J.A. Happ Rumors

Ted Lilly Rumors: Wednesday

Ted Lilly may have made his last start as a Cub last night, tossing five-plus shutout innings in Houston while lowering his ERA to 3.69.  The latest on the lefty up top:

  • The Dodgers are more focused on Lilly and Paul Maholm than Roy Oswalt, according to ESPN.com's Jayson Stark.
  • The market for Lilly has picked up, according to Stark (on Twitter). The Tigers are involved, and so are the Dodgers, Twins and Phillies.
  • The Phillies have inquired on Lilly, according to Rosenthal (on Twitter). Ed Price of AOL FanHouse hears rumblings about a possible Lilly-J.A. Happ deal (Twitter link). However, Stark hears that the Phils, who are on the lefty's no-trade list, won't deal Happ for Lilly. The Twins and Dodgers remain involved, but the Mets are waiting to hear "from above" before pursuing Lilly more aggressively, according to Rosenthal. 
  • The Cubs have indicated a recent willingness to assume some of the $4.43MM owed to Lilly, reports ESPN's Jayson Stark.  That'd help the chances of a Dodgers deal.  Unfortunately for the Cubs, potential Lilly suitors like the Mets and Tigers may be reassessing their chances.
  • The Twins have asked about Lilly, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, but their presence on his no-trade list means he'd require additional compensation to accept a deal. 

Roy Oswalt Rumors: Wednesday

The lowdown on Roy Oswalt, with the newest buzz up top…

  • The Phils and Astros have a deal in place that would send Oswalt to Philadelphia, according to Mark Berman of FOX 26 Sports in Houston. Oswalt, who is aware of the potential deal, can make it official by waiving his no-trade clause. Ken Rosenthal and Jon Heyman are working to confirm the story on Twitter.
  • Talks between the Phillies and Astros have intensified in the last day, according to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark. The clubs have more or less agreed on players – J.A. Happ and prospects would go to Houston – but they can’t agree on how much salary the Astros will absorb. Jayson Werth is off the market, so taking on payroll won’t be easy for the Phils.
  • The Dodgers are now more focused on trying to obtain Ted Lilly or Paul Maholm.
  • The Phillies and Astros are now dealing one-on-one, with no other teams involved, according to Olney (via Twitter). Jon Heyman of SI.com says the Phillies are the favorites to acquire Oswalt and notes (on Twitter) that the Yanks inquired once.
  • Three or four teams will likely be involved if the Phillies acquire Oswalt, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (via Twitter).
  • Astros owner Drayton McLane told Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle that a trade seems likely. "I'd say it's about 60% that something could be done and 40% that Roy will be here next year," McLane said.
  • Oswalt is telling friends that he can’t wait to leave Houston, according to Newsday’s Ken Davidoff. The righty says he won’t necessarily insist that teams pick up his 2012 option.
  • Oswalt wants ample time to decide on any trade, reports MLB.com's Brian McTaggart.  He doesn't want the Astros coming to him an hour or two before Saturday's deadline.
  • The Reds made a cursory call on Oswalt, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, but no names were exchanged.  John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer wrote today that Oswalt is too expensive for the Reds.
  • The Cardinals are out and the Dodgers are making no progress, reports Rosenthal.  The Phillies' front office is still divided about giving up prospects and taking on Oswalt's contract, though the players they'd send to the Astros are "pretty much agreed on."  Earlier today, Joel Sherman of the New York Post wrote that the Cardinals remain in contact with the Astros for Oswalt. 
  • If Oswalt takes the mound Friday night against the Brewers, "the odds of him being traded are down to almost nothing" says Richard Justice of the Houston ChronicleESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the Astros are "working very, very hard" to find an acceptable Oswalt deal despite all the obstacles. 
  • The Phillies "remain top contenders" for Oswalt, writes MLB.com's Todd Zolecki. Zolecki's source thinks Oswalt's 2012 club option "is not the sticking point it has been made to be."  On the other hand, ESPN's Jayson Stark feels that if the Phillies retain Jayson Werth as expected they won't have a way to clear 2010 payroll for Oswalt.

Odds & Ends: Rangers, DeJesus, Westbrook, Happ

There's still plenty of news in the baseball world outside of today's surprising deal.  Let's dive in..



Odds & Ends: Reds, Happ, Edmonds, Rangers, Tigers

Links for Sunday, as Jim Thome cranks his 576th career home run….


Phillies Exploring Oswalt, Werth Trades

The Phillies are exploring acquiring Roy Oswalt and moving Jayson Werth in a companion trade, reports ESPN's Jayson Stark.  GM Ruben Amaro Jr. says nothing is close, but Ed Price of AOL FanHouse says the Oswalt talks are "heavy."  Oswalt has yet to be presented with a deal for his approval.  Stark says the Phils have also discussed Dan Haren, Jeremy Guthrie, and Ben Sheets as they leave no rock unturned.  As for Werth, Stark believes the Rays "head the list of interested teams."  The impending free agent would be moved to save money, stock the farm system, and open up a spot for Domonic Brown.  Stark says the Red Sox, Giants, and Padres are also interested in Werth.

The Phillies recently optioned Kyle Kendrick to the minors and lost Jamie Moyer to an elbow strain, so they could use starting pitching depth. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. hinted today that the club could acquire a starter by Saturday. The Phils have already committed $135MM to next year's payroll, so adding an expensive arm like Haren or Oswalt would take some maneuvering.

One candidate to start Saturday, or perhaps be traded, is J.A. Happ.  Stark says the Phillies have shopped the lefty, and the Astros scouted him on Tuesday.

Click here to predict the Phillies next move.


Phils, Ms, Blue Jays Agree On Halladay-Cliff Lee Blockbuster

12:45am: Jason Churchill of Prospect Insider has had this info for quite a while today – the Phillies will get Aumont, Gillies, and righty Juan Ramirez from Seattle.

11:33pm: Rosenthal reports that the Phillies get $6MM from the Jays. Kyle Drabek, Michael Taylor and probably Travis D'Arnaud are headed to Toronto, Rosenthal says. Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies and a third player are apparently headed to Philadelphia.  

10:12pm: Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun (via Twitter) has Toronto getting Kyle Drabek, Michael Taylor, and Travis D'Arnaud; Philly getting Roy Halladay and Phillippe Aumont; and the Mariners getting Cliff Lee, plus another piece (or, pieces).

9:46pm: One Mariner prospect headed to Philly would be 21-year-old outfielder Tyson Gillies, writes Stark in his latest update.

9:25pm: As the deal stands now, M's prospects would only be going to Philadelphia, not Toronto, sources tell Todd Zolecki of MLB.com (via Twitter).

(more…)


Roy Halladay Rumors: Thursday

11:36pm: One baseball source tells Tom Verducci of SI.com that the Phillies have been "very aggressive" in their efforts to obtain Halladay. Apparently the Phils are trying to find the players the Blue Jays want, even if that means looking on other teams.

10:00pm: Angels GM Tony Reagins didn't comment on the reported offer of Saunders, Aybar and Bourjos, but two sources shot the rumor down when Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times asked them about it.

Reagins said the Blue Jays have targeted Saunders, Bourjos and Mike Napoli. It's even "possible" that the deal could be expanded to send more Blue Jays to Anaheim.

"They have a lot of pieces that are attractive," Reagins said.

8:33am: Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. had this to say to Scott Lauber about acquiring Halladay:  "I don't think there's any likeliness. None."

6:01am: Mark Feinsand of The NY Daily News spoke to a source who said "Don't rule out them including Cole Hamels" in a potential Halladay deal. I'm not sure it's wise for Philly to sell low on Hamels for only one year of Halladay, but that would be something.

4:47am: Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com says that the Angels and Phillies have emerged as the frontrunners in the Roy Halladay sweepstakes. Philadelphia is prepared to offer a package that will likely include J.A. Happ, plus either Michael Taylor or Domonic Brown. Echoing a report from yesterday, Rosenthal says the Angels offered Joe Saunders, Erick Aybar, and Peter Bourjos to the Blue Jays.

Halladay will likely require a contract extension in exchange for waiving his no-trade clause according to Rosenthal, and the Phillies would almost certainly have to make another move to fit Halladay into the payroll. Joe Blanton is a prime candidate to be that sacrificial lamb. Meanwhile, the Angels are trying to re-sign John Lackey, and could withdraw from the Halladay pursuit if he returns.


Discussion: Phillies And Roy Halladay

Despite Philadelphia GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. describing his needs this winter as "Third base, bullpen, bench," many people within baseball think the Phillies will make a run at Roy Halladay, reports Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Salisbury quotes a rival front office member as saying, "Philadelphia is into winning now, and Halladay fits that." 

Toronto's asking price this past July – pitchers Kyle Drabek and J.A. Happ and outfielders Dominic Brown and Anthony Gose – was too high for Philadelphia. But with Halladay moving closer to free agency, will that price come down?

If you are the Phillies, do you trade a significant package to bring Halladay in? If you are the Blue Jays, what do you need to get this done?


Phillies Notes: Lidge, Happ, Feliz

After falling short in their quest to repeat as world champions, Ruben Amaro Jr. & Co. are charged with the task of putting the organization in position to take the crown in 2010.  Buster Olney, Baseball Prospectus and the Insider Staff reviewed the Phillies' '09 campaign and discussed what might be in store for them this winter.  An Insider subscription is required, but here are some highlights for those without:

  • With $11.5MM committed to Brad Lidge in each of the next two seasons, the Phillies are likely to keep him penciled in as their fireman.  However, the club could seek out a veteran set-up man who could step into the closer role if "Lights Out" gets lit up again.
  • Using J.A. Happ as the centerpiece, the Phillies could have the goods necessary to snare Roy Halladay from the Blue Jays.  Halladay, like Cliff Lee, will be a free agent after 2010.  Therefore, the Phillies would have to make sure they can keep at least one of the two pitchers before making such a deal.
  • If the Phillies choose not to pick up Pedro Feliz's 2010 option, "don't be surprised" if they pursue free agent Adrian Beltre.  Olney recently wrote that the 30-year-old third baseman would be a "spectacular fit" for the club.  Dan Uggla is also mentioned as someone who could fill the void.  Uggla played a less-than-stellar second base this season but could find himself more comfortable at third.

Ricciardi: Chances Of A Deal “Very Slim”

8:00pm: FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal just heard from Ricciardi that the chances of Halladay leaving Toronto at this point are "very slim."  Here's more from the general manager:

"We've said that we would listen, but that we would have to be motivated and 'wowed.  Right now we haven't been. I've said all along my gut tells me I won't be. I still stand by that."

"If we get to the last week," Ricciardi added, "and haven't really made any progress with anybody, I'm not going to say it's 100 percent certain, but I would have to pretty much think it's not going to get done."

It sure sounds like the Blue Jays aren't going to lower their asking price.

7:38pm: Olney notes that the Rangers have also been handed a "this-is-what-it-would-take proposal by the Blue Jays in the last 72 hours."  It's more about salary for Texas, though, than it is about prospects.  Sources have deemed them "semi-alive."

7:18pm: Christian Caple of MLB.com passes along this little note: 

[Halladay is] scheduled to pitch on Wednesday, but whether he makes that start is up in the air. Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi said last week he wants Halladay assured of his future when he takes the hill for that outing — in other words, if Halladay does pitch on Wednesday, supposedly, he won't be traded before the deadline.

This goes back to the self-imposed pre-July 31 deadline that Ricciardi suggested in early July.  It'll be interesting to see if they stick to it.

5:21pm: According to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, the prospect-heavy Rangers "are talking to the Blue Jays about Halladay and they have asked the Indians about Lee… but financial considerations may make any deal tough.  As Sullivan adds, "The Rangers are unlikely to take on a significant salary in any deal."

4:54pm: FOX Sports reports that the Red Sox remain in the mix for Halladay as well, and the Jays have made a multiple-prospect proposal in recent days. The Jays still prefer not to deal within the division, however.

2:05pm: Jon Heyman provides an update, via Twitter, stating that the Phillies are beginning to consider Cliff Lee as an alternative to Halladay. Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer confirms this, and adds that the Phillies are expected to have a scout watching Lee in Seattle. Martino also tweets that Toronto is scouting Dominic Brown today.

11:16am: ESPN's Jayson Stark is reporting that the Blue Jays have rejected the Phillies latest offer of Carrasco, Donald, J.A. Happ and outfielder Michael Taylor. The Jays are telling interested teams they are only going to deal Halladay if they are "wowed" by an offer.

9:45am: Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports says that as of Saturday night, the Angels "were of the mind to remove themselves from the Roy Halladay talks, believing they were never going to come close to the Blue Jays’ asking price of Joe SaundersErick Aybar, Brandon Wood and a prospect such as outfielder Peter Bourjos."

9:36am: Late last night we learned that the Phillies were "trying to steer" the Blue Jays towards a package centered around prospects Carlos Carrasco and Jason Donald for Roy Halladay, but no agreement was imminent. Let's start the day off with a a few Halladay-related links, and add to them as we go. Make sure you check back in for updates throughout the day.

  • Helene Elliott of The LA Times reports that "Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti has said the Blue Jays have identified three players on the Dodgers' major-league roster that they'd take for Halladay, but Colletti hasn't exuded optimism that a deal will get done."
  • Andy Martino of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes about how all the trade talk has impacted the Phillies clubhouse.