Thus far, no pitch for Halladay
Ricciardi fielding calls on Jays’ ace
As of late yesterday afternoon the Red Sox were not one of the teams that had inquired about the cost for Toronto ace Roy Halladay. While they might eventually inquire what it would take to land Halladay, as they did with Johan Santana last offseason, for now they don’t seem to be a major player for one of the premier righthanders in the game.
Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi said yesterday that he’d already received “several calls’’ on Halladay a day after the GM said he was willing to listen to offers.
“It would take a lot for us to part with him,’’ Ricciardi said. “We’ve gotten a lot of calls from teams, but none of them are telling us at this point what they’re willing to give up.
“If you’re coming at us with a ‘B’ list of young players, don’t bother. This is one of the five best players in baseball. It’s going to take a significant package of players for us to even listen.
“As the teams call, we’ll go through the ones we feel are the serious ones and then we’ll start scouting their farm systems to see if there’s anything we can do.’’
The Phillies, Yankees, Dodgers, Angels, and others undoubtedly covet Halladay. Ricciardi probably would like to avoid trading him within the division, but he appears open to anything. Philadelphia appears to be the most ardent pursuer so far, but there will be a lot of suitors, especially as the trading deadline nears and teams are scrambling.
Two “sleeper’’ teams could be Milwaukee and St. Louis. The Brewers have left room to obtain an ace, much as they did a year ago when they acquired CC Sabathia. The Cardinals also are enamored with Halladay and would make themselves the virtual favorite in their division if they could couple Halladay with Chris Carpenter.
The Red Sox may be saving what chips they have to obtain a hitter. They will wait until later in the month to see how Mike Lowell has fared after the Synvisc injection he received. He’s currently on the disabled list, resting his sore hip. Lowell has begun to work out and should be ready to play after the All-Star break.
Ricciardi, asked whether he felt he would make a Halladay deal before the July 31 deadline, said, “My gut feeling is no we won’t because there aren’t too many teams out there who are willing to give us the significant package of prospects we would need to make this go. Teams protect their prospects.’’
Ricciardi also said he doesn’t think making Halladay available is sending any message to his team. The Jays are 43-43, nine games out in the East after last night’s 10-9 loss to the Rays. In other divisions they would be in the race.
Sox GM Theo Epstein did not respond to an inquiry about Halladay.
Lowrie likely will end up in Triple A Pawtucket for a while. The Sox have not yet been willing to eat veteran Julio Lugo’s contract, with the possibility they could work out a trade between now and the 31st.
With Nick Green still playing well at short, there was no need to rush Lowrie back.
The Sox had to make room on the 40-man roster, so they designated injured outfielder Jonathan Van Every for assignment. Van Every is out for the season after knee surgery.
Nick Cafardo can be reached at email@example.com.