It seems that if the Yankees are going to add to their rotation this winter the guy they would want in pinstripes the most is Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay, but they won’t be alone in their pursuit. According to multiple sources, both the Red Sox and the Angels are going to make strong attempts at acquiring the righty.
According to the LA Times, the Angels were very close to getting Halladay this past July, but their reluctance to include shortstop Erick Aybar in the deal ultimately killed it. This time around it is rumored that it could cost them a package that starts with Jared Weaver, Joe Saunders, or Ervin Santana, but not necessarily Aybar.
The Angels could lose their ace John Lackey this offseason and if they did it would be hard to imagine them not making a significant push for Halladay. The fact that the new Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopolous is willing to allow a team a window to sign a contract extension, something former GM J.P. Ricciardi refused to do, only seems to make Halladay that much more attractive to LA.
Then there is a Daily News article out yesterday that reports that the Red Sox are “putting on a full-court press” to trade for Halladay by the winter meetings. If he were to land in Boston a deal seems likely to start with Clay Buchholz and Boston’s Casey Kelly, a highly regarded pitcher/shortstop prospect, but that could potentially be a deal breaker.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman is still waiting to meet with owners to discuss budget restraints for next season and that has kept him from having serious talks with the Blue Jays, but it has been reported that he has been in touch with them already.
The general consensus seems to be that the Yankees would have to include either Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes in any such deal and the Boston Globe reported Sunday that they are open to that, but that they would want to hang on to outfielder Austin Jackson.
After reading through all of this I am becoming more skeptical that the Yankees are actually targeting Halladay as seriously as these other teams, especially the Angels who could be left without an ace if they don’t get him. It just seems like this is the Johan Santana situation all over again. This time Halladay plays the part of Santana, Joba and Hughes are playing themselves again, and Cliff Lee is playing the roll of CC Sabathia, the looming free agent starter.
The difference here is that the Phillies aren’t the Brewers and the possibility of them signing Lee to an extension is much greater than it was in Milwaukee and Sabathia. If Cashman can be convinced that Lee won’t hit the open market he could make a much bigger push for Halladay. So that becomes the question to me and it seems that if the Angels and Red Sox are going to get into a bidding war over Hallday it would be best for the Yankees to stay out of it.