Halladay rumors fly but a trade seems unlikely

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The Rangers are excited about the possibility of Roy Halladay coming to Texas:

Blue Jays right-handed ace Roy Halladay was the No. 1 topic of
discussion in the Rangers clubhouse before Wednesday’s game with the
Angels . . . “I’d love to have him here,” outfielder Marlon Byrd said.
“I don’t know what price it would take to get him, but I’d love to have
him.” “You always want people who you feel could help the ballclub,”
outfielder Josh Hamilton added. “It’s not my decision to make, so I
don’t know. But I want whatever would help this ballclub win games and
get to the postseason. I’ll leave that decision up to the front
office.” “We’re going to look to improve the club every way we can,”
[GM Jon] Daniels said. “I’ll leave it at that.”

There’s also excitement in Philadelphia, St. Louis and a bunch of other places.

As I said the other day,
I don’t see Texas, given their owners’ financial difficulties, being
able to pay the $22M+ Halladay is owed this year and next, and that’s
even if Halladay were willing to waive his no-trade clause to go to the
ballpark where pitching goes to die. As for Philly and St. Louis, I
still don’t think they have the chips, and I still question whether
Halladay will even be traded. Everyone is keying so much on J.P.
Ricciardi’s comments about shopping him a couple of days ago, but not
too many people noticed when he said this yesterday:

Riccardi isn’t optimistic a trade will happen.

“My gut feeling is no, we won’t, because there aren’t too many teams
out there who are willing to give us the significant package of
prospects we would need to make this go,” Riccardi told the Globe.
“Teams protect their prospects.”

Posturing? Maybe. But I still kind of doubt it, and while everyone goes
crazy trying to figure out where Halladay is going, I’m going to stand
by my original statement: He ain’t goin’ anywhere.

Orioles have reached out to Yovani Gallardo

Yovani Gallardo
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

From Jon Heyman of CBS Sports comes word that the Orioles “like” free agent starter Yovani Gallardo and “have reached out to him” to gauge his interest in coming to Baltimore and what that might cost.

Gallardo rejected a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from the Rangers earlier this month and so his free agency is tied to draft pick compensation, but that shouldn’t hurt his bottom line all that much.

The 29-year-old right-hander posted a solid 3.42 ERA in 184 1/3 innings (33 starts) this past season for Texas and he pitched well in his one ALDS start.

Heyman reported a few weeks ago that the Diamondbacks are interested, and the Cubs, Blue Jays, and Dodgers were tied to him just ahead of the July 31 trade deadline.

Cubs, Cardinals, Giants, Dodgers, and Red Sox all showing serious interest in David Price

AP Photo/Tim Donnelly

David Price has expressed a desire to return to Toronto, where he finished out the 2015 season, but FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal writes Wednesday that the Blue Jays “are not expected to be a major factor in his free agency.”

The teams that should be considered serious suitors, per Rosenthal, are the Cubs, Cardinals, Giants, Dodgers, and Red Sox — all deep-pocketed teams looking to contend in 2016. Money is apparently the issue for the Blue Jays, who are currently owned by Rogers Communications.

Price registered an outstanding 2.45 ERA, 1.076 WHIP, and 225/47 K/BB ratio in 220 1/3 innings (32 starts) this past season between the Tigers and Jays, finishing second in the American League Cy Young Award race behind Dallas Keuchel of the Astros.

The 30-year-old left-hander is probably looking for a six- or seven-year contract worth more than $25 million per season. He is represented by agent Bo McKinnis.

Marlins have begun extension talks with Dee Gordon

Dee Gordon
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald wrote three weeks ago that the Marlins were probably going to explore an extension this winter with second baseman Dee Gordon. And it sounds like those talks are underway.

Via beat writer Joe Frisaro of MLB.com:

As a guest on MLB Network’s “Hot Stove” show Wednesday morning, Gordon confirmed his camp has been in talks with the Marlins regarding a multiyear deal. A source told MLB.com that the discussions are preliminary and have just recently started.

“My agent is doing the talking,” Gordon said on the show. “They’re just keeping me in the loop. I think it’s going pretty well right now. We’ll see how that goes. I’m just playing the waiting game. We’re going to do the right thing.”

The 27-year-old carries three more seasons of salary arbitration, so there’s no real rush to get something done before next spring. Gordon carries quite a bit of leverage after posting a career-best .333/.359/.418 slash line in 145 games this past season for the Fish. He led all major leaguers in hits (205) and stolen bases (58).

Braves sign Bud Norris to one-year contract

Bud Norris

Bud Norris has found a home for his attempt at a bounceback season, signing a one-year deal with the Braves. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says it’s worth $2.5 million, which is a huge cut from his $8.8 million salary this year.

Norris had established himself as a solid mid-rotation starter from 2009-2014, but had a brutal 2015 season split between the Orioles and Padres with a 6.72 ERA in 83 innings and a late-season move to the bullpen.

In announcing the signing the Braves referred to Norris as a starting pitcher, so joining the rotation for a rebuilding team gives him a chance to get his career back on track with an eye on hitting the open market as a free agent again next offseason. And if he fares well, the Braves could use him to add a prospect or two at the trade deadline.