With the Phillies having traded for Cliff Lee and no possible deals close to imminent Wednesday, the Blue Jays are prepared to keep ace Roy Halladay -- not just this season but through 2010 as well. Barring a blockbuster offer before the Friday trade deadline, the Blue Jays intend to bring back Halladay for 2010 rather than shop him again in the offseason.
"I think that's pretty fair to say," general manager J.P. Ricciardi said. "At that point we would be getting [injured] players coming back to the club."
Pitchers Shaun Marcum, Dustin McGowan and Casey Janssen are all rehabilitating from elbow or shoulder surgeries.
The Blue Jays also believe that Halladay's trade value would be diminished in the offseason because a club would be acquiring him for about 12 fewer starts and one fewer possible postseason. Halladay is signed through next season at $15.75 million. As it is, with the prospect of getting Halladay for two Octobers, no club has come very close to satisfying the Blue Jays during this trading window.
When Ricciardi put Halladay on the trade market, he said the Jays would have to "be wowed" by another club to trade their ace. Unlike Cleveland, which is paring payroll with the second-worst attendance in the league, and is now expected to move catcher Victor Martinez, Toronto is not financially motivated to move its ace.
The Red Sox and Yankees have inquired about Halladay, but their chances of acquiring him are remote if only because the asking price for Halladay is even higher for an AL East rival than other clubs. San Diego general manager Kevin Towers took the same approach last winter when he shopped ace Jake Peavy, telling the Dodgers they faced a higher asking price than other clubs because of the cost of fortifying a division rival.