Are the Phillies still pursuing Roy Halladay?

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Asked yesterday what the Phillies will be looking to upgrade this offseason general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said: “Third base, bullpen, bench.”
Despite the lack of “rotation” on that list Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer spoke to “more than one baseball official with knowledge of the Phillies’ offseason plan” who said that “the team remains very much in the picture to acquire” Roy Halladay from the Blue Jays.
Philadelphia made a midseason run at Halladay before balking at then-general manager J.P. Ricciardi’s sky-high asking price, instead acquiring Cliff Lee from Cleveland for a handful of non-elite prospects. Committing another package of prospects and a huge chunk of the payroll to a second No. 1 starter seems unlikely, but “one rival front-office man” who spoke to Salisbury seems to think that it’s possible.
Amaro reportedly turned down Ricciardi’s request for J.A. Happ and prospects Kyle Drabek, Domonic Brown, and Anthony Gose. Parting with that quartet in addition to the prospects already shipped to the Indians for Lee would completely wipe out the Phillies’ farm system, but for the most part their offensive core should be intact for the long haul and if they could somehow get Lee and Halladay signed to long-term deals … well, they would be pretty scary for the near future.

Nathan Eovaldi to make 2018 debut for Rays soon

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Rays manager Kevin Cash said that pitcher Nathan Eovaldi will join the starting rotation on Monday or Tuesday to face the Athletics, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Eovaldi’s rehab outing with Triple-A Durham went well, even though he gave up eight runs in four innings.

Eovaldi, 28, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He had arthroscopic surgery in March to remove loose bodies in his elbow. It’s been a long road back. Knowing Eovaldi needed to recover from surgery, the Rays signed him to a one-year, $2 million contract in 2017 that included a $2 million club option for 2018 that they exercised last November.

When Eovaldi last pitched, he ranked among baseball’s hardest throwers, particularly among starters. He averaged 97.1 MPH on his fastball in 2016. Among starters who racked up at least 100 innings that season, only the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard had a higher average velocity (97.9 MPH). It remains to be seen if he still has that velocity after undergoing two procedures on his elbow.

The Rays will be glad to have Eovaldi back. The club has sustained injuries to Jake Faria, Yonny Chirinos, and Jose De Leon.