Dodgers enter race for Halladay; Jays freezing out Yankees, Red Sox
While the Phillies remain almost everyone's favorite to land superstar pitcher
Executives familiar with the trade talks say Jays people told the Yankees and Red Sox that they prefer to deal Halladay -- if he's dealt at all -- to a team outside their division. Further proving their point, the Jays haven't followed up recently on a Yankees call expressing interest 10 days ago.
Even after their just-completed signing of the Cooperstown-bound
But while Phillies GM
"This trade is going to have to hurt somebody,'' another executive with an interested team maintained.
One Jays-connected person suggested at the start that the Jays actually may not insist on Drabek due to his past arm trouble (he had Tommy John surgery) and a reputation for cockiness. But while the Phillies have a deep reserve of prospects and young players (pitchers
The Dodgers have a bevy of talented young players who could interest the Jays. The potential issue for the Dodgers is that most of those young players are already producing at the big-league level and contributing to the team that has held baseball's best record almost from the start of the season. "(The Jays) would want something from the Dodgers' major-league roster,'' one competing executive opined
The Dodgers surely wouldn't want to subtract from their rotation by offering ace pitcher
The Angels are focused on pitching and remain interested in Halladay, but their top prospects, infielders
Some executives privately question whether the Jays can get enough to justify dealing a true ace, but rare is the time when a team dangles such a star only to pull him back. Though two executives still flat out said on Thursday they don't believe Halladay will be dealt. Halladay's comments at the All-Star break seemed to indicate he is willing to go to team with a better chance at the postseason, and he himself put the chances for a deal at 50-50. His mention of wanting to try hitting in the National League was especially interesting. Would the Jays prefer to exclude the entire AL?
It's a tough call for the Jays either way.
"It's a negative if they trade him, and a negative of they don't,'' one competing executive said.
The Jays apparently think things will get a little too negative around Toronto if they deal him to the archrival Yankees or Red Sox. While teams are generally leery to deal a star within the division, in this case it would be especially painful since the Jays perennially have to peer up at the big-market Yankees and Red Sox in the standings.
Though it would take a haul for anyone to acquire Halladay (Toronto is said to be asking for four prime prospects, including two who will be big-league ready by next year), the Jays apparently aren't now insisting that any acquiring team take on
While the Yankees remain interested, one more major factor looms as an impediment to a deal. The Yankees are reluctant to "gut their system,'' according to one rival executive. The Yankees could easily form a nice trade package by including one of two young talented right-handers --
However, the Yankees and Red Sox -- who have coveted young pitchers
The Dodgers already have one of the best pitching staffs in baseball -- statistically speaking, anyway. But they are looking for relief now. And their excellent performance thus far also won't prevent them from trying to enhance their playoff rotation with a major pitching pickup, which explains why Halladay and
Of course, L.A. will have stiff competition for Halladay, and Lee's chances to be dealt still appear remote. One person familiar with the Indians' thinking said they are even more reluctant to trade Lee than beloved slugger
If Halladay and Lee can't be had, it's possible the Dodgers could consider one of two Seattle starters --
• Top Red Sox pitching prospect
• Buchholz also heads every other team's list of preferred trade targets. But there are others. One competing executive said regarding the Red Sox's ability to produce prospects, "They are a machine.''
• The Yankees tried to trade for
• Francoeur's popularity was on display during his return to Atlanta with the Mets Thursday night, as he received a very nice ovation, with many standing, despite a year and a half of horrific production at the plate.
• Brewers upper management seems disappointed by the team's first half. Their fine owner,
• The Nats may have new personnel and a new manager, but the result was the same in
• Good move by
• Congrats to
• Business is booming for the Beverly Hills Sports Council, the longtime agency of
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