Could be a deal-breaker
Halladay is being targeted
Jays may want Kelly, Buchholz
The Red Sox are making a push to obtain Toronto ace Roy Halladay before the start of baseball’s winter meetings Dec. 7. But the Blue Jays reportedly want top prospect Casey Kelly along with young starter Clay Buchholz.
The Sox could retreat from the deal if the Blue Jays continue to demand Kelly. The 20-year-old was their first pick in the 2006 draft and signed for $3 million. Kelly has been both a starting pitcher and a shortstop in the minors after turning down a scholarship to play quarterback at the University of Tennessee.
Kelly went 7-5 with a 2.08 ERA on the mound, striking out 74 over 95 innings with only 16 walks. He is less advanced at the plate, having hit .219 with 4 home runs and 91 strikeouts over 292 at-bats. He finished last season in Single A ball. Toronto's interest in Kelly was first reported by the New York Daily News.
Halladay made it clear to the Blue Jays during the summer that he was not likely to re-sign with the team once his contract expires following the 2010 season. Team president Paul Beeston confirmed that last week, saying Halladay had not changed his mind and was eager to join a contender.
“There’s no animosity,’’ Beeston told the Globe and Mail of Toronto. “He’s just not inclined to sign with us.’’
Halladay also will be a target of the Yankees, who have young pitchers Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes to offer along with catching prospects Jesus Montero and Austin Romine. Their tipping point could be if Toronto seeks outfielder prospect Austin Jackson.
The Angels and Dodgers also have opened talks with the Blue Jays. The Angels chased Halladay last summer before settling for Tampa Bay lefthander Scott Kazmir. Their package would center on a young starter: Jered Weaver, Joe Saunders, or Ervin Santana. Former Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi was seeking shortstop Erick Aybar. But according to the Los Angeles Times, Aybar is not a deal-breaker for new Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos.
Anthopoulos has said he is willing to deal within the division for the right price and may be amenable to giving teams a window to negotiate a contract extension with Halladay.
Halladay has full no-trade rights and could demand a lucrative extension to approve a trade. The 32-year-old was 17-10 with a 2.79 ERA last season.
They will open play with a day-night, split-squad doubleheader against Northeastern and Boston College on March 3 at City of Palms Park in Fort Myers, Fla.
The final game in Florida will be April 2 against Washington before an exhibition game the next day against the Nationals in Washington, D.C.
The Sox open the regular season at home against the Yankees April 5 at Fenway Park.
The exhibition schedule includes seven games against the Twins and five against the Orioles.
Pitchers and catchers will report Feb. 18, with their first workout Feb. 20. The remainder of the team will report Feb. 22 with the first full-squad workout Feb. 24.
Tickets for spring training games go on sale Dec. 5 at the City of Palms Park box office and on redsox.com, or call 888-REDSOX6.
Handicap accessible seating is available by calling 877-REDSOX9. Hearing impaired fans may call the TTY line at 617-226-6644.