Game 85: Toronto at Tampa Bay pregame
So Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi has let it be known that he’s willing to entertain trade offers for ace Roy Halladay. Toronto isn’t shopping its best player, but the club is at least admitting that it will listen to what is out there.
So how does Doc feel about all of this?
“For me, the best I can do is try to avoid letting it become a distraction and go from there. I understand, obviously, the economics of the game and how the game works. It’s a situation where I think if it’s best for the team, if it’s best for me, then you go from there. At this point, it’s too hard to tell.”
Doc’s reaction seemed to indicate that he’s a little more open to the concept of a trade than he has been in the past. Toronto is in fourth place, the rotation is in shambles, Halladay is a free agent after 2010 and he wants to win. He wants to win in Toronto, but he needs to feel the situation north of the border is going to improve swiftly for him to want to stick around for the long haul.
“My goals have always been the same,” Halladay said. “I love Toronto. I want to stay here, but I want to win as well. That’s becoming more and more of a goal for me. Obviously, my first choice would be to do it here. Like I’ve said in the past, whether or not our organization and my goals line up, it’s never always going to be that way. Sometimes teams have to take steps back and I understand that. I think you always keep in mind the direction you want to go as a player.”
If he’s not dealt, Halladay was asked if he’d want to wait to see how the 2010 plays out before opting to sign an extension.
“I don’t know if you were to talk about something like that what it would entail. I think my biggest decision would be, ‘Do I feel like this is going to go in a direction where we have a chance to win, and quickly?’ And that’s it. It’s hard to tell, but it’s not going to be a decision based on whether it’s a certain years or a certain number. It’s going to be based on winning.”
Halladay said Ricciardi might even be willing to listen to offers knowing the pitcher’s desire to finally reach a World Series.
“He knows where I’m coming from,” Halladay said. “I really believe, even in situations like this, that maybe he’s looking for my best interest, too. Obviously, I’m grateful to have a guy who does take that into account. We really haven’t had those talks, but I think it’s always been open communication.”
In the past Halladay has said he’d prefer not to play for teams that throw tons of money at players in order to try to “buy” championships (see: New York Yankees). Halladay wants to feel his team has fought it’s way and earned a title. Would Halladay accept a trade to a team like the Yankees now?
“That’s a hard question to answer. Really, at this point, I have to do the best I can to focus on my job here. If something does come up, you weigh your options at that point. I hate to put the cart before the horse and start saying I don’t want to go here, I want to do this or I want to do that. I think you just evaluate situations when they come up. I have to focus on my job here.”
Asked if he was more open to a trade than in the past, as it seemed during the interview, Halladay grimaced and hesitated.
“That’s tough. That’s a tough question to answer, honestly,” Halladay said. “I want to stay here, but I think when an organization is kind of thinking that maybe we kind of want to go this direction and it’s a situation that suits the team and yourself, then you have to evaluate that and say, ‘Maybe this is the best thing.’ I’m really not in that situation yet.
OTHER ITEMS: Blue Jays pitcher Shaun Marcum (Tommy John on right elbow at end of last season) logged three innings for Class A Dunedin on Monday. If everything goes according to plan, Toronto believes Marcum might be able to join the big league rotation the first week of August. … Scott Richmond (sore right shoulder) received a cortisone shot and underwent an MRI on Tuesday and is waiting on the results. The team doctor believes it’s just inflammation. Richmond can’t resume throwing for at least three days. … LHP Scott Downs (sprained toe left foot) threw off a mound on Tuesday. The Jays will wait and see how he feels on Wednesday before determining if he can be activated from the DL to rejoin the bullpen. … RHP Jesse Litsch (TJ right elbow earlier this year) made an appearance at The Trop. … The Jays players and coaches were all wearing “LIND YOUR VOTE” shirts during pregame to promote Adam Lind for the Final Vote All-Star spot. You can vote for Lind on bluejays.com.
1. Marco Scutaro, SS
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Adam Lind, DH
4. Scott Rolen, 3B
5. Lyle Overbay, 1B
6. Vernon Wells, CF
7. Alex Rios, RF
8. David Dellucci, LF
9. Rod Barajas, C
Starter: LHP Marc Rzepczynski (MLB debut)
TAMPA BAY RAYS (44-39)
Second place AL East, 5.5 GB
1. B.J. Upton, CF
2. Carl Crawford, LF
3. Evan Longoria, 3B
4. Carlos Pena, 1B
5. Ben Zobrist, 2B
6. Pat Burrell, DH
7. Jason Bartlett, SS
8. Gabe Kapler, RF
9. Dioner Navarro, C
Starter: RHP James Shields (6-6, 3.50)
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