Roy “Doc” Halladay, as he is affectionately known, ace-pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays, is about to be dealt. He is widely considered to be the best pitcher in baseball, and was publicly put on the market about two weeks ago by Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi. There is a July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, but Halladay has a full no-trade clause giving him final word on where he goes.
On Sunday, the Blue Jay’s 3-1 victory over the Red Sox, with an outstanding performance by Halladay, simply underscored the star pitcher’s value. His price just went up.
Where will Doc go? Many insiders say the Phillies, some pick the White Sox. On the baseball forums, there seemed to be a theme of “please not the Yankees.” These fans, who extol the loyalty and fine character of Halladay, say that he would never agree to go to a circus of an organization like the Yankees. Also, the Blue Jays don’t want to trade within their division, so likely Halladay won’t go to an American League team.
What teams have the salary capacity and prospects to handle a Doc Halladay trade? This limits the possibilities. The teams that scouted Sunday’s game, the Dodgers, Phillies, Brewers, Tigers, Red Sox, Rangers and Twins, are among the options.
Obama’s favorite team, the Chicago White Sox, is in the running. In last week’s All-Star game, Halladay was the starting pitcher for the American League, and followed President Obama to the pitching mound, as the President exercised the traditional duty of throwing out the first pitch. Did he notice Halladay’s prowess? He has the power and audacity to quadruple the deficit with his stimulus package, maybe he’ll pull some strings.
Who needs Halladay? Arguable, every MLB team needs the best pitcher around. But the Philadelphia Phillies have been searching for a front-end starter for most of the season. The Phillies also have a deep farm system, with plenty of prospects for trade.
Then again, Toronto doesn’t have to trade Halladay. He loves Toronto and would happily sign an extension to remain there. Halladay is a family guy who cares a lot about maintaining a stable lifestyle for his wife and kids. Maybe nothing will happen after all. But chances are, it’s Philly, here comes the Doc.