Live from Indy: Cold start, nothing "imminent," preposterous Halladay rumor
[MARC TOPKIN | Times]
UPDATE, 9:15: The foxsports.com report that the Rays would be willing trade Upton and Davis for Halladay isn't just wrong, but - in a word - preposterous. The Rays have checked in with the Jays on Halladay, as they do for just about every available player, though they didn't even talk on Monday. To think they would give up two premium young players for one year of Halladay, as well as take on his $15.75-million salary, makes zero sense. And their chance of signing him long-term would be equally improbable.
UPDATE, 6:10: Rays exec VP Andrew Friedman said at this first briefing of the meetings that the Rays had talked to some teams and some agents - mostly about relievers - but that there was "nothing imminent" on the trade or free agent front.
The Rays are coming up in all kinds of rumors and while some have some legitimacy - such as interest in Marlins reliever Matt Lindstrom - and some are a bit on the, um, wild side. First, was a report this morning on the phillyburbs.com site that the Rays had traded Pat Burrell to the Mets, which of course wasn't true and eventually taken down.
Now there is a report from the foxsports.com crew suggesting the Rays have interest in Toronto ace Roy Halladay. That part makes sense - no matter how unlikely it would be to get him, it's good business to check. But the report goes on to suggest the Rays "might be willing" to offer CF B.J. Upton and RHP Wade Davis for Halladay - even though he could leave at the end of the season as a free agent.
Given how the Rays do business, it would be extremely hard to believe they would give up two of their prized young players for one year of Halladay, and almost as hard to believe they would have the money to sign Halladay to a long-term deal to make it worthwhile.
So while there may be "one major league source" telling foxsports.com about it, there wouldn't appear to be any way that was the case.
UPDATE, 12:44: Rays officials are expected to arrive shortly, as the Milton Bradley rumors go on - and on and on. Here's an interesting twist from the Chicago Tribune, which says the Cubs are letting Bradley's agents, the Levinson brothers, talk to other teams "to let them know he's not the ogre that has been portrayed in the media.'' .... And if the deal involved the Cubs sending Pat Burrell to the Mets, Newsday's David Lennon reported on Twitter that the Mets "are not interested in him. Not in 3-way, not in any way.'' ... Another name among the many the Rays are being connected to is reliever Kevin Gregg, a free agent who had and lose the closer's job with the Cubs last season.
DEVELOPING: Monday started with a layer of snow on the ground in Indianapolis, and the hope of all the assembled media is that the action heats up in the next day or two.
Rays officials arrive this afternoon, seeking to improve their bullpen (with some interest in Marlins reliever Matt Lindstrom), clarify their catching situation and — possibly — talk to the Cubs about swapping Pat Burrell for Milton Bradley, assuming the Cubs help out with a hefty share of the potential $15-million more due Bradley over the next two years.
Whether any of that happens — or happens here — will play out.