GM: Halladay not interested in signing extension

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During a radio interview this morning Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi revealed
that Roy Halladay is not interesting in signing a long-term extension
and plans to hit the open market once his contract expires after next
season, which helps explain why the Blue Jays are shopping their ace.

“What’s changed is Roy has told us that he’s going to test the
free-agent market,” Ricciardi said, adding that the Blue Jays’ public,
self-imposed July 28 deadline to trade Halladay “can fluctuate … if
we’re down the road with something” but “if we’re not down the road by
the 28th, nothing’s going to happen.”

Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports
that the Phillies remain the front-runners for Halladay and the Blue
Jays sent assistant general manager Tony LaCava to scout 21-year-old
pitching prospect Kyle Drabek’s latest start at Double-A despite
previous speculation that Philadelphia is unwilling to include him a
deal.

Bastian also notes that the Yankees, White Sox, Brewers, Dodgers,
Cardinals, Rangers, and Red Sox “have been tied to Halladay in various
reports.” However, according to Ricciardi “only a few teams have
approached him with serious interest” in Halladay. “Some are serious
and some I would say are delirious,” Ricciardi said.

Cubs place Ben Zobrist on 10-day disabled list with back soreness

Ben Zobrist
AP Images
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Cubs infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with back soreness. The move is retroactive to April 14. While it doesn’t appear to be the precursor to any serious injury, Zobrist has already missed six straight days of activity after feeling his back tighten up last weekend. Should he see the minimum time on the DL, as expected, he’ll be eligible to return by the start of the Cubs’ series against the Indians on Tuesday.

Prior to his injury, the 36-year-old outfielder raked an impressive .326/.408/.465 with three extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances. He last appeared for the Cubs during their homestand last weekend and helped propel the team to a 14-10 win over the Braves with three hits, two walks and two RBI. Provided that he can remain healthy going forward, it’s a promising start for the veteran outfielder, who has yet to return to the All-Star-worthy numbers he posted with the club in 2016.

With Zobrist sidelined for the time being, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. have shared the leadoff spot and center field duties over the last week. Happ went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in two games before passing the baton to Almora, who collected five hits and two RBI in 11 at-bats.