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Halladay shopping

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  November 25, 2009 10:17 AM

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The New York Daily News had it first, the news that the Red Sox are making a push for Roy Halladay.

The price would start with Clay Buchholz and Casey Kelly, which sounds about right in terms of expectations. There probably would be another prospect or two involved.

Toronto has little choice but to trade Halladay, who has no intention of remaining there once his contract runs out. With one year left on his deal, now is the time to move him. Toronto is not a contender and waiting until July only lowers his trade value.

The question the Red Sox (and the Yankees for that matter) must answer is whether the 33-year-old Halladay is worth the price in terms of prospects and the contract extension he likely will demand to waive his no-trade rights.

Both teams have invested effort and financial resources in rebuilding what were inefficient farm systems. To be sure, part of the reason for doing that is to assemble trade chips. But Buchholz and Kelly were first-rounders who cost the Sox $3.8 million to sign. These are pitchers who could form the core of the rotation for 7-10 years.

The best way to combat the Yankees and their $200 million payroll is through player development.

But this is Roy Halladay, a low-maintenance ace with a proven AL East track record. It's a heck of a debate. I think Halladay is worth the price. A rotation of Halladay, Lester, Beckett and Matsuzaka would be better than what the Yankees have right now.

I'll be on The Sports Hub (98.5 FM) around 11:40 a.m. talking about it with Gary Tanguay and Scott Zolak.

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