(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
I already made one Holliday joke, but this is no joke.
Pitching is king, and Toronto has quite possibly the best hurler in baseball in Roy Halladay. They’re also the only team on this list who entered the break .500 or better.
The problem is that they are already double digits back and fading fast in a division with Boston, New York, and Tampa.
Halladay is under contract with the Blue Jays through 2010 and wants to stay there. Both he and J.P. Ricciardi need to be realistic though.
The Jays couldn’t compete with a better team last year, and in a down market, Halladay could fetch a king’s ransom.
Naturally, everyone would be a suitor, but the rest of the league also has to be realistic. Toronto says they'll listen to all offers, but trading him to New York or Boston would be crazy.
The Mets and Dodgers have the resources, but the Mets have much bigger problems to deal with while the Dodgers really don’t need Halladay as bad as most.
The Angels could be a possibility, but the question of whether they can afford to give up any of their young pitching is a big one.
The same goes for St. Louis, who would also likely have to give up one of their raking outfielders to boot.
The biggest suitors, honestly, could be Philadelphia and, believe it or not, Texas.
For Toronto to be “major league ready,” they’d have to fill two big voids – the back of their rotation and a quality catcher.
Philly has a glut of young pitching, and while they definitely wouldn’t deal Carlos Carrasco, the rest of it might be fair game.
With a top four of Halladay/Hamels/Myers/Blanton, they could even afford to give up either Jamie Moyer or Chan Ho Park as well.
They also have a young stud catcher in Lou Marson, and while Carlos Ruiz will never be confused with a superstar, he does what he needs to do well enough that Philly could potentially part with Marson.
Texas, meanwhile, has both assets in spades as well.
They have several young, back of the rotation guys behind Vicente Padilla and Kevin Millwood, and with Neftali Feliz and Blake Beavan in the minors and Scott Feldman seemingly locked in, they could part with guys like Matt Harrison, Brandon McCarthy, Derek Holland et al.
They also three pretty equal catchers in Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Taylor Teagarden, and Max Ramirez.
Salty seems to be their guy, but they have ample talent in Ramirez, who showed power in a brief call-up last year, and Teagarden – their current backup who split time with Marson on the U.S. Olympic Team.
With many of the Jays' core players locked in for a couple more years, it’s definitely worth investigating what type of Roy Halladay could bring – and that alone makes the Jays the top potential seller.