According to Tom Verducci of SI.com, the Phillies are emerging as the favorite to land Toronto ace Roy Halladay.
“They’ve been very aggressive,” one baseball source said about the Phillies’ pursuit of Halladay. “They’re putting together a package, even if they need another team. They’re trying to find the players [on other teams] the Blue Jays want to get it done.”
The Phillies, who already have the National League’s best offense, would arguably have the league’s best 1-2 pinch as well with both Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay atop their rotation.
The article includes a quote from Brewers GM Doug Melvin who called the Phillies the powerhouse of the NL and prompted Verducci to say,
After almost a decade in which democracy ruled in the NL, Philadelphia is becoming the Yankees of its league: the king who wants more. Already the two-time league champion, the Phillies, given their aggressiveness and stockpile of young talent, are emerging as the favorite to land Toronto ace Roy Halladay.
As most of you know, the Phillies worked tirelessly to get Halladay at last season’s trade deadline, but their reluctance to part with prized prospect Kyle Drabek was a deal-breaker. That’s no longer the case as the Phillies are now willing to part with Drabek who the Jays covet.
Halladay lives ten minutes from the Phillies spring training home in Clearwater, Florida, and the thought of that is very appealing to him. Halladay, who has a full no trade clause, has indicated that he would approve a trade to the Phillies.
One team that Halladay would not approve a trade to is the New York Mets. According to ESPN’s Jayson Stark, a source told him that Roy Halladay would reject a trade to the Mets.
One of the consequences of the two collapses and a season marred by injuries and dysfunction is that so many players have such a negative perception of the Mets. There’s a feeling of bad karma that most players would rather not get involved with. It’s something the Mets have had to deal with many times before in their history including as recently as 2002 – 2004. To overcome this, the Mets have had to frequently overpay for players, much like they did with Pedro Martinez.
We’ll see the Mets do a lot of overpaying this off season.