For all of the talk and rumors about the Red Sox and Blue Jays discussing a deal for ace Roy Halladay, multiple baseball sources indicated to the Globe's Tony Massarotti that the sides are not close to a deal.
According to one source, the Red Sox have had nothing more than exploratory discussions with the Blue Jays and have given no indication that they will even make an aggressive offer. The chances of a deal currently seem extremely remote, though there is always the chance that talks will intensify just before 4 p.m. tomorrow, when teams like the Red Sox are likely to use the deadline as a leveraging point.
Mazz also notes that if the Sox are pursuing Halladay, it's worth remembering their approach during the Johan Santana sweepstakes before the 2008 season, when they offered the Twins a menu of options. The Sox grouped players into Groups A, B, and C, allowing the Twins to choose one player from each group and create a custom combination meal. Naturally, the Sox put their best prospects in Group A, meaning the Twins could have only one of those players. Unless or until one of those players slides into Group B, chances of a Halladay deal remain remote.
More of the latest Halladay rumors:
- The Boston Herald's Sean McAdam reported this morning that, according to a source with direct knowledge of the talks between the Jays and Red Sox, said there had not been any contact between the Red Sox and Jays in three days.
- The New York Daily News's Bill Madden and Mark Feinsand suggest that Ricciardi is trying to start a bidding war for Halladay between the Sox and Yankees, but that New York still seems lukewarm to acquiring the righthander.
- The Toronto Sun's Bob Elliott believes that when all is said and done, Halladay will remain with the Jays, though one "disgruntled ex-Jays scout" tells him there is one trade partner that might fit after the Phillies turned to Cliff Lee yesterday: "How about the Boston Red Sox? Toronto could get Clay Buchholz, some prospects and an ex-general manager to be named later."
Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi's contract is up after this season. Elliott notes that names being circulated included righthanders Clay Buchholz and Michael Bowden, former No. 1 pick Casey Kelly, son of former Jays scout Pat Kelly, and reliever Daniel Bard, but previous reports have indicated that Bard and Kelly are off limits.
- Newday's Ken Davidoff tweets that the Jays have expanded their coverage of the Yankees' farm system, though it's more likely because they are interested in relievers Scott Downs or Jason Frasor than Halladay.
- According to the Philadelphia Daily News's Jim Salisbury, Halladay is going into shutdown mode today in an attempt to try to avoid the rumors.
- Ricciardi indicated Wednesday that no team is stepping forward with remotely close to what he wants. Many names have been discussed. By all accounts, one team source told the Globe's Nick Cafardo, Daniel Bard, remains the one untouchable while there's been a reluctance to deal Rhode Islander Ryan Westmoreland, but according to another source "Nobody believes he would be a deal breaker."
With the Sox, Dodgers and Angels, still in, there's the likelihood the Yankees will become more interested in Halladay. Also, if the Red Sox did deal for Halladay, the physical would be a huge part of the deal being completed. The Red Sox, and other teams, would want to know exactly what's in that shoulder.