Get Your Halladay Fix
– Ruben Amaro Jr. said this afternoon he did not have a sense either way if the Phillies would make a trade – any trade – before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. But we know most baseball insiders still consider the Phillies the favorites to get Halladay. And we know the Phillies remain hot after Halladay. Former Phillies general manager Pat Gillick has been in Toronto recently, and Blue Jays scouts have been combing the Phillies’ farm system as they decide on the prospects the Phillies would need to include to acquire the former Cy Young winner.
– Here’s the kicker if the Phillies and Blue Jays pull the trigger at the last hour: Halladay won’t need to change hotel rooms. The Phillies play the Giants in San Francisco from July 30 – Aug. 2 and the Blue Jays play the Athletics in Oakland from July 31 – Aug. 2. Both teams are staying in the same hotel in San Francisco.
– Amaro said any reports about his prospects being untouchable (or tradeable) are purely speculative, including reports that the Phillies have told the Blue Jays that Double-A Reading right-hander Kyle Drabek would not be traded. Amaro wouldn’t say if they would trade Drabek or not. “There are some people we would not trade and there are some people we would, and it’s all subject to change,” Amaro said.
– Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi said he expects a package “similar or better” to packages the Orioles received in 2008 for Erik Bedard and the Indians received in 2002 for Bartolo Colon. The Orioles received All-Star outfielder Adam Jones, All-Star closer George Sherrill, top pitching prospect Chris Tillman and two others for Bedard. The Indians received Cy Young winner Cliff Lee, All-Star outfielder Grady Sizemore, second baseman Brandon Phillips and Lee Stevens for Colon.
– There is some thought the Phillies, if they are unable to land a quality starter, will turn their attention to the bullpen. AOL Fanhouse reported this week the Phillies have scouted Diamondbacks closer Chad Qualls. Sherrill could be available at the right price. Bullpen help makes sense. The Phillies just placed left-hander J.C. Romero and right-hander Chad Durbin on the 15-day disabled list, and closer Brad Lidge continues to struggle.
– The Phillies still hope to land a right-handed bat for their bench. They fell short in recent weeks in their pursuit of Mark DeRosa and Scott Hairston. “We have different pursuits,” Amaro said. “We’ll continue to pursue all of them. And we’ll decide by the 31st which is our biggest need. … We’re just trying to improve our club if we can. If it’s with pitching, it’s pitching. If it’s with a bat, it’s a bat. We’ll try to address all these issues. These are all issues that are easier said than done. It doesn’t mean they’re going to be done. They may be done internally, too. Are we trying to improve our club in those three areas? Yes, but how we line it up and prioritize it is something that we’ll keep to ourselves.”
– Asked which he would prefer: a starter or a reliever before the deadline, Charlie Manuel didn’t miss a beat: “I prefer the horse. The horse keeps you out of your bullpen.”
Pedro Martinez threw 60 pitches in a simulated game and felt fine. He is expected to begin a rehab assingment Sunday with Single-A Clearwater.