Interest swirls around Jays ace Halladay

Tim Brown
Yahoo! Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays have not approached Roy Halladay(notes) about waiving his no-trade rights as of early Friday evening, sources close to the team said.

As Halladay prepared for his start in Toronto against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Philadelphia Phillies appeared to be the frontrunners for the right-hander but were hardly alone. In recent days, according to one source, Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi had heard from the Texas Rangers, Cincinnati Reds, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels.

Ricciardi was said to be not completely content with any of the offers he'd received for Halladay, the workhorse starter who would alter divisional races and perhaps playoff series.

Halladay must agree to any trade and has set a high priority on winning. In the above group, only the Reds would seem a long shot to be approved.

Meantime, general managers who have exchanged names are getting the impression Ricciardi is stalling, hoping to drive better deals than the ones currently on the table. Ricciardi is seeking young pitching, among other near major league-ready talent. Left-hander J.A. Happ(notes), a Rookie of the Year candidate, is believed to be part of his preferred package from the Phillies, as is Jered Weaver(notes) from the Angels and Clayton Kershaw(notes) from the Dodgers.

Presumably, the Cleveland Indians are starting with the same pitchers in talks about ace lefty Cliff Lee(notes).

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