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With Phillies landing Lee, are Sox frontrunner for Halladay?

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  July 29, 2009 03:16 PM

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With the Phillies aquiring lefthander Cliff Lee from the Indians and surely bowing out of the hunt for Toronto ace Roy Halladay, do the Red Sox become the favorite to land the 32-year-old former Cy Young Award winner?

Since Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi revealed that Halladay could be had in the right deal, the Phillies have long since been thought to be the logical landing spot. But the Red Sox were front and center on the Halladay rumor front yesterday when Yahoo! Sports' Gordon Edes amended an earlier report and wrote that the Sox have offered starting pitcher Clay Buchholz, a choice of first baseman Lars Anderson, pitcher Justin Masterson, or pitcher Michael Bowden, and other lesser prospects, for Toronto's workhorse righthander. If the Phillies are out of the running, it's possible that Ricciardi would turn his full attention to the Sox, though FoxSports's Ken Rosenthal notes that the Yankees might be lurking.

This afternoon, ESPN's Buster Olney reported that the Blue Jays were not close to trading Halladay. "All is quiet," a source familiar with Toronto's trade talks told Olney.

"We'd have to be wowed," Ricciardi told ESPN's Peter Gammons. "And we haven't been wowed."

While there is some skepticism about the Jays' willingness to trade Halladay within the division, the Boston Herald's Sean McAdam and Michael Silverman note this morning that while the Blue Jays have turned down a Red Sox proposal, the Sox have not turned down any proposals from Toronto.

There is some speculation that Halladay may remain in Toronto after the deadline passes, but as SI.com's Jon Heyman noted this morning, the Blue Jays aren't in the best financial state, and Ricciardi appears to be receiving relatively reasonable offers.

With the deadline a little more than a day away, we'll know soon enough which offers are legitimate -- and whether there is one Ricciardi intends on accepting. Stay tuned.

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