Link-O-Rama: Halladay, Kendall, Smoltz, Dye

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* Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos revealed that trading Roy Halladay within the division “will never be a stumbling block.” That’s a smart approach, if only because it’s tough to get maximum trade value for a big-name player without involving the Yankees and Red Sox to some extent.
* General manager Doug Melvin hinted yesterday that the Brewers may go young at catcher rather than re-sign veteran Jason Kendall. “We paid $5 million for the position in the past,” Melvin said. “I don’t know if we can do that again.” Milwaukee has a pair of upper-minors catching prospects in Jonathan Lucroy and Angel Salome, and Kendall hit just .241/.331/.305 this season.
* John Smoltz reiterated that he wants to pitch in 2010, and it sounds like both sides are open to another season in St. Louis after he posted a 4.26 ERA and 40/9 K/BB ratio in seven starts with the Cardinals following a brutal stint in the AL.
* Jermaine Dye admitted yesterday that “it doesn’t look good” for his chances of a sixth season with the White Sox after the team chose a $1 million buyout over his $12 million option for 2010.

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.

Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.

The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.

If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.