Dodgers, Red Sox hone in on Halladay

In the wake of the Philadelphia Phillies' acquisition of starting pitcher Cliff Lee(notes), the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox have become the frontrunners to acquire Toronto Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay(notes), according to baseball sources.

While other clubs – the Yankees, notably – remained peripherally engaged, there appeared to be a two-team race for Halladay with a little more than 24 hours left to the non-waiver trading deadline.

Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi has asked for as many as a half-dozen prospects in return for Halladay, the former Cy Young Award winner who would lead the Dodgers' rotation and join Josh Beckett(notes) atop the Red Sox's.

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The Dodgers' offer is believed to be all minor league prospects except right-handed pitcher James McDonald(notes), who has pitched 38 major league innings. Starters Chad Billingsley(notes) and Clayton Kershaw(notes) have not been offered, and neither have any of the team's starting position players.

The Red Sox's offer includes top pitching prospect Clay Buchholz(notes), as Yahoo! Sports reported Wednesday. The Blue Jays also have been given the choice of reliever Justin Masterson(notes), Triple-A pitcher Michael Bowden(notes) or Double-A first baseman Lars Anderson(notes), with lesser prospects from the farm system filling out the Boston offer. The Red Sox from the beginning have included Buchholz because the Blue Jays made it clear he would have to be the starting point of any deal.

The Tigers asked the Blue Jays what it would take to get into the Halladay sweepstakes and were told a deal could be made for top pitching prospects Rick Porcello, Casey Crosby and Ryan Perry, according to the Detroit News. The Tigers bowed out.