Michael Taylor Rumors

Michael Taylor Will Be Traded For Brett Wallace

The Blue Jays will trade outfielder Michael Taylor to the A's for third base prospect Brett Wallace, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney.

The A's acquired Wallace from the Cardinals when they sent Matt Holliday to St. Louis in July. The Jays drafted Wallace in 2005 and  were rumored to have interest in him last summer when Roy Halladay first hit the trade market.

Wallace went to college and signed with the Cards as a first rounder in 2008. The 23-year-old hit .281/.403/.438 in the upper minors for the A's and Cards last year. Ben Badler of Baseball America isn't crazy about the deal for the Jays, but Keith Law of ESPN.com says Wallace can be a better hitter than Taylor.

Taylor, who's eight months older than Wallace, hit .320/.395/.549 in the upper minors for the Phillies and fits into Oakland's system better, in Law's opinion.


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.



Odds & Ends: Rays, Phillies, Indians

A few more evening links….

  • Bill Chastain of MLB.com writes that the arrival of Reid Brignac in Tampa Bay could lead to the Rays buying out Akinori Iwamura's option this offseason. The $4.25MM 2010 option can be bought out for $250k. Chastain suggests that the emergence of Ben Zobrist and the recent strong play of Brignac could make Iwamura expendable.
  • Todd Zolecki of MLB.com passes on news of Phillies' minor league players of the year Kyle Drabek and Michael Taylor being honored before Tuesday's game against Washington. Given the Phillies' talent and depth on the major league level, Zolecki predicts that both prospects will start 2010 at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Like Ryan Howard before him, Taylor has his path to the major league roster blocked by veterans with bigger contracts. Howard eventually took advantage of a Jim Thome injury and excelled in Philadelphia. It will be interesting to see if Taylor and Drabek, who were so coveted at this year's trade deadline, will earn similar opportunities in 2010.
  • Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer blogs about a few former Phillies prospects, expressing some concern about the Indians' haul in the trade that sent Cliff Lee to Philadelphia.

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.

Roy Halladay Rumors: Saturday

10:19pm: Heyman tweets that the Yankees might consider giving up Chamberlain for Halladay, but won't entertain both Chamberlain and Hughes.

8:14pm: Ray Parrillo and Jim Salisbury of The Philadelphia Inquirer report that the Phillies "were trying to steer the Blue Jays" towards a package centered around Carrasco and infielder Jason Donald.

7:53pm: Heyman tweets that the Jays suggested to the Yankees today that it would take Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, and two more for Halladay.

7:36pm: Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com report that the Jays countered the Angels offer by asking for a four player package that included Joe Saunders, Brandon Wood, Erick Aybar, and one prospect from the group of Trevor Reckling, Peter Bourjos, and Sean O'Sullivan. They also mention that as many as five teams are talking with Toronto about Halladay.

4:17pm: According to Gordon Edes of Yahoo! Sports, the Angels "did indeed make a run at Halladay, offering Jered Weaver plus the Blue Jays' pick of outfield or infield prospects" Bottom line, it wasn't enough.

3:47pm: Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse has more. Here's his most recent tweet: "Source: 'I'd be shocked' if Phillies reverse course and include Happ [and] Drabek for Halladay. But [second] source [says] Blue Jays 'got to' have both."

3:08pm: ESPN's Jayson Stark reports the Blue Jays have presented similar proposals (or lists of desired prospects) to the Dodgers and Angels.  "The ball is in their court," as Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi said Friday.

2:40pm: Jeff Blair of the Toronto Globe and Mail heard from a Jays scout that "there's one big team yet to make a play for Doc."  Blair hints that one "big team" might be the Red Sox.

1:04pm: According to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian, the Phillies have formally rejected the Blue Jays' proposal.  Philadelphia is reportedly opposed to giving up both Drabek and Happ.

12:43pm: Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi at FOX Sports are reporting that the Angels have "intensified their bid" for Halladay. The Jays are said to be asking for one player from the Halos' major-league roster and "another who could make an impact in 2010."

Additionally, Jays officials are said believe Halladay's past two brilliant outings make their recent offers "reasonable." Sources don't believe a deal will be completed this weekend.

10:46am: Jayson Stark at ESPN says that the Phillies are now balking at the Blue Jays' asking price, which was formally presented Thursday as J.A. Happ, Kyle Drabek and Dominic Brown. It's believed they're hoping to substitute Carlos Carrasco for one of Happ or Drabek, particularly Drabek.

9:25am: Talks might be heating up. Jon Heyman at SI says "there's no way he stays" with the Blue Jays, as discussions with the Phils have become "intense." MLB.com's Jordan Bastian saw Halladay emerge from the clubhouse in uniform, though, so nothing's imminent for now.

3:30am: Check out the latest from Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer.  He says that while the Jays want Drabek, Happ, and Brown for Halladay, they did send assistant GM Tony LaCava to watch Phils prospect Carlos Carrasco pitch.

Salisbury adds that the Phillies have interest in Cliff Lee, Erik Bedard, and Jarrod Washburn as backup plans, and will scout Lee Sunday.

12:20am: We learned yesterday that Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi is in serious discussions with four teams about ace pitcher Roy Halladay.  The Phillies are known to be the favorite.  A piece of info to kick off the Saturday post from Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail:

Know this: Halladay has told people that the Phillies are his preferred choice if he were to be traded. The Blue Jays want pitchers J.A. Happ and Kyle Drabek and one of two outfield prospects: Michael Taylor or Dominic Brown.

That's important, given Halladay's full no-trade clause.  Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports agree that Halladay would approve a trade to Philly.

The Phillies and Yankees were in Toronto last night scouting Halladay's gem against the Rays, according to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian.  Rosenthal and Morosi say "Ricciardi has yet to engage" the Yanks in trade talks though. 

Despite the rumors, Doc told Bastian and other reporters after the game he feels like he's going to remain a Blue Jay.  He doesn't feel the urgency for a trade on his or the team's part.  Halladay also clarified his stance on free agency, for which he's eligible after the 2010 season.


Odds & Ends: Escobar, Peavy, Mets, Cardinals

A gaggle of links for your Thursday evening reading pleasure…

  • In response to someone mentioning the Yunel Escobar-Matt Holliday rumors, MLB.com's Mark Bowman says "There is zero truth to those Escobar rumors. The Braves have NO and I repeat no intention to move him. Believe me, if they move him, it will simply be a deal that they simply can't refuse and that wouldn't include anything involving Holliday."
  • Tom Krasovic notes that Jake Peavy is out of his walking boot, and is ready to begin "ramping it up."
  • David Lennon of Newsday says that earlier today Mets GM Omar Minaya twice mentioned "that he talked with five or six teams today."
  • Joe Strauss of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says that the Cardinals may search for starting pitching if Todd Wellemeyer doesn't show more consistency over his next 2-3 starts.
  • Scott Lauber of The News Journal notes that the Phillies promoted one of their best prospects, outfielder Michael Taylor, to Triple-A. He speculates that Taylor may best serve the club as trade bait, considering all three of their regular outfielders were All Stars.
  • When asked who the best prospect was if matched up head to head, Baseball America's Jim Callis said he'd go with Bryce Harper over Justin Upton, citing Harper's advantage in power.
  • MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reports that the Reds gave Venezuelan shortstop Humberto Valor a $690k bonus. Valor signed with Cincinnati earlier this month.
  • David Villavicencio of MLB.com mentions that the Marlins have signed eight of their first ten draft picks. First rounder Chad James remains unsigned, however.

Stark On Lee, DeRosa, Phillies, Rays, Beltre

Jayson Stark of ESPN.com calls this one of the slowest-moving trade markets in a while, but provides lots of rumors anyways:

  • Teams are making introductory calls now to set the tone for the next five weeks.
  • One official looking to add a reliever says no one is available.
  • With so few teams willing to part with players, sellers are asking for a lot.
  • The Brewers, Dodgers, Phillies and Mets are among the teams to call about Cliff Lee. The Indians would still have to be overwhelmed to part with him.
  • The Cubs have considered trying to reacquire Mark DeRosa.
  • They've also done some preliminary searching for a bat, but they're not sure where they'd play a new hitter so that gives the versatile DeRosa extra appeal.
  • Stark's heard nothing to suggest Bobby Valentine will end up managing the Nationals.
  • The Phillies have given indications that they'd part with Michael Taylor and/or Jason Donald in a deal for a top starter.
  • However, they won't listen on these players: Dominic Brown, Lou Marson, Kyle Drabek, Jason Knapp, Carlos Carrasco and Antonio Bastardo.
  • Doug Davis and Ian Snell aren't Phillies targets.
  • The Rays are looking for long-term upgrades. They'd like to acquire "the next J.P. Howell."
  • They're asking about young corner outfielders, rather than Jermaine Dye types.
  • Pedro Martinez still wants a $5MM salary (prorated) plus incentives, so don't expect him to sign soon.
  • The Reds have the best minor leaguers in the division and some could become trade chips.
  • The Mets checked in on Garrett Atkins.
  • Tony Reagins believes 2009 free agent Vladimir Guerrero can still hit.
  • At least one scout can't imagine Adrian Beltre being traded. Makes sense, given his shoulder injury and contract.

Odds And Ends: Eyre, Michael Taylor, Borkowski

Tonight all eyes will be on Randy Johnson as he goes for his 300th win. Here are some links to keep you going until then…

  • Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer says the Phillies are in no hurry to deal prospect Michael Taylor, who's slugging over .600 at Double A. Taylor understands that, as a corner outfielder, there's not much room for him in Philly. Could Taylor be a trade chip as the Phillies look to add pitching?
  • Andy Martino of the Inquirer reports that Scott Eyre says he's "more than 90 percent" sure he'll retire after this year. Eyre, 37, has pitched for five teams in 13 seasons.
  • Roy Halladay threw 133 pitches last night and ESPN.com's Rob Neyer hopes for Halladay's sake that it isn't the beginning of a trend though he doesn't criticize Cito Gaston's decision to let Doc pitch.
  • Baseball America has more minor league transactions. Dave Borkowski was released by the Astros after he was designated for assignment.
  • John Fay of the Cincinnati Inquirer revisits the Josh Hamilton for Edinson Volquez deal and asks Reds fans whether they like the deal for their team.