Roy Halladay could start Minor League rehab next week

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Per the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Matt Gelb, the Phillies were impressed by starter Roy Halladay’s performance in a simulated game this morning. Gelb says that the signs indicate Halladay will make a Minor League start on Thursday, the next step in his road back from surgery on his right shoulder.

More from Gelb:

Halladay will throw a bullpen session Monday in Clearwater. If he emerges from that without a hitch, his official rehab assignment should start. Amaro said Halladay’s fastball sat in the “mid-to-upper 80s pretty consistently.” He added the team was more concerned about Halladay’s mechanics — specifically his arm slot — and the reports were favorable.

Halladay had an abysmal start to the season, posting an 8.65 ERA over his first seven starts before it was revealed he had a number of issues involving his shoulder, including bone spurs, a frayed labrum, and a partial tear of the rotator cuff.

Now 36 years old, Halladay is eligible to become a free agent after the season. A return near the beginning of September would give him four or five starts to audition for potential suitors. He is playing out the last year of a three-year, $60 million contract signed with the Phillies in December 2009.

Rays trade Jake Odorizzi to Twins

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The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.

With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.

Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.