Why the Halladay deal will get done, plus more trade discussions
The Roy Halladay deadline passed, but execs still believe a deal will be made
The Phillies have Cliff Lee as a backup plan if they are unable to land Halladay
The Red Sox are targeting Victor Martinez and Adrian Gonzalez
Despite the self-imposed Blue Jays deadline of Tuesday, plus semi-regular predictions from Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi that Roy Halladay will remain a Blue Jay, Toronto is still in discussions with multiple teams, and many competing executives still believe Halladay will be dealt.
These execs still can't see the Jays taking it all the way to this point, only to do nothing in the end. And they don't necessarily see the Phillies getting folks' hope up there, and them doing nothing, either. (Though if the Phillies don't get Halladay, Cliff Lee remains a viable option for them, as well.)
If there are hurt feelings between the teams as they compete for the better end of the deal, execs with other teams see them both getting past it to work something out. So much work has been done, so many plans made. And as for Halladay, he may already have his bags packed, at least in a figurative sense.
"There's no putting the genie back in the bottle," one competing GM said.
There's pressure on the Jays, as Rogers Communications recently announced they were cost-cutting. And there's pressure on Philly, which badly wants to repeat as World Series winners. Word is that Phillies executive Pat Gillick and manager Charlie Manuel are stumping for Halladay, raising the possibility of a compromise offer.
Ricciardi seems to be quoted every other day saying a Halladay trade is "unlikely," or words to that effect. Yet, he hasn't said he's sticking to his original self-imposed Tuesday deadline. And talks appear to continue.
The Red Sox, Angels, Rangers, Brewers, Dodgers, Cardinals, Rays and Yankees are among teams to have inquired about Halladay. But most of those teams appear to be all but out of it now, including the Dodgers, Cardinals, Rays and Yankees. The Red Sox kept themselves in the mix by offering top pitching prospect Clay Buchholz, pitcher Michael Bowden and outfielder Ryan Westmoreland, according to Yahoo.com, and while that doesn't seem absurdly low, one competing GM insisted, "that won't get it done." The Angels also have exchanged names, though their reluctance to surrender shortstop Erick Aybar appears to be a sticking point for them, oddly enough.
Generally speaking, the recent reported offers seem to be getting close to reasonable. That's another reason a deal seems pretty likely.
Plus, Halladay's value will never be higher. He is the perfect pickup in that an acquiring team will have him for two cracks at a title but not be obligated to give him an extension. Halladay deserves credit for not making this about the money.
An impasse halted talks over the weekend with Philly, but competing execs still believe a compromise will be struck between the Jays' asking price of pitchers Kyle Drabek and J.A. Happ and outfielder Dominic Brown, and the Phillies' reported offer of pitchers Happ and Carlos Carrasco, outfielder Michael Taylor and shortstop Jason Donald.
How about Drabek and Happ alone? Or Happ, Donald, Carrasco and Brown?
Without Qualls and Wuertz, relief market would be worst ever
The Jays didn't make their deadline. But they are telling some teams that they want to focus on the Halladay situation before considering trades for their coveted relievers, including Scott Downs and Jason Frasor. In a weak relief market, their relievers are becoming very popular.
The Orioles' portly closer George Sherrill is another viable reliever, but one executive said that will be an "overpay." The Dodgers and Angels are among teams looking at Sherrill, with the Dodgers pressing hard.
The Diamondbacks appear to be leaning toward keeping Chad Qualls, while the A's are saying the same about Michael Wuertz. Normally, that wouldn't be a big deal. But in this barren market, it seems like it.
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