The latest word from a source familiar with Philadelphia's thinking is that the front-running Phillies have decided they will not include top pitching prospect
Philadelphia has a bevy of respectable prospects, but opinions around baseball vary as to how decent the deal might be for Toronto without the inclusion of Drabek. The two teams have been discussing prospects, including outfielder
Meanwhile, the Jays were getting nowhere with the Mets, whose interest in Halladay may be tempered by the fact that they aren't exactly in the thick of the race. Sources indicate that the Mets rebuffed a request of top outfield prospect
The point may be moot since Halladay, who has suggested it's time for him to try to win, might not be eager to accept a trade to a team such as the Mets that is nine games out in its division while also trailing eight other teams in the wild-card race. Mets execs understand that, considering their dreadful injury situation, their team isn't just one player away this year. However, one important thing Halladay could do for the Mets is help them change the season's dreary story of pain and suffering, if only for a while.
The Giants, Brewers, Dodgers, Angels, Rangers, Red Sox, White Sox and Tigers are among Halladay pursuers with a better chance at the playoffs than the Mets. As is the case with the Mets, the Angels are yet another team that is said to be reluctant to trade their best prospects, which has been their way for a long time. The same appears to be the case for the Red Sox, who are absolutely stacked with pitching prospects. All teams are starting to put an extreme premium on their better prospects, as well, so moving Halladay, who is arguably baseball's best pitcher (it's either him or
Halladay seems ready to go judging by his remarks at the All-Star Game in St. Louis, making the situation somewhat stickier. As an acquaintance of Halladay said, "For him to be so forthright (in St. Louis), he's emotionally gone. He's a very guarded person. If he wasn't going in his mind, he'd just say, let's talk about the All-Star Game."
That acquaintance said he believed Halladay favors winning first but would also prefer to train in Florida (he lives in Dunedin, Fla., the Jays' spring home, so the Phillies and Yankees would be most convenient). He also said that while Halladay prefers quiet, the acquaintance doesn't see how he'd rebuff an attempt to go to the Phillies, Red Sox or Yankees if given the chance. That person also saw the Cardinals, with Halladay's great friend
But if the trade offers don't improve, Halladay might not have a chance to make the call. One person with the Jays suggested he believes the chances for a deal are now "less than 50-50," which is the numerical assessment they've been saying publicly.
And according to one competing executive, "(Blue Jays president)
There are still 10 days to go before the deadline, but so far it doesn't look like anyone's jumping forward to overwhelm them.
The Indians appear to be more seriously considering the possibility of trading star pitcher
Something apparently happened in recent days to change their thinking and make them slightly more receptive to a trade, though it's unclear exactly what. The Indians have already traded
Former Indians star
One Indians person said that while he still envisions both Martinez and Lee staying with the Tribe, that person still believes Martinez is more likely to be dealt than Lee since they do have an excellent crop of young hitters, including a switch-hitting standout catching prospect in
It isn't known why the Indians would suddenly consider trade options for Lee more seriously, but his value could not be much higher. He provides an excellent fallback option for teams that fail to land Halladay. While he's predictably slipped a bit from his otherworldly 2008 Cy Young performance, he's still a superb starter.
The Phillies and Dodgers are among teams that have interest in Lee, especially if those teams deem Halladay unattainable. The Rangers are another logical spot in that they have the pitching prospects to tempt the Indians, starting with
If Lee is frustrated by the losing in Cleveland (he's only 5-9 despite a 3.31 ERA), he hasn't said anything publicly to that effect. But his own feelings in this case don't matter, anyway, since he does not have a no-trade clause. For that reason, Lee would be a "cleaner" trade than Halladay.
• Mets GM
• The red-hot Rockies, now leading the NL Wild Card race, are looking for relief. They called about Betancourt (one of many Indians up for grabs) and also have talked about
• Sherrill would be a "real overpay," one GM said, and you can't blame Baltimore for that in this barren relief market. Both the Angels and Dodgers make sense for him.
• Some believe the Diamondbacks will hold onto Qualls now that
• Some GMs believe a few more players will be available after the July 31 trade deadline this year since more players will clear waivers due to teams not wanting to pick up big contracts in this economy. (Of course, that doesn't apply to stars with reasonable or good contracts like Halladay, Lee or Martinez).
• The Padres appear to have hit a wall.
• Condolences to the entire San Francisco Giants family for losing majority owner
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