The Yankees call the Jays about Roy Halladay

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There has long been an assumption that either the Yankees or the Red Sox will the ultimate landing pad for Roy Halladay, but it’s just been speculation.  It’s getting less speculative, however, as Jon Heyman is reporting that the Yankees have actually called the Jays about Doc

Heyman thinks that the starting point of any Yankees-Jays talks would be either Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes (last year the Jays wanted both, but probably weren’t serious about trading with the Yankees).  Catching prospect Jesus Montero is mentioned, but young stud catchers are harder to find than ace pitchers, and given how old the Yankees’ current catcher is, he’s probably off limits.

One direction Heyman doesn’t mention is the possibility of the Yankees going in with little in the way of young talent, but instead eating Vernon Wells’ deal or something creative like that.  That’s certainly something they would have done a couple of years ago, but the Hal Administration has been smarter about taking on big dumb deals lately. They take on big smart deals.

If the Yankees nab Halladay: turn out the lights, baseball, the party — at least for 2010 — is likely over. 

Why Ryan Zimmerman skipped spring training

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All spring training there was at least some mild confusion about Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. He played in almost no regular big league spring training games, instead, staying on the back fields, playing in simulated and minor league contests. When that usually happens, it’s because a player is rehabbing or even hiding an injury, but the Nats insisted that was not the case with Zimmerman. Not everyone believed it. I, for one, was skeptical.

The skepticism was unwarranted, as Zimmerman answered the bell for Opening Day and has played all season. As Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal writes today, it was all by design. He skipped spring training because he doesn’t like it and because he thinks it’ll help him avoid late-season injuries and slowdowns, the likes of which he has suffered over the years.

It’s hard to really judge this now, of course. On the one hand Zimmerman has started really slow this season. What’s more, he has started to show signs of warming up only in the past week, after getting almost as many big league, full-speed plate appearances under his belt as a normal spring training would’ve given him. On the other hand, April is his worst month across his entire 14-year career, so one slow April doesn’t really prove anything and, again, Zimmerman and the Nats will consider this a success if he’s healthy and productive in August and September.

It is sort of a missed opportunity, though. Players hate spring training. They really do. if Zimmerman had made a big deal out of skipping it and came out raking this month, I bet a lot more teams would be amenable to letting a veteran or three take it much more easy next spring. Good ideas can be good ideas even if they don’t produce immediately obvious results, but baseball tends to encourage a copycat culture only when someone can point to a stat line or to standings as justification.

Way to ruin it for everyone, Ryan. 😉