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Could the Yankees Really Trade for Roy Halladay?

Last weekend on YES’s Joe Girardi Show, the Yankees manager was asked by a viewer whether his team would go after Roy Halladay now that Chien-Ming Wang is hurt. At the time, we laughed at the mere thought of this; it’s the type of question only a Yankees fan could ask. We need someone for the fifth slot in the rotation! Are we going to get the best pitcher in the American League to take the spot? But today, Halladay’s found his way onto the back page of both Newsday and the Post. So could this really happen? Why it might, and also why it probably won’t, after the jump.

Why the Yankees Could Land Halladay
• The Blue Jays might insist that a team trading for Halladay also take Vernon Wells (and the $107 million remaining on his contract). If Halladay seeks a contract extension in order to waive his no-trade clause, and gets approximately as much as CC Sabathia did last winter, some lucky team will be increasing their payroll by $41 million overnight. The Yankees are one of the few teams — if not the only team — that can make a move this ridiculous.

• Halladay has said that he’d be willing to go to the Yankees. Of course, he’d be crazy to say otherwise, and not a lot of players would turn down their piles of money, but considering the bandbox the new Yankee Stadium has proven to be, it’s nice to have this on the record.

Newsday’s Anthony Rieber suggests that the Jays might be so desperate to dump Wells’s salary that they would accept a deal for Melky Cabrera or Brett Gardner, plus Ramiro Pena and some lower-level prospects, from the Yankees. This seems more than a little optimistic to us, but it’s a trade the Yankees would make in a heartbeat.

Why the Yankees Probably Won’t Land Halladay
• In theory, any moves Toronto makes will be geared toward improving their chances of winning at some point down the line, whether it’s freeing up money or getting something of value in return for a player who’s assuredly going to leave anyway. They don’t need to be reminded that the Yankees are in their division, and making them stronger would defeat this purpose. Just because the Jays are willing to trade Halladay and Halladay is willing to go to the Yankees doesn’t mean the Jays are willing to trade Halladay to the Yankees. Any eighth-grader could tell you that.

• The opinions of Newsday columnists aside, the Blue Jays would almost definitely insist that either Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes be a part of any trade. If they were off-limits for Johan Santana, we’re not sure they wouldn’t be off-limits for Halladay, who is two years older. Not only would it be the last straw for that commitment to youth we heard so much about last year, they’d be essentially admitting they were wrong about the Santana trade, which isn’t something they’re going to be eager to do.

• Despite all the press that Halladay is getting around these parts, there’s one thing to keep in mind: This is one of the slower sports-news weeks of the year, at least in terms of actual competition. Someone’s gotta go on the back page — the News opted for a “random, unscientific survey” that proves A-Rod isn’t the best player in baseball anymore — and speculating about Halladay can at least get people (us included) talking. But as for Halladay actually donning pinstripes this month, we’ll believe it when we see it.

Could the Yankees Really Trade for Roy Halladay?