Right now, nothing has permeated baseball discussion to the point that Roy Halladay has, when JP Ricciardi, GM of the Blue Jays, announced that he would trade Halladay if the right offer came his way.
So I figured I'd offer a few thoughts--feel free to agree or disagree.
- Dealing in-division would likely cost more for the team that trades for Halladay (ie, the Sox or Yankees), but it's by no means prohibitive. David Cone and Roger Clemens both came from within the division; they are probably not the only examples, either.
- The price the Yankees would have to give up would be enormous. You're talking one of Joba/Hughes, Austin Jackson, Jesus Montero and maybe Mark Melancon for good measure. If Ricciardi is really set on dealing Halladay, teams will wait for the price to come down. If there is a move to be made in-season, it probably won't happen until the 11th hour, a la Manny Ramirez.
- The fact that the Jays won't let teams talk to Halladay is a killer. Halladay's contract runs through 2010, so whoever gets him would probably want to extend him. Without the guarantee of an extension, teams cannot be 100% sure if Halladay would stay with them after that season, and giving how much teams would have to give up in the first place, that will no doubt be off-putting to some.
- Halladay's comment that he would rather hit than face guys like Matsui, Jeter and Teixeira is kind of odd given his historical success against the Yankees. You can interpret it any number of ways you want, I think, but only Halladay knows what he was really trying to say.
- At this point, going on absolutley nothing but hearsay and gut, I'd have to go with with Philadelphia and Texas as being favorites. Both teams have the prospects to get it done, and both teams desperatley need the pitching. Philadelphia has a percieved added bonus of being an NL team, but I think that's really only a factor if you're a fan. The Rangers don't have nearly the impact on the Jays' season that the Yankees or the Sox would.
- Halladay has struggled (for him, anyway) since coming of the disabled list, but this is probably only temporarily. At any rate, him struggling is the same thing as 90% of other pitchers in the league pitching well.