The Real Reason Toronto's Trading Halladay
Heading into the season, Toronto General Manager J.P. Ricciardi insisted that the team wouldn't trade ace Roy Halladay. Despite being burned by A.J. Burnett last offseason -- the Blue Jays held on to Burnett despite plenty of interest at the trade deadline, only to watch him join the Yankees -- Ricciardi was adamant the team would take the same approach with Halladay.
So, what changed Ricciardi's thinking so drastically? Why would the team openly shop its best asset just months after pledging that he'd be a big part of its future? The answer has everything to do with money and what Halladay plans to do after the 2010 season.
According to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian, Ricciardi approached Halladay about extending his contract with the team early in the season. The longtime ace told the GM that he wanted to enter free agency in 2010, thus ensuring that he wouldn't be signing on long term without testing the open market.
Rather than sign a long-term extension on current market terms, Halladay wants to be the top attraction on the 2010 winter circuit, a desire which almost ensures he won't re-sign with Toronto. And that, in turn, means that the Blue Jays practically have to deal him.
Now that Toronto knows they won't be able to keep Halladay, his value will never be as high as it is today. They know that, and all their potential trading partners know that. That's just the way it works. That also means that it greatly behooves Toronto to pull the trigger on a Halladay deal now, because they're never going to get a greater return than they will in the next week.
Is that enough to make Ricciardi ship Halladay to Philadelphia, St. Louis or any other suitor that's targeting him? Who knows. Regardless, it's the logical, bottom-line decision to make, and it'll fascinating to see if Ricciardi sticks to it or if he clings to the thread of hope that the team could find a way to keep its ace next year, even if deep down he knows it won't happen.
July 24, 2009; 2:41 PM ET
Categories: Blue Jays | Tags: Blue Jays, Roy Halladay, roy halladay, trade
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