The Philadelphia Phillies took a page from the Mets playbook last night and passed on a prospect-raiding deal with the Blue Jays for Roy Halladay, forcing trade-addled GM's to resume the hunt for the big right-hander.
Perennial ace and possible "piece-we-need-to-be-legit-contenders" trade bait Roy Halladay has been on the block for weeks, and JP Riccardi is playing his value for all it's worth.
Reports have come out this morning that the Phillies blanched at the ask of J.A. Happ, and top prospects Kyle Drabek and Dominic Brown.
This is probably a good move long-term, but only time will tell whether the Phillies can repeat as World Series Champions without adding another All-Star pitcher right now.
Clearly, that's the range of talent Toronto GM J.P. Riccardi is searching for. Will he find someone willing to mortgage their franchise's future for Halladay?
The rumor mill is churning out new Halladay stories by the hour (my personal favorite was the Reds' sudden interest), but only the Phillies seem to be in true talks with Toronto.
Here's a quick wrap-up of the new contenders to land the Doc.
The Brew Crew are just two and half games out of first in the Central, but their job didn't get any easier with the arrival of Matt Holliday in St. Louis.
They are no strangers to big deals at the deadline either - even if it's only for a three-month rental.
Big question: Will they give up enough prospects to entice Toronto, for a guy they can't afford long term?
Leading the AL West, and with a farm system loaded with players they seemingly will never give a shot to (G'day, Brandon Wood) the Angels are a perfect trade partner with the prospect hungry JP Riccardi.
The major hurdle? Arte Moreno's characteristic fear of paying superstar pitchers what they're worth.
The Yankees have a an ATM machine in the Bronx, and they know how to use it. The Jays are reportedly enamored with Joba Chamberlain, as are the Yankees. Obstacle?
The Yankees may lack the farm depth to sway the Jays into sticking a fork in their season by trading their ace within the division, but the Yankees are also one of the few clubs built to win now who can afford him for a long-term deal.
The NL West Leaders have a potent offense, two solid starters and a good bullpen. They also have plenty of attractive prospects in their system that could put the Jays over the top.
The only hangup? Will the team be willing to commit to another long term, top-dollar contract?
No matter what, the Jays' only option is to take the money and run now. They're getting the best offers they can now, and they know that in the toughest division in baseball, it will take more than one man to rise above the Yankees, Red Sox, Rays and yes, even those pesky Orioles.
The question is: Who's willing to pay for him?