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Source: Jays won't let teams negotiate with Halladay

Posted by Tony Massarotti, Globe Staff  July 13, 2009 06:02 PM

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In the midst of all the Roy Halladay speculation, there is something you should know: Any team acquiring Halladay probably would not be able to negotiate with him until after a trade were complete.

According to a baseball source, the Toronto Blue Jays will not allow any interested team to negotiate with a player should a trade be agreed upon prior to the July 31 trading deadline. In some cases, teams shopping a player like Halladay will allow interested clubs to negotiate with the player prior to formalizing a trade. In this case, the Jays have no such intention.

Halladay, 32, is currently signed through the end of next season. Part of the reason the Jays would not allow an acquiring club to negotiate is because the new team already would have nearly a year and a half to negotiate with the player.

Widely regarded as one of the best pitchers in baseball, Halladay has no-trade language in his contract that might have allowed him to leverage an extension if and when the Jays elected to trade him. That scenario is precisely what unfolded in November 2003, when the Red Sox acquired Curt Schilling in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Schilling, who was signed for just one more season at the time, eventually received a two-year extension through 2006 with an option for 2007 that vested when the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series.

Halladay currently is earning a base salary of $14.25 million and is due to earn $15.75 million next season. The Jays are demanding a package of multiple top shelf prospects in exchange for his services. That price could be even higher if the Blue Jays traded Halladay to the Red Sox or Yankees, both of whom reside with the Blue Jays in the American League East.

Halladay addressed his current position and a possible trade today in St. Louis, where he was named the American League starter for tomorrow's All-Sar Game.

"It's [Toronto] somewhere I enjoy being ... where I've spent all of my career," Halladay said. "As a player there's that will to win and do it in October. I would like that chance. I'm not saying it won't be Toronto. What's best for the organization ... but it has been tough because I enjoy Toronto so much. You'd like to be three games up and not have to deal with this."

The Globe's Nick Cafardo contributed to this report.

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