Via Jon Heyman yesterday -
The Yankees recently called the Blue Jays to express interest in superstar pitcher Roy Halladay. And while the Yankees made the very same call last summer with no hope of acquiring Halladay, this time they have a real reason to believe they may actually have a legitimate chance to make a blockbuster trade.
If that’s a positive development for the World Series champs, the twist is that they might be battling the rival Red Sox for the star pitcher who’s well-known as a Yankee killer, as his 18-6 record against the Bronx Bombers attests.
Here is the most obvious reason the Yankees (or Red Sox) may now finally have a legit shot to trade for arguably baseball’s best pitcher: New Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos is making it clear he is genuinely willing to consider a deal with either the Yankees or Red Sox, a sharp contrast to Anthopoulos’ predecessor, J.P. Ricciardi, who had GMs convinced he’d never make a Halladay trade with either the Yankees or Red Sox.
Speaking generally about the concept of intra-division trades, Anthopoulos said by phone Tuesday, “This isn’t the NBA where you’re talking about one of five guys on the floor at all times … If you have two trades that are identical, and one is in the division and one is outside, then it’s easy to go outside the division. However, if the trade is better inside the division, I think you have to take a look at it. We have to do what’s best for our organization.”
Other GMs said they believe Anthopoulos also understands the Jays aren’t ready to overtake the Yankees or Red Sox yet and has the full faith of upper management, who appeared ready to fire Ricciardi even before he botched the Halladay trade talks by not finding a suitable trade partner when his value was highest. Of course, the possibility also remains that the Jays could still hold Halladay until the summer, when his value would still be close to what it is now.
Last summer the Yankees never felt the urgency to make an offer for Halladay because they never felt Ricciardi would trade him to Boston. Back in July, Toronto was also asking for both Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes in a bigger package, and the Yankees never were going to do that. But with a year gone by now, the World Series winners might have a reasonable expectation that either Chamberlain or Hughes in a package might at least get the ball rolling. The Yankees also have several catching prospects to entice the Blue Jays, including Jesus Montero, who is still only 19 but is said by one scout to be “off the charts” as a hitting prospect and “better than he’s given credit for as a catcher.”
If Brian Cashman could turn Joba Chamberlain and some prospects who have yet to prove themselves over a full-season at Double-A (or above) into Roy Halladay…well…then…I might just be forced to display his mugshot on this blog with the caption “My Hero” underneath it…