Roy Halladay in Texas Rangers' Crosshairs as Trade Deadline Looms

Bo ReedCorrespondent IJuly 31, 2009

ST LOUIS, MO - JULY 14:  American League All-Star Roy Halladay of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during the 2009 MLB All-Star Game at Busch Stadium on July 14, 2009 in St Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Morry Gash-Pool/Getty Images)

With only a few hours remaining before Major League Baseball's non-waiver trade deadline, the Texas Rangers seem to be focused on upgrading the rotation.

Injuries have forced the Rangers to look for a starter, and all indications point to Roy Halladay as the Rangers' prime target.

SI's Jon Heyman has reported the Rangers came close to acquiring Halladay yesterday, but talks have hit a snag.

Perhaps it was the dominating performance of Derek Holland, who allowed one base runner through eight innings before running into some trouble in the ninth, that caused the snag.

It also could have been the widely reported financial issues of Rangers owner Tom Hicks despite a report late Thursday indicating the Rangers were not restrained financially with a potential trade for Halladay.

If that is true, then this comes down to a pure and simple baseball decision; well, maybe simple is the wrong word to use.

The Blue Jays are asking for Holland, Justin Smoak, and two more prospects for a deal with Halladay.

The Rangers are not trading Holland, and there will be no negotiating that point. His performance against the Mariners on Thursday was easily a top 10 moment in the history of the Rangers franchise.

Only the Nolan Ryan no-hitters and Kenny Rogers' perfect game stand out more than what the 22-year-old lefty accomplished last night.

They do seem willing to include Neftali Feliz and Smoak in a deal with the Jays. Julio Borbon has also been mentioned as a possible piece going to Toronto, but talks at the moment are centered on Holland.

As the deadline approaches, the Blue Jays are certainly talking to other teams and may try to scare the Angels into making a move to keep Halladay out of Arlington, but if the Blue Jays are unsuccessful, they will face a decision.

Drop their demand for Holland and maybe get some additional prospects in a package built around Smoak and Feliz, or miss out on what would still be a very good package of prospects.

Either way, the only thing that appears to be certain is Holland will make his next start as a member of the Rangers.

Beyond that, it's all rumors and question marks.