May 02, 2009

Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi identified his asking price if he were ever to consider trading star pitcher Roy Halladay in an interview today, and he pretty much summed it up in one word: Boatload.

The Jays are defying critics by leading the stacked AL East with a 16-9 record despite a boatload of injuries to the pitching staff. So while Halladay -- who's 5-1 with a 3.68 ERA and considered among the top two or three pitchers in baseball -- remains the most desirable pitcher who could conceivably become available, he may never actually hit the market at all.

"I don't think we're in the market to do that at this point. We like our team next year with Halladay,'' Ricciardi said.

"If we ever did get to that point,'' the GM added, "we'd want a boatload. And I don't know whether anyone would offer a boatload. But obviously, we're not at that point.''

Halladay pitched the Jays into the divisional lead with an 8-4 victory over the Orioles on Friday night. Despite rotation injuries to Dustin McGowan and Shaun Marcum (who could be back in August, according to Ricciardi) and more recent injuries to Casey Janssen, Jesse Litsch andRicky Romero, the Jays are leading what's generally considered baseball's best division.

About that, Ricciardi said, "We're keeping our feet. It's a long year, and a tough division.''

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