The Yankees' Roy Halladay math

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Buster Olney’s advice to Brian Cashman: ask your coaches and talent evaluators whether Joba and Phil will be big starters or shutdown relievers one day, then:

And if the smart people that Cashman trusts believe that Hughes and/or Chamberlain will be anything other than (A) dominant closers, or (B) No. 2-type AL East starters, well, then I’d call Toronto immediately and be ready to talk about trading one or perhaps even both of the young pitchers.

That’s fine as far as it goes, but the real deal breaker is probably not Joba and/or Hughes — them vs. Halladay is a classic bird in the hand decision — but whether or not to include someone like catching prospect Jesus Montero, who the Blue Jays will be asking for if they have any brains.

I understand the impulse to want to make this such a cut-and-dried decision on the Yankees’ part, but these kinds of deals are gambles, even for New York.

Padres may have more interest in Dallas Keuchel than Bryce Harper

Dallas Keuchel
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An interesting tidbit today from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who noted that ongoing talks between agent Scott Boras and the Padres have focused more on starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel than slugger Bryce Harper. Earlier this week, there were conflicting reports on the Padres’ level of interest in Harper — MLB Network’s Jon Heyman heard the club had not ruled out another big signing after getting Manny Machado, while Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to multiple sources who believed otherwise — but any agreement between the two is looking unlikelier by the day.

As for Keuchel, Rosenthal cautions that a potential deal is still a “longshot,” especially as the team has other, cheaper options in mind. The 31-year-old southpaw turned down a qualifying offer from the Astros last year and is likely angling for something north of the five-year, $90 million contract extension he rejected from the club in 2016. He’s coming off of another solid performance in Houston, where he went 12-11 in 34 starts with a 3.74 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 6.7 SO/9, and 3.6 fWAR through 204 2/3 innings in 2018.

While Keuchel has failed to garner substantial interest around the league this offseason, Heyman points out that the Phillies are looking to establish themselves as frontrunners for the lefty — and they’re far less likely to have hang-ups about his asking price, too.