Concerned about fan backlash, Blue Jays could end up keeping Halladay
When teams start down the tricky path of shopping a superstar, they rarely turn back, and the superstar usually goes somewhere else eventually. However, executives who have spoken to the Blue Jays' management team of acting president
Jays higher-ups have suggested to executives with other teams within the past day or two that they are concerned about the fan backlash in Toronto, which apparently has been significant enough for them to take note.
In the meantime, though, Jays people continue to talk to interested teams, telling them they seek two big-time prospects who'll be major-league ready by next year, including a prime hitter, and two very good prospects who are further away from the bigs.
Competing executives also seem to believe the Jays' distinct preference would be to send Halladay to the National League, and almost definitely not the Yankees or Red Sox. According to one executive with an interested team, the Phillies, Giants and Angels appear to be the three most likely winners of the Halladay derby. But that's just a guess, and it's very early in the game -- three weeks remain in the possible sale of baseball's best pitcher.
Both the Yankees and Mets have talked to Blue Jays higher-ups. Cardinals general manager
While the Rangers may be in a better position than anyone to make such a move in terms of possessing the types of prospects required, their ownership is in such dire straits financially that their participation in talks may well be moot. Rangers owner
The Phillies, who are negotiating with Cooperstown-bound pitcher
But while it may seem odd that teams can make untouchable young players who have accomplished nothing beyond nice minor-league stats while the Jays are making available the majors' best pitcher, executives say deals can still be fashioned without the top prospect or two being included if teams have very deep systems. For instance, in the case of Texas' trade of
For Halladay, theoretically Texas could try to do a deal without its top two prospects (Feliz and
A suggestion's been made that the Blue Jays might ask any acquiring team to also accept the onerous contract of underproductive center fielder
If any team agreed to take Wells with Halladay, the Jays "would do it in a minute," one executive with an interested team opined.
Another executive characterized the Jays' chances to unload Wells in two words: "No shot."
Martinez is talking to the Phillies about a contract for the rest of the year after impressing them in a throwing session Tuesday, and his longtime agent
One report out of the Dominican was that the sides already had an agreement for $4 million, but people involved in the talks said that was premature. Cuza's good (he signed shortstop whiz
Lately the Rangers have been the second team with the most consistent interest in Martinez, but it's questionable whether they could afford even a half year of Pedro now.
• Mets people met this week to discuss their top prospects, and which ones might be worth holding on to (though they generally believe it would be fruitless to mortgage the future now, with the team fading and so beat up). They like pitchers
• Mets manager
• Still no timetable for
• The deal-making Pirates still have
• The Mariners, who are enjoying surprising success this season, have put off selling for a while as they gauge where they stand. If they do sell, pitchers
• Good news on Mariners third baseman
• The Mariners just signed sandwich pick and Miami high school catcher
• Unheralded first-half hero: Mariners pitching coach
• Venezuelan third-base hotshot
• Great call by
• Congrats to
• Rickey is one of baseball's all-time great characters. And speaking of characters, I get 140 of 'em at a time on Twitter. I can be followed at