunities on a “case-by-cases basis.”

According to Heyman, Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos has said that he’s willing to consider trading Halladay within the division, which makes little sense. For a new GM to want to make a division opponent better sounds ridiculous, but if he receives a package that is too good to be true then he might have little choice.

If Anthopoulos is willing to deal within the division, the Yankees make sense. They obviously have the money to make Halladay happy long-term and the Bombers train in Tampa. But whether or not they have the package to entice Toronto is a whole other story.

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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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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.

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