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Phils are out, now what?

Jul 29, 2009, 2:54 PM EDT

Last we heard from J.P. Ricciardi, he told Yahoo! Sports the following:

“It doesn’t matter if it’s today or tomorrow or Friday or next week. Nothing is close. Nothing is happening.”

This afternoon the Phillies went out and acquired 2008 American League
Cy Young winner Cliff Lee — and Ben Francisco, the righty bat they
have been seeking — in exchange for Triple-A pitcher Carlos Carrasco,
Jason Knapp, Jason Donald and Lou Marson, effectively eliminating the
Jays’ biggest potential suitor. So now what?

In terms of pure talent, the Rangers, with their deep and
major-league ready system (Justin Smoak, Neftali Feliz, Derek Holland)
have the most to offer, but even they have balked at the asking price, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com.

The Rangers have had discussions with
the Blue Jays concerning Halladay but have balked at the asking price.
The Blue Jays are looking for a package that includes prospects at the
level of pitcher Derek Holland, Minor League first baseman Justin Smoak
and outfielder Julio Borbon.

The Rangers, who have limited
financial flexibility anyway, aren’t willing to give that much for
Halladay. But they are still talking with other clubs, and general
manager Jon Daniels’ top priority is still starting pitching.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post
cites a team official who has spoken with Ricciardi as saying the Red
Sox, with their most recent offer of Clay Buchholz and others, now have
the best shot at landing Halladay.

Of course, it’s also possible that after all the spilled ink and all
the fake tweets, nothing happens and Halladay stays through 2010, only
to sign with the Yankees for $150 million in 2011.

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