J.P. Ricciardi's statement this week that the Blue Jays "would have to listen" to offers for Roy Halladay has caused rumors to run wild, which is the expected result when one of the best pitchers in the game is put on the table. Let's take a look back at the week:
- I'll touch briefly on the Halladay rumors; there's too many to cover in one post. So far, we've heard that the Phillies are the early front-runners, but we also know that the Cardinals have a legitimate interest, and the trade talks have started up for the Rangersas well. And, surprisingly, don't rule out division rivals. The Jays could deal Halladay within the AL East, and both the Red Sox and Yankees are ok with Halladay. Keep in mind though, there's no guarantee that Halladay goes anywhere. Ricciardi would have to be overwhelmed to move him, meaning at least 2-3 of a team's top five prospects. The Erik Bedard and Dan Haren trades will likely be comparable.
- Onto the trades for the week: the A's acquired Scott Hairston from the Padres for two minor league pitchers and a player to be named later. It sounds like the PTBNL is a pitcher with big league experience. Kevin Towers was "excited" about whoever it is. Hairston has turned himself into a productive player over the past couple seasons, and can help the A's in the outfield. However, given their current place in the standings, you have to wonder if this is only a precursor to a Matt Holliday trade.
- In a puzzling move to say the least, the Royals dealt their #3 prospect, Danny Cortes, and another pitcher to the Mariners to acquire Yuniesky Betancourt. This trade has been widely lamented by Royals fans, and with good reason. Betancourt's numbers have plumetted since he signed long-term with the Mariners, and those same numbers suggest that he has deteriorated to one of the worst offensive players in baseball, to go along with a terrible glove. I don't understand the Royals' side of this trade at all. The Royals also acquired Ryan Freel this week.
- The Braves and Mets swapped outfielders Jeff Francoeur and Ryan Church this week. I like this one for the Braves, given Church's ability to play center and his great start to the 2008 season. However, he's struggled ever since his collision last year with his now-teammate Yunel Escobar. Speaking of Escobar, the Braves aren't likely to move him, so those rumors can be put to rest.
- The White Sox strengthened their bullpen by acquiring Tony Penafor minor leaguer Brandon Allen. Pena's been very reliable for the D'Backs, and is under team control through 2012. For now, this seems like a win-win deal.
- The Blue Jays made a surprising move this week, when they released B.J. Ryan. Ryan has struggled tremendously this year, but is still owed $15MM. The Jays have a very deep bullpen, but despite that depth, I don't think many saw this move coming.
- Teams looking for power can cross Adam Dunn off their midsummer wishlists. Mike Rizzo put it as plainly as he could: "We are not trading Adam Dunn."
- There will still be plenty of moves to come - the Pirates are hoping to deal Adam LaRoche and are pushing hard to trade Freddy Sanchez. Where do these two end up?
- The Phillies are in serious talks with Pedro Martinez, and it looks like Pedro may finally find a home in 2009. If the Phils do sign him, it won't dilute their interest in Halladay.