Blue Jays president and CEO Paul Beeston told the New York Post that Halladay is planning on testing free agency next offseason, removing the possibility of signing an extension with Toronto. Halladay has made it no secret that he wants an opportunity to win a World Series soon.
"We would like to sign him, he is an original Blue Jay and we have never had a pitcher as good as him," Beeston told the Post. "But he is not inclined to sign with us."
On Friday, MLB.com's Carrie Muskat reported that the Blue Jays contacted the Cubs to discuss a potential trade involving Halladay. Toronto went as far as informing Chicago that it wants to trade Halladay this offseason.
When reached for comment on Friday night, Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos declined comment.
The Yankees and Dodgers are rumored to have serious interest in Halladay. The Red Sox and Phillies have been mentioned as having varying degrees of interest as well. A deal with the Cubs does not appear realistic at the moment, considering Halladay is owed $15.75 million in 2010 and Toronto has asked for a package of Chicago's top prospects.
This past season, Halladay went 17-10 with a 2.79 ERA, leading the Majors with nine complete games and four shutouts. Halladay -- the recipient of the 2003 American League Cy Young Award -- finished fifth in balloting for the award this year, giving him four consecutive seasons with a place among the top five pitchers considered for the honor.
Anthopoulos has indicated that he would not hesitate to trade one of his players within the AL East, if it made sense -- something former Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi was not willing to do while shopping Halladay last season. As a general philosophy, Anthopoulos is also willing to consider giving a team a window to negotiate an extension with a Jays player in trade talks, if it means the return is significantly greater.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.