AP source: Phils have tentative deal for Halladay


The Phillies have a tentative agreement to acquire star pitcher Roy Halladay in a trade with Toronto, and the former Cy Young Award winner was in Philadelphia for a physical required to finalize the deal.

Philadelphia also is discussing a trade that would send Cliff Lee, another former Cy Young winner, to the Seattle Mariners.

The commissioner’s office granted a 72-hour window on Sunday for Toronto and Philadelphia to complete their trade, a baseball official familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Monday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because Major League Baseball didn’t make any announcement.


AP Sports Writers Ronald Blum and Mike Fitzpatrick in New York and AP freelance writer Ian Harrison in Toronto contributed to this report.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

Toronto pitcher Roy Halladay was in Philadelphia on Monday to take a physical for the NL champion Phillies, according to a person with knowledge of the situation — a necessary step before the teams complete a potential blockbuster trade involving the former Cy Young Award winner.

The person spoke Monday on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because the teams had not made any announcement. Philadelphia could give up pitchers J.A. Happ, Joe Blanton and outfielder Dominic Brown as part of a deal, the person said.

Those three players also took physicals in Philadelphia on Monday.

Halladay is the most prized pitcher on the trade market. A six-time All-Star and the 2003 AL Cy Young Award winner, the right-hander went 17-10 with a 2.79 ERA for the Blue Jays last season. He led the majors with four shutouts and nine complete games while throwing 239 innings, second to Detroit’s Justin Verlander (240).

The 32-year-old Halladay can become a free agent after the 2010 season, so Philadelphia likely wants a long-term contract extension as part of a trade. He would be a huge addition for the aggressive Phillies, who won the 2008 World Series and repeated as NL champs this year, when they lost the World Series to the New York Yankees in six games.

Halladay has a no-trade clause that gives him the right to block any deal. The Phillies are thought to be a preferable fit for him because they hold spring training in Clearwater, Fla., near his offseason home.

Aware they probably couldn’t afford to keep Halladay beyond next season, the Blue Jays shopped their ace before the July 31 trade deadline. The Phillies were thought to be involved in talks involving Halladay at that point, but instead they landed lefty Cliff Lee from the Cleveland Indians for four minor leaguers.

Lee was a big reason Philadelphia won its second consecutive pennant, going 4-0 with a 1.56 ERA and two complete games in five postseason starts.

SI.com reported Monday that Lee, who also can become a free agent after next season, is expected to be traded to Seattle as part of a three-team deal that would send Halladay to the Phillies. Other outlets indicated it could still be a two-team trade between Toronto and Philadelphia.

The Blue Jays fired general manager J.P. Ricciardi late in the season and replaced him with Alex Anthopoulos. When contacted Monday by the AP, Anthopoulos declined comment.

The Phillies have been busy this offseason, signing free-agent third baseman Placido Polanco to an $18 million, three-year contract. They also signed Brian Schneider to be their backup catcher, and reserve infielder Juan Castro.

Halladay has been one of baseball’s best pitchers for years. He owns a 148-76 career record with a 3.43 ERA.


AP Sports Writers Ronald Blum and Mike Fitzpatrick in New York and AP freelance writer Ian Harrison in Toronto contributed to this report.