After yesterday's revelation by Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi that he will listen to offers for ace Roy Halladay, it was tempting for Red Sox fans to daydream about acquiring the 32-year-old former Cy Young Award winner for a package of prospects.
Halladay-Beckett-Lester-Penny-Wakefield . . . go ahead and print those World Series tickets now.
As the rumors and speculation regarding Halladay begin to trickle in, the consensus seems to be that the Red Sox might be on a short list of potential suitors for the workhorse righthander, who has a no-trade clause. But the Philadelphia Phillies are perceived as the front-runner, and there are mixed opinions on what the Sox' level of interest might be.
One thing is certain, according to ESPN's Peter Gammons -- the Jays will be looking for a windfall of talent in return for Halladay, who is 10-2 with a 2.79 ERA this season.
"Look, we have Halladay through 2010, he makes us a contender with the young pitching we have, then we get two draft picks," Ricciardi told Gammons. "So anyone who comes to us with two young players -- that's the equivalent of the draft picks -- we'd need something else and something else and something else and something else.
"That doesn't mean we're going to trade him. But we'll listen to what people have to say."
Gammons, while noting that the Sox are pursuing former Jays shortstop Russ Adams, who was designated for assignment recently, says the Red Sox are less likely to pursue Halladay than are the Yankees. He also cites the Phillies, White Sox, and Dodgers as possible trade partners, though Los Angeles is unlikely to part with prized lefty Clayton Kershaw.
Halladay chatter elsewhere:
- On his always-informative Twitter feed this morning, SI.com's Jon Heyman reports that Halladay gave the Jays the "go-ahead to find a trade for him," nothing that a friend of the pitcher's believes he would approve a deal to Boston, New York, or Philadelphia. Heyman also notes that a baseball executive doesn't believe the Jays will trade Halladay to an American League East rival such as the Red Sox or Yankees, even though Ricciardi said he would consider the possibility.
- The New York Daily News's Mark Feinsand is skeptical that Halladay will be dealt within the division, and suggests the Yankees wouldn't want to part with the prospects it would take to bring him to the Bronx.
(Quick question: Do the Yankees even have the prospects it would take? You'd have to figure Joba Chamberlain is untouchable. Maybe Phil Hughes would be a starting point.)
- The Phillies, with interesting cache of prospects at the higher levels and the desperate need for an ace with Cole Hamels struggling, might be the most logical landing spot. One scout told the Philadelphia Inquirer's Jim Salisbury, ""He's the best pitcher in baseball. "He'd win 27 games in the National League."
But another scout who isn't sold on the Phillies' farmhands tells Salisbury he believes Halladay will end up in Anaheim or Boston.
"The Phillies don't have enough," the scout said.
- Old friend Gordon Edes suggests the Jays should have dealt Halladay last year, when the economic outlook wasn't so bleak.
- The Angels have been tracking Halladay's availability for a while, but the price may be too steep, writes the Times's Mike DiGiovanna.