One day after the Phillies rejected a trade offer from the Toronto Blue Jays, the Jays returned the favor early Sunday. The Phillies had proposed sending J.A. Happ, Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald and Michael Taylor to the Jays for Roy Halladay and Toronto rejected the deal. The Phillies were hoping that by putting Carrasco and Donald into the deal in place of Kyle Drabek and substituting Taylor - who is closer to being major league ready - for Dominic Brown, that a deal could get done.
The Phillies had initially told Toronto that they may be willing to deal either Drabek or Happ, but not both of them in a deal for Halladay. That was a move off of their earlier position in which they had previously listed Drabek as being untouchable. They had also said that they would not include Taylor and Brown in a deal, but would part with one of them to get Halladay.
Ironically, the market for Halladay may be falling apart, primarily because of Toronto's trade demands for Halladay. The Phillies balked at Toronto's first trade request, in which they wanted Kyle Drabek, J.A. Happ and Dominic Brown, prompting the Phillies to make their counter offer which Toronto then rejected. The Blue Jays were sending a scout to see Brown play on Sunday and could give the Phillies a counter offer in the next day or two. The Angels have all but removed themselves from the Halladay market after getting their list of players that Toronto would want for Halladay, as are the Dodgers, whose list had three current major league players and potentially one other minor league player on the list. The Mets have officially backed out after rejecting a list of players that Toronto wanted and the Yankees won't give up Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes as part of a deal that Toronto wanted for Halladay. Milwaukee is thought to be on the periphery of a potential deal and the Texas Rangers, who have a deep minor league system could offer the players that the Blue Jays would want, but likely couldn't afford Halladay financially. The Boston Red Sox are thought to still be in the bidding for Halladay and might be able to afford him both in terms of players and financials, but it's not likely that Toronto would want to deal Halladay within the division.
The Phillies - and some of the other teams looking at Halladay - are now focusing on Cleveland's Cliff Lee. Cleveland, in contrast to how Toronto has marketed Halladay, continues to say that they're not dealing Lee. With that approach, it's likely that Lee could bring Cleveland a package of players close to what Toronto was seeking for Halladay. The Phillies were scouting Lee in his Sunday start against Seattle.
With the trade deadline looming, teams could start looking at other options rather than risk dealing exclusively with Toronto and not getting a pitcher that they want by the deadline at 4 p.m. on Friday. Toronto had set an unofficial deadline of Tuesday to close a deal for Halladay.
Arizona's Doug Davis and Jon Garland, Pittsburgh's Zack Duke, Ian Snell and Paul Maholm and Kansas City's Brian Bannister are all other alternatives to Halladay and Lee and all would be cheaper in terms of prospects and salary.