|Jays willing to trade Halladay|
Written by At Home Plate Staff (Contact & Archive) on July 07, 2009
Roy Halladay has been placed on the trade market, writes Buster Olney of ESPN.com.
Toronto Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi has spoken with Roy Halladay and prepared him for the possibility that he will bring trade possibilities to the pitcher in the weeks or months ahead.
Halladay, 32, has a no-trade clause that will allow him to dictate whether he will be dealt before he becomes eligible for free agency next fall.
"He's open to at least listening," said Ricciardi. "He's not going to be a guy who will let you do all the work [preparing for a possible trade], and then he's not willing to listen. If it makes sense, he will listen."
It's hard to argue Halladay isn't one of the best two pitchers in the American League and the best pitcher theoretically available on the trade market this season. Jake Peavy is also out there, assuming everything goes well in his rehabilitation from an ankle injury.
Roy Oswalt could be out there, considering the Astros don't really need a pitcher of his caliber, while Jarrod Washburn, Erik Bedard and Matt Cain have been bandied about as potential trade targets.
The sheer number of quality pitchers available (at least in name) would likely dampen the trade value for all of them. Furthermore, with the financial situations around the Major Leagues such as they are, it would be difficult to swing a deal for a high-priced ace locked up for multiple years or bring yourself to trade decent prospects for a pitcher who could be a free agent soon.
The list of teams that could use Halladay includes the Yankees, Mets, Brewers, Dodgers, Angels, Red Sox, White Sox, Cubs and Rangers.
It would be difficult to fathom a situation in which the Yankees or Red Sox would A) Part with their top prospects when they wouldn't do so for Johan Santana, a pitcher at least slightly better than Halladay and B) Trade the required young players to a team within their division. (Conversely, it seems difficult to imagine a situation in which the Blue Jays would trade one of the few best pitchers in the Major Leagues to a team they would play often every season.)
The Rangers have the best mix of prospects they could send back, but they have serious financial limitations and are reluctant to move prospects. The Mets have the opposite problem: They could afford Halladay, but they don't have the high-end prospects needed to trade for him. Consider the White Sox and Cubs in the same category as the Mets: definite need, some money, but not enough to get Halladay.
The Brewers are a team that would most need him, considering Ryan Braun's prescient comments about the team needing another pitcher. The Brewers dealt for CC Sabathia to help their stretch run last season, but they are reluctant to part with shortstop Alcides Escobar or third baseman Mat Gamel, both highly touted prospects.
It would seem the Blue Jays would want at least one of those players in return.
That leaves the Angels, Phillies and Dodgers. All three teams could use an innings-eating ace. The Dodgers are likely to stay put at the deadline, considering their huge lead in the National League West division and quality pitching they've already received this season.
The Angels have been reluctant to deal their young players, even though some of them are just riding the bench with the big league club. They have the need with a tight division race in the American League West, as well as the lack of front-end pitching on the team.
John Lackey definitely doesn't have the same stuff as he did last season, while Ervin Santana is lacking some stuff and Jared Weaver isn't going to continue this success for the remainder of the season.
Angels owner Arte Moreno has been willing to spend money and with both Lackey and Vladimir Guerrero coming off the books after this season, he could afford to have a staff ace to build around.
The Phillies definitely have the biggest need with Jamie Moyer acting his age and Brett Myers likely out for the season. They have the prospects to make a move, but their financial situation may leave them looking for a lower-level pitcher rather than someone of Halladay's caliber.
But the best guess (at least for now) is that Halladay remains with the Blue Jays. J.P. Ricciardi is likely to be less than excited by the offers he's presented with and considering the economic situation, despite the clear quality of Halladay's stuff, it'll be a challenge to acquire him before the July 31 trading deadline.