Halladay Who? Phillies Targeting Lee

by Ben Cook on July 28, 2009

With negotiations for Roy Halladay seemingly at a stand-still, the Philadelphia Phillies are reportedly targeting Cleveland Indians ace, Cliff Lee.

With the Blue Jay’s asking price sky high for Halladay, Lee has emerged as a VERY popular trade target, with everyone from the Rays, to Red Sox, to Rangers, and now the Phillies trying to acquire the left handed ace.

The Indians are obviously looking to capitalize on the high demand and are apparently asking for several prospects in return, however, the Phillies apparently wouldn’t have to include top pitching prospect Kyle Drabek.

While not quite as dominant as Halladay this year, Lee has been very effective going 7-9 with a 3.14 ERA and is under contract for year at a price of just $8 million (or roughly half of what Halladay is due).

It certainly would make sense for the Phillies to have a backup plan in case they don’t land Halladay and it also gives them a bit more leverage with Toronto. Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi has constantly insisted that the Jays don’t have to trade Halladay, but he’d be a fool not to as Halladay’s value plumets once the clock strikes midnight this Friday.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this report of the Phillies pursuing Lee didn’t get the Halladay to Philadelphia talks rolling once more.

Cleveland for their part seems to be playing the situation quite well. They can either wait until Halladay is delt and operate from a position of power holding the only remaining ace available, or they can snatch up one a package of top prospects while Toronto continues to play hardball.

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