|This man ain't goin' nowhere
They're falling out of contention. They probably cannot afford to keep Halladay when they owe outfielders Vernon Wells and Alex Rios approximately $160 million combined from 2010 to '14. And they know that Halladay would prefer to pitch for a winner anyway when he becomes a free agent after next season. Oh, and one other thing: The trade market is barren of quality starting pitchers, much less one who is a true difference-maker, one of the top five starters in the game . . .
. . . Ricciardi says the Jays will not trade Halladay if they do not receive the right offer, knowing that the team's best chance of competing next season is with the pitcher at the top of the rotation. C'mon. Once this process starts, it's almost impossible to stop. Rest assured, the Jays are assembling prospect lists and preparing to assign their scouts to investigate rival farm systems. Halladay is a goner. It's just a matter of when and where.
I'm with him until he starts speculating on the when and where, which he leads with the Yankees and the Red Sox. Which is never, ever going to happen. You -- and by "you" I means J.P. Ricciardi and every other person with even a tenuous connection to the Blue Jays -- cannot spend a decade talking about how impossible it is to compete with Boston and New York and then turn around and give them one of the best starting pitchers in baseball during a pennant race. It's not going to happen, if it did, it would potentially kill baseball in Toronto forever, and the fact that Rosenthal spends any time on those options at all suggests that this is more of a "throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks" column than anything else.
But such columns can be fun, of course, and Robo runs through nine other potential trading partners. My insta-takes on the deals about which he speculates: White Sox (arguably plausible but unlikely); Braves (totally doable but the Braves would never, ever do it); Dodgers, Cubs, Angels, Mets (no; they don't have the chips); Rangers (no; don't have the cash); Brewers (did it last year, won't do it again).
Upshot: All of this chatter may be fun, but it's a total pipe dream.