From Mark Feinsand (Daily News):
Halladay wants out of Toronto, but it’s unlikely that he would waive his no-trade clause to be dealt to a team unless he was able to sign a long-term extension – something only a select few teams have the resources to do, most notably the Yankees and Red Sox.
It would likely take a bigger package for one of the division rivals to land Halladay, but if they have the opportunity to do so, the belief inside the Yankees organization is that it would be well worth it to pair the righthander with CC Sabathia atop a rotation that would then feature A.J. Burnett – who considers Halladay to be a mentor – as its No. 3 starter.
A source with knowledge of the Yankees’ thinking said the Bombers already have their sights set on signing either Halladay or Cliff Lee if both become free agents after next season. Yankees executives, however, fear that Lee might sign a long-term deal with the Phillies before becoming a free agent, leaving Halladay as the lone target for teams looking for an ace.
Brian Cashman has been hesitant to deal his top-notch prospects in recent years, but after seeing the difference a dominant starting pitcher such as Sabathia can make, ownership may force Cashman’s hand, sending away blue-chippers such as Jesus Montero and Austin Jackson in a package with either Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain.
This sounds awfully similar to the Santana sweepstakes in 2007.
I think we’ll have a similar result, too, with Halladay being traded to another team, not named the Yankees. When compared to the way in which the Yankees handled the Santana situation, I see no reason for the organization to operate any differently with Halladay. Halladay is currently a better pitcher, that much is true, but he’s also older and will cost more than what the Mets offered the Twins for Johan Santana. Perhaps it really is best to let Halladay go this winter while keeping one’s fingers crossed that he’ll be a free agent after the season is over.
Plus, I wouldn’t fret over the Red Sox acquiring him just yet (offensive upgrades are their main priority).
Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
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