Halladay has Jays GM in spotlight

BOB ELLIOTT, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 2:02 PM ET

Eleven Decembers ago, Gord Ash was a stalked man.

The Blue Jays general manager literally was chased from one lobby to another at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville in 1998.

Everyone wanted to talk to Ash about the future destination of right-hander Roger Clemens. And Ash didn't want to listen.

Clemens was not dealt anywhere -- until 68 days after the meetings on Feb. 18, 1999, the eve of pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training -- when the Jays and the New York Yankees finalized a deal.

And beginning tomorrow as executives, scouts, advisers and, oh yes, agents, arrive in Indianapolis for the annual trade mart, rookie Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos will step into a similar cauldron.

Like Ash, he'll have an ace in his pocket ready to deal in right-hander Roy Halladay, whose agent said he wants to be moved before the start of spring training or will not entertain trade talks and will pitch for the Jays in 2010, then enter free agency.

Anthopoulos probably was serious this week when he said he would be spending a lot of time in his hotel room, working the phones, rather than strolling through the lobby.

The Jays will be the centre of the attention at baseball's winter meetings for the first time since Clemens asked for a deal. Ash was able to replace Clemens in the short term, obtaining lefty David Wells, second baseman Homer Bush and reliever Graeme Lloyd.

Wells won 37 games his first two seasons with the Jays and 115 the rest of his career, including his Jays days.

Clemens won 27 games for the Yanks, 121 in all after leaving Toronto before also retiring after the 2007 season.

Anthopoulos, however, has a different mantra. He does not want a front-line, expensive arm from, say, the Yankees, Boston Red Sox or the Philadelphia Phillies. He wants a top-flight shortstop or catching prospect who can contribute for more than two years as Wells did before begin dealt to the Chicago White Sox.

The Yanks have the likes of Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain (but likely not both), along with Ian Kennedy, a young catcher in Jesus Montero and possibly outfielder Melky Cabrera. They say that they will not deal outfielder Austin Jackson and catcher Austin Romine.

The Red Sox have the likes of right-hander Clay Buchholz, former No. 1 pick pitcher/shortstop Casey Kelley, hard-throwing reliever Daniel Bard and other prospects.

If the Phillies can unload some payroll, they have lefty J.A. Happ and will deal outfielder Michael Taylor, but likely not outfielder Dominic Brown or right-hander Kyle Drabek.

BOB.ELLIOTT@SUNMEDIA.CA

BALTIMORE ORIOLES

Needs: Vacancies at first and third base, hoping one short-term addition provides a middle-of-the-order bat to ease pressure on Nick Markakis and Adam Jones. A veteran starter and closer.

Wants: Dan Uggla, Adrian Beltre, Pedro Feliz or Chone Figgins for third. 1B Adrian Gonzalez or Miguel Cabrera.

Available: DH-OF Luke Scott, OF Felix Pie, Ty Wigginton. Top prospects are 3B Josh Bell, 1B Brandon Snyder.

BOSTON RED SOX

Needs: A starting pitcher, lefty reliever, a righty middle reliever and a left fielder.

Wants: Re-sign Jason Bay or free-agent OF Matt Holliday. RHP John Lackey or Halladay -- if the price comes down. Gonzalez or Miguel Cabrera. INF Jamey Caroll.

Available: Clay Buchholz for an elite hitter, maybe even for Roy Halladay. 1B Casey Kotchman, who they don't need. RP Manny Delcarmen.

CHICAGO WHITE SOX

Needs: A leadoff hitter, back-up catcher and lefty reliever.

Wants: OF Coco Crisp.

Available: Pitching prospects with Lucas Harrell (Team USA stud, 12-4 at double-A and triple-A) the best. Closer Bobby Jenks likely won't be moved, but GM will listen. Utility player Brent Lillibridge, has an option left, is available but strikes out too much. Struggling RP Scott Linebrink owed $10.5 US million over next two years. 1B Paul Konerko.

CLEVELAND INDIANS

Needs: A cheap utility infielder, a veteran starter (one coming off an injury on a one-year deal?) Cheap right-handed bat, preferably a first baseman.

Wants: RHP Carl Pavano.

Available: Will listen on LHP Jeremy Sowers and INF Andy Marte. Would love to dump DH Travis Hafner's albatrossian contract (three years, $40 million remaining) and closer Kerry Wood, who makes $10.5 million next year with a club option for $11 million in 2011.

DETROIT TIGERS

Needs: Young players who won't cost much, as they have heavy, long-term contracts to deal with, including two (Nate Robertson, Dontrelle Willis) non-frontliners. A left-hander starter. A closer.

Wants: Don't need a second baseman to replace Placido Polanco, they hope rookie Scott Sizemore takes over.

Available: CF Curtis Granderson, RHP Edwin Jackson.

KANSAS CITY ROYALS

Needs: A catcher after souring on Miguel Olivo (free agent after his option bought out) and John Buck (non-tender candidate) tandem. A centre fielder, lefty starter and lefty reliever.

Wants: OF Scott Podsednik, LHP Erik Bedard, C Ivan Rodriguez

Available: 2B Alberto Callaspo, who hit .300, but his defence is below average. Would love to dump Jose Guillen's $12-million salary and eat a chunk, if they get anything of value in return. OF David DeJesus. Brian Bannister and Kyle Davies drew interest at the trade deadline, but both finished with arm injuries.

LOS ANGELES ANGELS

Needs: Replacement for OF Vlad Guerrero in the lineup.

Wants: Re-sign either of their top free agents RHP Lackey or 3B Figgins (not likely now). 1B Konerko.

Available: C Mike Napoli, 2B Howie Kendrick, OF Gary Matthews.

MINNESOTA TWINS

Needs: Trying to re-sign RHP Pavano. Interest in Jarrod Washburn. Rich Harden, too. A second or third baseman. Monitoring Joe Crede's return from another back surgery.

Wants: Mark DeRosa or Orlando Hudson. Robb Quinlan to come off the bat.

Available: LHP Glen Perkins. If Pavano signs, one of Francisco Liriano, Brian Duensing, Anthony Swarzak or Boof Bonser could be moved.

NEW YORK YANKEES

Needs: Starting pitcher and a left fielder.

Wants: Roy Halladay or Lackey. Re-sign Johnny Damon, if he accepts a two-year deal in $20-million range, it will get done. If not, OF DeJesus.

Available: One of RHPs Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain, plus RHP Ian Kennedy. CF Melky Cabrera.

OAKLAND ATHLETICS

Needs: A third baseman with pop since Eric Chavez is returning from a second back surgery, Adam Kennedy is a free agent and top prospect Brett Wallace is not ready.

Wants: 2B Callaspo, RHP Kameron Loe. LHP Noel Arguelles.

Available: OF Scott Hairston, LHP Gio Gonzalez, RHP Brad Ziegler, OF Travis Buck, INF Aaron Miles.

SEATTLE MARINERS

Needs: A middle-of-the-order bat, a corner INF or DH, starting pitching, left fielder with power, backup catcher.

Wants: CF Granderson or Bay. RHPs Lackey or Harden. 3B Chone Figgins.

Available: 2B Jose Lopez, RHP Brandon Morrow or RP Mark Lowe. SS Carlos Triunfel.

TAMPA BAY RAYS

Needs: Two relievers, including a closer, a catcher who hits right-handers to platoon.

Wants: Lackey, OF Milton Bradley.

Available: RP Dan Wheeler. Pat Burrell -- for anyone who will take off their hands all, or some, of his $9-million owed. C Dioner Navarro or Kelly Shoppach. SS prospect Reid Brignac. Unlikely they'd trade either LF Carl Crawford or 1B Carlos Pena, though both heading into final year of contracts.

TEXAS RANGERS

Needs: Possibly catching as Jarrod Saltalamacchia left a game with tingling and numbness in his right arm.

Wants: RHP Harden, RP J.J. Putz. OF Jermaine Dye.

Available: Maybe OF Nelson Cruz.

TORONTO BLUE JAYS

Needs: A catcher, a corner outfielder, starting pitching, prospects, Cupboard is bare. Young shortstop is a must, Alex Gonzalez is a stop-gap measure.

Wants: Pirates C Ryan Doumit, either of Rays Cs Navarro or Shoppach -- one will be non-tendered Dec. 13.

Available: RHP Halladay, 1B Lyle Overbay and his $7.95 million.

ATLANTA BRAVES

Needs: Right-handed hitter for the middle of the order. Set-up man for Billy Wagner.

Wants: Possibly Miguel Cabrera or Nick Johnson. RHP Kameron Loe. OF Mike Cameron, OF Dye.

Available: RHP Derek Lowe, 2B Kelly Johnson, Kenshin Kawakami and maybe RHP Javier Vazquez, though they prefer to trade Lowe (three-years, $45 million).

ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Needs: A No. 4 starter, veteran setup man and role player off the bench.

Wants: An arm like Billy Buckner, Bryan Augenstine or Kevin Mulvey.

Available: C Chris Snyder (already offered to the Jays for Overbay) and OF Eric Byrnes.

CHICAGO CUBS

Needs: Add a CF, so Kosuke Fukudome can move to right. Two bullpen arms.

Wants: CF Granderson. RHP Vicente Padilla. OFs Burrell of Mike Cameron.

Available: OF Bradley, who is owed $21 million. RP Carlos Marmol. One of two SS prospects, either Starlin Castro or Hak-Ju Lee. 2B Mike Fontenot.

CINCINNATI REDS

Needs: A left fielder, a shortstop and a starter.

Wants: LHP Noah Lowry.

Available: 2B Brandon Phillips. RHPs Bronson Arroyo and Aaron Harang. RP Francisco Cordero.

COLORADO ROCKIES

Needs: A right-handed bat who can back up at first and third. A backup catcher.

Wants: 2B Orlando Hudson. LHP Lowry. Re-sign C Yorvit Torrealba. RP Rafael Betancourt or LaTroy Hawkins.

Available: Garrett Atkins, OF Ryan Spilborghs. Brad Hawpe -- in a Matt Holliday-type deal.

FLORIDA MARLINS

Needs: Bullpen arms, lefty pinch-hitter if Ross Gload doesn't re-sign.

Wants: INF Jamey Carroll.

Available: Two-time, all-star 2B Dan Uggla, RHP Josh Johnson, RPs Renyel Pinto or Matt Lindstrom as they believe Leo Nunez can close.

HOUSTON ASTROS

Needs: Four rotation spots. Near bottom of the NL in starting pitching and homers. Near top in blown saves and getting thrown out on the basepaths.

Wants: RP Putz.

Available: 2B Kaz Matsui and $5.5-million salary could be had for a song. Carlos Lee, but he has a no-trade clause.

LOS ANGELES DODGERS

Needs: Third baseman. Back-of-rotation starter to replace LHP Randy Wolf.

Wants: Re-sign 2B Rafael Belliard or deal for Uggla or Phillips. LHP Lowry.

Available: OF Juan Pierre, in a you-take-my-bad-contract-I'll-take-your-bad-contract deal.

MILWAUKEE BREWERS

Needs: Bullpen help. Starting pitcher. Declined options on RHPs Braden Looper and David Weathers. An extra infielder. Made Gregg Zaun their No. 1 catcher.

Wants: Lackey or Halladay.

Available: RF Corey Hart, LHP Manny Parra. 3B prospect Mat Gamel -- only in a big deal.

NEW YORK METS

Needs: A No. 2 starter. Left fielder. First baseman.

Wants: RHP Joel Pineiro or Jason Marquis. 1B Miguel Cabrera, 2B Hudson, RHP Ben Sheets. C Bengie Molina or Rod Barajas. OF Cameron.

Available: 2B Luis Castillo.

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

Needs: Starter, plus two RPs after signing 3B Placido Polanco, C Brian Schneider and INF Juan Castro.

Wants: Halladay. Ex-Jay Brandon Lyon. John Smoltz. Available: May deal minor league OF Michael Taylor or OF Dominic Brown, but not RHP Kyle Drabek.

PITTSBURGH PIRATES

Needs: Left-handed hitting first baseman or outfielder with power, a long-term shortstop, bullpen help in general and a lefty reliever in particular.

Wants: RHP Justin Duchscherer, OF Xavier Nady, RP Ron Villone, LHP Lowry, RP Putz, RHP Loe, SS Brignac.

Available: Closer Matt Capps. Will listen on LHPs Zach Duke and Paul Maholm. C Doumit.

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

Needs: Resign OF Holliday, Veteran starter if Holliday isn't signed. Bat off the bench.

Wants: RHP Padilla. RHP Smoltz. Re-sign INF/OF DeRosa. OF Dye.

Available: OF Ryan Ludwick in a deal for pitching if Holliday is back.

SAN DIEGO PADRES

Needs: Right-handed hiting outfielder. Starting pitching and bullpen help. Backup catcher. Backup infielder.

Wants: OF Reed Johnson, LHP Lowry.

Available: 1B Adrian Gonzalez. RP Heath Bell. 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff. Starter Chris Young.

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

Needs: A catcher to a tutor rookie Buster Posey, a back-end starter, a reliever and bats in form of a corner infielder or outfielder.

Wants: 1B Johnson. OF Dye.

Available: RP Jonathan Sanchez can be had. Speedy OF Fred Lewis, who will take a base on balls, and Aaron Rowand and his $36 million remaining. Pitching prospect Madison Bumgarner or ace Matt Cain won't be moved.

WASHINGTON NATIONALS

Needs: One of two veteran starters. Catcher, second baseman.

Wants: RHP Smoltz.

Available: OF Josh Willingham. SS Cristian Guzman's $8-million contract, young pitching prospects.


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