It is not like there was no warning about Roy Halladay ("it's tempting to think of the Brewers reprising the CC Sabathia trade to get Roy Halladay for a playoff run," March 29, 2009 and " do realize that trading him this season would be wise, since he's in the second-last year of his contract," April 4, 2009).
The wikiality at this moment is that evil, no-good J.P. Ricciardi (whom everyone forgets, passed up a shot a running his home-state Red Sox early on in his Toronto tenure) said he is going to trade the Jays' talisman. Whatever happens, happens, it would no doubt suck, but the vultures are kind of circling with the Jays at 43-41.
It might be best to invoke the Clavin Rule. The rest of you lot might want to check out Minor League Ball to get a low-down on who is out there for prospects and young players. Meantime, others have outlined potential trading partners (none in the AL East, thankfully), and here's a symposium of thoughts from around the interweb.
Craig Calcaterra, Circling The Bases: "My insta-takes on the deals about which (FOXSports' Ken Rosenthal) speculates: White Sox (arguably plausible but unlikely); Braves (totally doable but the Braves would never, ever do it); Dodgers, Cubs, Angels, Mets (no; they don't have the chips); Rangers (no; don't have the cash); Brewers (did it last year, won't do it again).
"All of this chatter may be fun, but it's a total pipe dream."
Jeff Blair, Unwritten Rules: "They’ll want to get something approximating what the Cleveland Indians received from the Montreal Expos in return for Bartolo Colon: Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore and Brandon Phillips (the Indians also had to pick up the prorated portion of Lee Stevens' $4-million - all currency U.S. - contract). They’ll want cost-effective players with one or two years of major-league experience at the very most and a prospect ready for the majors.
"The Blue Jays have long-term commitments to Alex Rios and Vernon Wells and serious revenue concerns, but there is also some relief in that B.J. Ryan, Scott Rolen and Lyle Overbay’s contracts coming off the books at the same time as Halladay’s (after the 2010 season — Ed). Ryan, Rolen and Overbay’s exit clears $28-million."
Buster Olney, ESPN.com: "The Jays essentially will have three windows of opportunity in which they could consider dealing the former Cy Young Award winner — in the 24 days before the July 31 trade deadline; during the offseason; or next season.
"Right now, the team most aggressively searching for a frontline starting pitcher is the Philadelphia Phillies, who no doubt would covet Halladay for their particular park for his ability to generate ground balls and missed swings -- he has a ground ball/fly ball ratio of 1.30, to go along 98 strikeouts in 116 innings this season. The question about the Phillies -- as it is with most teams these days, when the value of young players has never been higher -- is whether they would be willing to give up what the Jays would require in trade."
(And lookey-doo, they're already salivating down in Philadelphia over what the Phillies would have to send the Jays' way. The San Francisco Giants, though, would not part with prize pitching prospect Madison Bumgarner.)
Bill Shaikin, L.A. Times: "To say that 'Halladay is a goner" and 'Once this process starts, it's almost impossible to stop' — well, to that we say: Where is Jake Peavy pitching this season?" (San Diego, same as last year.)
Zach Sanders, Baseball Digest Daily: "If things don’t go as planned next year, then Halladay will be a valuable trade piece to be dealt to a contender. I understand the need to deal him now, because teams won’t just be getting a rental, but I don’t see the need to deal him because of financial issues. Teams should be planning ahead with the budgets, and not giving out big extensions in years they can’t afford them."
Orland Kurtenblog: "Dear Roy Halladay: If J.P. Ricciardi is telling the truth and he’s willing to entertain trade offers for your services, don’t fight it. Barring realignment, you aren’t seeing the playoffs in Toronto."