Monday, December 14, 2009

Phillies get Halladay, send Lee to Seattle

An agreement is now in place to send Roy Halladay to the Phillies, Cliff Lee to the Mariners, and prospects to the Blue Jays, major-league sources confirmed to

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The sources said Phillipe Aumont — a Canadian right-hander — is among the players headed from Seattle to Toronto in the deal; the source added the Philadelphia is expected to send one of its outfield prospects, possibly Michael Taylor, to the Blue Jays.

Outfielder Michael Saunders and right-hander Brandon Morrow were also among the Seattle prospects in play.

It wasn’t immediately clear how many players would be included in the deal. One person familiar with the talks said he didn’t anticipate an announcement on Monday, an indication that the customary review of medical records is not yet complete.

Halladay is currently in Philadelphia, major league sources said. The only plausible reasons for him to be there now would be to negotiate a contract extension, take a physical or both.

One source said that — as of shortly after 3 p.m. Monday — the commissioner’s office had not granted the Phillies permission to discuss an extension with Halladay. Halladay likely would agree to a contract extension with the Phillies to waive his no-trade clause.

Lee, signed for one more year at $9 million, will be a free agent after next season. The Phillies had been uncertain of whether they could sign him, but by acquiring Halladay — and locking him up with an extension — they are securing an ace long-term.

The trade is highly complex, sources say, with the Phillies receiving money from the Jays to help pay Halladay’s salary next season. Halladay is owed $15.75 million, but that number could be negotiated down as part of a new contract agreement.

One source with knowledge of the Mariners’ plans said Jack Zduriencik has been looking for two starting pitchers — not just one. Lee will now slot behind ace Felix Hernandez. It’s not clear who the No. 3 starter will be, since Morrow may be included in the trade.

The agreement comes at a difficult time for the Angels, who also had interest in Lee. The Angels also recently lost Chone Figgins to the Mariners and are on the verge of losing John Lackey to Boston. The Angels are reportedly in negotiations with designated hitter Hideki Matsui.

As the blockbuster nears completion, the Braves are an interested bystander. The Angels now appear to be among the favorites to acquire Derek Lowe. They could offer outfielder Juan Rivera, who is the type of right-handed run producer that Atlanta is seeking.

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