On Saturday, the Phillies -- considered the front-runners to acquire Halladay -- reportedly rejected a formal proposal sent their way by the Blue Jays. According to an ESPN report, Philadelphia balked at an offer that would have sent pitchers J.A. Happ and Kyle Drabek, along with outfield prospect Dominic Brown, to Toronto in exchange for Halladay.
Citing an executive of a team that has spoken with the Phillies, the report indicates that Philadelphia is opposed to giving up both Happ and Drabek.
MLB.com learned that Jays assistant general manager Tony LaCava scouted the latest outing of Phillies pitching prospect Carlos Carrasco, who could possibly be substituted for either Happ or Drabek in a deal.
The Phillies and Blue Jays continue to discuss names, including outfielder Michael Taylor, catcher Lou Marson and shortstop Jason Donald, and Toronto would prefer to have the matter resolved prior to Halladay's next scheduled start, on Wednesday in Seattle. Major League Baseball's non-waiver Trade Deadline is on Friday, but the Jays don't want the process to drag on that long.
On Friday, the Phillies and Yankees had scouts at Rogers Centre for Halladay's latest start, in which he struck out 10 over nine innings en route to a no-decision. New York may have been there to watch Toronto closer Scott Downs. Other teams with varying interest in Halladay include the Brewers, Dodgers, White Sox, Rangers, Red Sox, Angels and Rays.
According to the same ESPN report, the Blue Jays have also presented the Angels and Dodgers with lists of players that interest Toronto. The Angels are believed to be more aggressively pursuing Halladay than the Dodgers.
Ricciardi declined to comment any more about Halladay's situation on Friday, preferring to address the matter after the pitcher is dealt or after the Trade Deadline passes. Following his start against Tampa Bay, Halladay spoke with a large group of reporters for 20 minutes and said he doesn't believe he will be traded.
"Right now, yeah, I think I will be here," said Halladay, who is 11-3 with a 2.62 ERA this season. "If there was an urgency to be somewhere else, and an urgency for the team to have me somewhere else, I think it'd be different. I just don't get that feeling."
Halladay, who is under contract through 2010, said he has talked to the Jays' front office about a list of teams to which he'd approve a trade. Halladay added that he did not inform Toronto that he has no interest in signing an extension in favor of testing free agency after his contract expires. Halladay told the Jays that he wants to see how things play out over the next year and a half before making a decision.
"I feel like it's just something that I don't want to try and look that far in the future right now," Halladay said. "I would rather assess the situation when my contract is up. ... It's not that I want to go somewhere else, or I want to play somewhere else, but I really feel like I've fulfilled a lot of obligations, and I think at some point, you have to be a little bit selfish in what you want."
"It's purely based on having a chance to win. It really is. I love it here, I want to stay, and I really do hope it's here. But I think for me, I've taken care of a lot of things, and I feel like I would hate to look back and regret that I had this three- or four-year window and I didn't take a chance to give myself the best opportunity, and that's really all I'm trying to do."
Halladay said he has also discussed the situation with Blue Jays interim president and CEO Paul Beeston, and the pitcher believes the organization is heading in the right direction. Halladay added that he doesn't feel Toronto needs "major changes" to contend, but that doesn't mean he isn't opposed to exploring all of his options.
"I definitely feel like there's a plan in place," Halladay said. "I feel like it's an organization that's trying to move forward. That it's trying to get better. From that aspect of it, I think there's a lot to look forward to here. For me, it's more of a wait-and-see [approach]. I know Paul's done a great job and I have a lot of confidence in J.P.
"There's a lot to look forward to here. I just think I owe it to myself at this point to kind of wait and see and assess the situation when I have to. I do feel like there's a lot of positives here."
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.