If the leading contender in the Roy Halladay sweepstakes doesn't have the goods to get a deal done, does that mean the Doc is staying in Toronto? Or will another team swoop in and snag him before next Friday?
ESPN.com reports that Philadelphia — the team considered to have the best shot at trading for the ace — won't make a deal if Toronto's asking price includes J.A. Happ, Kyle Drabek, and Dominic Brown. The Blue Jays reportedly asked for that trio, and the Phillies aren't willing to let go of three of the most promising prospects in their organization — even if it means landing the favorite to win the AL Cy Young.
"The ball is in their court," Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi told ESPN.com.
Happ, 26, has compiled a 7-1 record and a 2.97 ERA in staring and relieving roles this season. He was selected by Philadelphia in the third round of the 2004 draft. Drabek, one of the most highly-regarded pitching prospects within the organization, has gone 10-2 this season (mostly in Double-A) with a 2.80 ERA, 118 strikeouts and 38 walks in 122.1 innings. Twenty-one-year-old Brown has spent most of this season in an advanced rookie league. He has hit .308 and slugged .524 with nine homers and 41RBIs in 62 games in 2009.
A source within the Phillies' organization tells ESPN.com that the
defending champions are unwilling to part ways with both Happ and
Drabek, but they would be willing to substitute pitching prospect Carlos Carrasco for one of the two.
Reports claim that the Phillies also have reached out to the Dodgers and the Angels and told them which of their prospects would be acceptable in exchange for Halladay.
Halladay, for one, thinks he'll be wearing a Blue Jays uniform in August and beyond. On Friday, after fanning 10 en route to a no-decision against Tampa Bay, he told ESPN.com, "If there was an urgency to be somewhere else and an urgency from the team to have me somewhere else, I think it would be different.
"I just don't get that feeling. At this point, I feel like I'm going to be here."