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.

2017 Preview: The American League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League East

Boston may have the most talent and, in Mookie Betts, the best player. The Yankees have the best farm system. Baltimore has all the dingers and the best closer. Toronto may have the best collection of heels, at least in the view of fans of the other AL East teams.  The Rays have the best . . . hmm. I’ll get back to you on that.

Anyway, here are our previews for the American League East:

Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.