|Halladay market heating up|
Written by Daniel Paulling (Contact & Archive) on November 25, 2009
Roy Halladay appears to be back on the trading block, and it seems the Red Sox want the ace badly. From a New York Daily News report by Mark Feinsand and Bill Madden:
The Red Sox are "putting on a full-court press" to acquire Roy Halladay, according to a source, and are hoping to add the former Cy Young winner to the top of their rotation to go with Josh Beckett and Jon Lester.
"They would love to get it wrapped up before the winter meetings (beginning Dec. 7)," the source said of the Red Sox, who made a big push to deal for Halladay last summer.
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.
There are several questions revolving around Halladay that must be examined.
1) How likely is it that the Blue Jays will move him?
Toronto had its opportunity to trade Halladay at the deadline this season, and it would've gotten much more in return then than it would now. The Blue Jays seemed desperate to move salary - they gave Alex Rios away for nothing - and it doesn't appear if they have a good chance to bring him back after this season.
The Blue Jays could always just offer arbitration to Halladay and take a first-round pick, as well as a sandwich pick (between the first and second rounds) when a larger market team chooses him. It doesn't appear as if a bad team, i.e. one that finishes with one of the worst 15 records next season, will splurge or have the money to splurge on Halladay.
So to trade Halladay, Toronto will need something better than two high draft picks, something like the 25th overall and 35th overall. The prospects it acquires definitely need to be developed. I think there is a very good chance the Blue Jays will move Halladay.
2) Will the Blue Jays trade Halladay within their division?
Toronto seemed reluctant to trade him to a team within its division last season, but that was one GM ago, a bit of desperation ago and might have been rumor more than truth. If the Blue Jays are reluctant dealing with Boston (or New York), it's certainly understandable. They're sending their best player to a large-market team that could supply him with the money to keep him for a long time.
In the end, I think the Blue Jays will want to trade him to another division, but if the Red Sox offer up Clay Buchholz and another quality prospect, that may be enough to land Halladay.
3) What does the market look like?
The Dodgers and Angels have been rumored in on Halladay, while the Yankees should make an effort to stop him from going to the Red Sox. The Yankees also have to worry about Andy Pettitte deciding to retire and the fact that they never truly had a fifth starter last season. If Pettitte retires, their rotation is Sabathia, Burnett, Chamberlain, Hughes and whatever Sergio Mitre-type they can dig up. That's definitely not too imposing.
The Blue Jays are obviously hoping for another team or two to get involved, but it doesn't seem like that's going to happen. The Cubs have too much salary to worry about, while there doesn't appear to be another team that can add Halladay's salary. The Mets have been discussed, but they are more likely to go the free agent route considering their weak farm system.
There could be a dark-horse candidate like the Rangers, but Halladay didn't seem like he wanted to go there at last year's trading deadline. His no-trade clause can make things difficult for the Blue Jays and steer him toward one team over another.