Red Sox notebook

Thus far, no pitch for Halladay

Ricciardi fielding calls on Jays’ ace article page player in wide format.
By Nick Cafardo
Globe Staff / July 9, 2009
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As of late yesterday afternoon the Red Sox were not one of the teams that had inquired about the cost for Toronto ace Roy Halladay. While they might eventually inquire what it would take to land Halladay, as they did with Johan Santana last offseason, for now they don’t seem to be a major player for one of the premier righthanders in the game.

Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi said yesterday that he’d already received “several calls’’ on Halladay a day after the GM said he was willing to listen to offers.

“It would take a lot for us to part with him,’’ Ricciardi said. “We’ve gotten a lot of calls from teams, but none of them are telling us at this point what they’re willing to give up.

“If you’re coming at us with a ‘B’ list of young players, don’t bother. This is one of the five best players in baseball. It’s going to take a significant package of players for us to even listen.

“As the teams call, we’ll go through the ones we feel are the serious ones and then we’ll start scouting their farm systems to see if there’s anything we can do.’’

The Phillies, Yankees, Dodgers, Angels, and others undoubtedly covet Halladay. Ricciardi probably would like to avoid trading him within the division, but he appears open to anything. Philadelphia appears to be the most ardent pursuer so far, but there will be a lot of suitors, especially as the trading deadline nears and teams are scrambling.

Two “sleeper’’ teams could be Milwaukee and St. Louis. The Brewers have left room to obtain an ace, much as they did a year ago when they acquired CC Sabathia. The Cardinals also are enamored with Halladay and would make themselves the virtual favorite in their division if they could couple Halladay with Chris Carpenter.

The Red Sox may be saving what chips they have to obtain a hitter. They will wait until later in the month to see how Mike Lowell has fared after the Synvisc injection he received. He’s currently on the disabled list, resting his sore hip. Lowell has begun to work out and should be ready to play after the All-Star break.

Ricciardi, asked whether he felt he would make a Halladay deal before the July 31 deadline, said, “My gut feeling is no we won’t because there aren’t too many teams out there who are willing to give us the significant package of prospects we would need to make this go. Teams protect their prospects.’’

Ricciardi also said he doesn’t think making Halladay available is sending any message to his team. The Jays are 43-43, nine games out in the East after last night’s 10-9 loss to the Rays. In other divisions they would be in the race.

Sox GM Theo Epstein did not respond to an inquiry about Halladay.

Keeping at it
Shortstop Jed Lowrie was activated from the 60-day disabled list and immediately optioned to Single A Lowell, where he’ll get some at-bats tonight. Lowrie’s rehab assignment was supposed to end Friday, but he needed more time to get his wrist and knee back into shape.

Lowrie likely will end up in Triple A Pawtucket for a while. The Sox have not yet been willing to eat veteran Julio Lugo’s contract, with the possibility they could work out a trade between now and the 31st.

With Nick Green still playing well at short, there was no need to rush Lowrie back.

The Sox had to make room on the 40-man roster, so they designated injured outfielder Jonathan Van Every for assignment. Van Every is out for the season after knee surgery.

Kotsay at first
Mark Kotsay was back at first base last night after resting the last two games with tightness in his calf. The calf tightened on him during a series in Baltimore and the Sox thought it best to give him time off. Rookie Aaron Bates played in his stead . . . Daisuke Matsuzaka is back in Fort Myers, Fla., and has started a strengthening program. Manager Terry Francona seemed enthusiastic about the pitcher’s work so far. According to Francona, Matsuzaka is throwing on flat ground from 60 feet. “We’re going to get him stronger before we turn him loose,’’ the manager said. “He’s done a really good job. His first day down there he did the shuttle [run]. That was the stuff he missed when he was in the [World Baseball Classic]. If you think about it, you go down to Fort Myers in the middle of July at 7:30 in the morning and the first day you run the shuttle twice and the second day you run the mile and a half. He did a good job. We were really proud of his effort and he put in another great effort today. I can think of more fun things to do than run a mile and a half in Fort Myers at 7:30 in the morning by yourself.’’

Out of right field
Dwight Evans will lead a delegation of ex-Sox who will make the pilgrimage to Cooperstown to watch Jim Rice be inducted into the Hall of Fame July 26 . . . Jacoby Ellsbury said that since he stole home against the Yankees, “there haven’t been any opportunities to try it again.’’ Ellsbury says he often makes third base coach DeMarlo Hale a little nervous when he gets to that base and kids that he’s going to attempt it again. Ellsbury was nailed trying to swipe second in the second inning, snapping a run of 18 straight steals, but singled and stole second in the sixth, his 37th theft of the season. He’s been caught seven times . . . Jason Bay has stolen a base in each of his last three games. The last Sox left fielder to do it: Tommy Harper, Sept. 19-22, 1973.

Nick Cafardo can be reached at

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