Roy Halladay trade speculation continues to heat up and the odds of him staying a Blue Jay don't look so good. According to ESPN's Jayson Stark:
With every day that passes, Roy Halladay begins to sound more and more like an ex-Blue Jay. Aked about the direction of the franchise... Halladay gave this reply:
"Yeah, I do [like it]. I think we have a lot of great pieces. But the tough part is to be in a tough division. I think sometimes you do think you have enough guys to make a run. But if we lose one or two, it's just been frustrating in the past couple of years that we haven't been able to go out and get those couple of extra guys. ...
"So everything has to go right. You need guys to play to their potential. And you need two or three guys, that you don't expect, to step up.""There is a lot there to look forward to," he said of the Blue Jays. "But I just think it's so hard for any of us to say that [the year we win] will be this year or this year or this year."
If Halladay wants to win he is unlikely to be satisfied by staying with the Jays, who despite their young talent are still in the toughest division in baseball and will have a hard time competing the next couple of years. Halladay has a no-trade clause and would have to approve any deal but wouldn't seem to mind going to Philadelphia, his most oft-rumored destination:
For me, I've never been real worried about stats, numbers, ERAs and things like that," he said. "I mean, everybody has got to play in the same park. So your chances of getting a couple of home runs are as good as giving them up. Especially as a starting pitcher, I just try to give my team a chance. You can do that with a 2.00 ERA or a 5.00 ERA. I think it's all the same."
Halladay also said he would love to play with the Cardinals, although one source in the Cards organization said the team won't overpay:
"We may be able to give up an arm or a leg. But we're not going to sacrifice the whole body".
Joel Sherman of the New York Post thinks the time is right to trade Halladay, citing the franchise-altering trade the Rangers made when they gave up Mark Teixeira for a bevy of prospects from the Braves. Halladay may bring in a similiar haul and could help the Jays break out of the state of stagnation the franchise has had in recent years. Sherman writes:
Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi has insisted that if he does not get the right offer he will simply hold on to Halladay. He has noted that Halladay also can be traded in the coming offseason or before July 31, 2010. That is true. And there is no reason why Ricciardi should accept 50 cents on the dollar... However, over the last decade, teams have become more protective of prospects and even more conscious of how they are going to spend long-term dollars. So it is hard to imagine that Toronto could get near the return on Halladay 12 months from now that it can get now
Sherman also notes that because of the state of the AL East, the Blue Jays might not be able to compete in the near future even with Roy Halladay:
Ricciardi has suggested that the Jays could simply hold on to Halladay and contend next year...
Thus for what may be a five percent chance of making the playoffs in 2010, Toronto would be running out the clock on Halladay to his free agency after the 2010 season and putting itself in position to receive two compensation draft picks in June 2011, who probably would not be in position to help before 2013.
Sherman concludes that Halladay is just not meant to be in Toronto any longer. Perhaps by August he will finally take a major league mound in a different uniform...