Two baseball sources said Friday that a trade between the Phillies and Blue Jays for Halladay is not imminent, although there are indications a deal is getting closer.
The Blue Jays are believed to be seeking Double-A Reading right-hander Kyle Drabek, Phillies left-hander J.A. Happ and Triple-A Lehigh Valley outfielder Michael Taylor or Class A Clearwater outfielder Dominic Brown as part of a deal.
A Blue Jays scout also watched Lehigh Valley right-hander Carlos Carrasco pitch Friday in Gwinnett, Ga., which could mean the Phillies could keep either Happ or Drabek and include Carrasco instead.
There are reports that the Phillies would be willing to include Drabek in a package for Halladay. A report earlier this week suggested otherwise, although Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Thursday, "There are some people we would not trade and there are some people we would, and it's all subject to change."
Amaro had nothing to say Friday, but there is no question Halladay is on the minds of many at Citizens Bank Park.
Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels is one of them. He certainly would welcome Halladay atop the rotation.
"I think he's the best pitcher in baseball, and I think he can help out any team," Hamels said. "He'll definitely help us. I think we have a tremendous team, and then you add one of the best players in baseball. He doesn't have an ego, so I think he'd fit in really well in this picture."
So go for it?
"It depends on if you want to try to win the World Series the next two years, because that's what he's going to be here for," Hamels said. "Winning the World Series or at least attempting to win the World Series the next two years will please us, please the organization and please the fans. You can't really complain about that. I think it would be a step in a good direction."
The Phillies once considered Hamels an untouchable as he rose through the farm system. Drabek has similar potential.
"I'm glad I was untouchable," Hamels said, referring to last year's World Series.
The hope is Halladay will bring the Phillies at least one more World Series championship before he becomes a free agent after the 2010 season. That is no guarantee, but the feeling inside the Phillies clubhouse is that it is worth a shot.
"He's one of the best and he can only help," Hamels said.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less