Blog Entry

Halladay opens up about trade prospect

Posted on: July 13, 2009 9:42 pm

ST. LOUIS -- Not only will Tuesday night's All-Star Game start put Toronto's Roy Halladay on the biggest stage of his career, it also will be one of the most public auditions he'll make in his new life as trade bait for a contender.

But what's more newsworthy is that the very private Halladay spoke at length Monday about the possibility of leaving his beloved Toronto. And he sounded like a man who mentally has one foot out the door already. Which is notable in that he has full no-trade powers and must sign off on any deal.

"The team's open to looking and I'm open to it," Halladay said. "It's kind of, 'Let's see what happens and go from there.'"

The longtime ace of Toronto's staff finally seems resigned to the fact that if he is going to pitch in October for the first time in his 12-year career, it's going to have to be in a uniform other than that of the Blue Jays.

"For me, that's been the biggest struggle," Halladay said. "To (Toronto general manager) J.P. Ricciardi's credit, when I signed my extension, that was the focus for him. He said they were going to try and win. I believe they did the best they could to try and win.

"But financially, the economy, maybe you get to the point where we have to change direction a little bit."

The economy has hit Toronto hard. The Blue Jays rank 12th in the American League in attendance, ahead of only Cleveland and Oakland, and next year's payroll is expected to be lower than the current $80 million. As such, in a division with big spenders Boston and the Yankees, and including a very talented Tampa Bay club, the Blue Jays' immediate prospects for contending do not look good.

From Toronto's perspective, one thing that has to factor in is the disappointing return they got when pitcher A.J. Burnett fled via free agency last winter: The Jays were expecting two draft picks, but aside from the sandwich pick they got following the first round, they were stunned when events played out to net them only a third-round pick from the Yankees.

One of the most telling glimpses into Halladay's current thinking was in how he answered the question of being traded to a large-market club. He's thrived in the out-of-the-way quiet of Toronto, and he does not enjoy the spotlight.

But he also sounds ready to compromise on that for a chance to win.

"I think so," he said. "That's what made Toronto great for me. It is quiet. It is a great place.

"But I think you've got to take a chance sometimes. Wherever that may be, there is a point in your career where you know you need to take a chance and try it and win."

At 32, Halladay seems ready to take that chance. Even if it is in New York, where he says he would not be intimidated.

"No," he said. "I'm sure a lot of media people wouldn't love me. For me, I've always been able to separate what I do on the field from off the field, and I've realized I can't always make everybody happy all the time."

He also said that although he's played his entire career in the American League, he wouldn't necessarily be adverse to pitching in the National League and, thus, batting (which should be music to Philadelphia's ears).

"Once you go from the American League East," he said, smiling. "Not that there aren't great teams out there, but it's a tough decision. I'd rather hit than have to face (Derek) Jeter, A-Rod (Alex Rodriguez), (Hideki) Matsui, (Mark) Teixeira and those guys."

Halladay, thoughtful and reflective throughout the interview, said he doesn't yet know whether he would ask for an extension of his current deal (roughly $7 million remaining this year and $15.75 million in 2010) in exchange for waiving his no-trade clause, as some major league executives believe he will.

"It's a little bit down the road for me," he said. "All I can tell you is that my priority will be to win. I've been fortunate to have been taken care of fine in Toronto. As a younger player, maybe is at the beginning of a career, that's important. Now, the emphasis is on winning. As far as thinking that far, I really haven't gotten there. It just hasn't come up."

Whether Halladay will be traded by the July 31 deadline, he said, "for me, it will be the flip of a coin. I really believe that. I think there is so much that goes into it. I'm still not 100 percent sure what direction we're going to take in Toronto, if Toronto does decide to do something."

There are many in the game who think that Ricciardi is sending out feelers now and that the Blue Jays will wind up trading Halladay this winter, rather than this July.

Whatever the timetable, after listening to Halladay on Monday, you have to believe that he's already begun cutting the emotional ties in one of the most calculated gambles of his career -- and, on Toronto's part, in recent franchise history.



Since: Jul 3, 2008
Posted on: July 13, 2009 11:15 pm

Halladay opens up about trade prospect

If he gets traded, I would think it'll be to the NL.  I doubt the Jays will trade him to Boston or NY.  Additionally, Anaheim has so much money tied up in pitching to begin with.  I don't think he will get traded given he still has one more year on his contract, Toronto will demand a lot. 

If he goes, I say Dodgers or Phillies.  At 32, he'd be better off in the NL and from what it sounds like, his preference.  The Phillies have the major league ready prospects but payroll problems and the Dodgers have only minor league prospects but payroll flexibility.  Considering these are the two best teams in the NL, he would obviously make the difference in giving the edge.

Realistically, I just don't see how he's traded.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: July 13, 2009 10:59 pm

Halladay opens up about trade prospect

Scott, good work on this. The question I have, though, is other than the economy, why would we trade Halladay at all? 2010 is supposed to be one of the best teams the Jays have had in years, a year that we've been working towards for at least a year and a half already. Now you're telling the fan base you're going to throw 2010 away before we even get a chance to try? Why would you do that?

By trading Halladay, the Jays would essentially become the Pittsburgh Pirates with better pitching and a lesser stadium. This is not the time to fold. This is the time to go all-in. Trading Halladay now says to the fans, "You're wasting your time with us. We're never going to win."

Since: Aug 10, 2008
Posted on: July 13, 2009 10:49 pm

Halladay opens up about trade prospect

I think the best thing for Toronto to do is go for broke next season.  Offer some pitching prospects to Milwaukee for Prince Fielder.  They won't be able to resign him after next season anyway.  He's due 9 mil next year and then he'll be a Free agent.  If by the middle of the season, Toronto is in contention people will fill up the seats, The ratings on TSN will come, and everything will be wonderful.  If they aren't in contention, They can then trade Prince and Halladay to contenders for a boat load of prospects and also unload the rest of their salaries.  Barring an injury to those two i dont think Toronto could lose with that move.

Since: Feb 22, 2007
Posted on: July 13, 2009 10:49 pm

Halladay opens up about trade prospect

I feel you should trade him out of your division to face this guy 4 to 5 times a year in pinstripes or a Bo sox uniform would just kill you send him to a team like Texas who have the best farm system in all of baseball you could get acouple of arms and a fielder for him with out makeing the teams in your division stronger

Since: Jan 8, 2009
Posted on: July 13, 2009 10:49 pm

Halladay opens up about trade prospect

The team that has the most young talent to offer is the Angels. If they want to give up three top prospects for him that is another question. They came up dry this off season and they will be looking to make a move. The Yankees can not offer enough young players for Halladay. The Blue Jays are going to want more than one hopeful prospect like Hughes. If I remember correctly he was horrible last year.

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: July 13, 2009 10:46 pm

Halladay opens up about trade prospect

I don't think the Jays would move him within the division and I also don't think the Yankees would make the best offer either. 

Also if you read the real reports, unloading Vernon's contract would take away from the haul for Halladay, not add to it.  Besides, the Yankees would rather have Melky than Wells.

Also the Yankees aren't trading Hughes right now because he is too important to the bullpen.  Thats why Aceves moved to the rotation over him when Wang got hurt.

Besides, a package based around Hughes and Jackson isn't nearly as appealing as what some of the other teams could offer.  The Red Sox have more depth if they were going to move him within the division.

Since: Aug 2, 2008
Posted on: July 13, 2009 10:31 pm

Halladay opens up about trade prospect

If the Jays want to get better they will trade to a team that is loaded with ready prospects. As far as I know(which is little) the yanks dont have a deep farm system. Also  doubt the Jays trade roy to a division rival. I think the best bet would be to the phillies(which im a fan of) because they have a lot of young arms and batters that are near or a year away of being major league ready. The only queston is are the phils willing to part with a lot of prospects.

Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: July 13, 2009 10:28 pm

Halladay opens up about trade prospect

Would the Yanks offer up Hughes + a couple top prospects in return though? I thought there was a bit of a change in philosophy within the organization to try and have a bit of a youth movement to bridge the gap between the current older core and the future. I'm also not that familiar with the Yankees top prospects - would they have enough to tempt the Jays?

As a Jays fan I'm beginning to accept the fact that Halladay won't be back after next year, and thus it's likely he'll be moved either this year before the deadline, or perhaps in the upcoming offseason. It'll be really sad to see him go, as it was great to see him grow from into the top notch staff ace he is now.

Since: Aug 2, 2007
Posted on: July 13, 2009 10:20 pm

Halladay opens up about trade prospect

I think the Blue Jays would be very smart 2 trade Halladay very soon.

I think trading him to the Yanks is their best option they can get Phil hughes and a couple top tier prospects and if they waqnt 2 unload Wells as wll i the deal they can make blockbuster involving Melkey and some more prospects.

I think the Jays have a good nucleus of players they just have had NO luck with guys staying healthy.

Tampa could also step up and make a nice offer who knows but i would love to see AJ and halladay in Pinstripes!!

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