It appears Christmas has come early for the Philadelphia Phillies and their fans in the form of a Roy Halladay acquisition.
SI.com on Monday reported the Toronto Blue Jays ace pitcher has been dealt as part of a three-team trade involving the Seattle Mariners.
An anonymous source with the Phillies revealed that pitchers J.A. Happ, Joe Blanton and outfielder Dominic Brown underwent physicals, raising speculation the trio could be involved.
Also rumoured to be in the mix are right-handers Phillippe Aumont, from Gatineau, Que., and Brandon Morrow, and outfielder Mike Saunders of Victoria from the Mariners, and minor-league outfielder Michael Taylor of the Phillies.
Other names floated around in media reports include minor-league outfielder Tyson Gillies of Langley, B.C., and Phillies catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud.
Halladay, who has a no-trade clause and one year remaining on his contract worth $15.75 million US, reportedly is in Philadelphia, where he had a physical on Monday and is presumed to be working on a contract extension with the Phillies.
Halladay's agent, Greg Landry, is registered at a Philadelphia hotel and likely negotiating the extension, which needs to be worked out for Halladay to waive his right to veto a trade.
A source in the commissioner's office and familiar with the transaction told the Associated Press that a 72-hour window has been granted to finalize details.
Halladay, 32, won 17 games last season, leading Toronto in innings pitched (239), strikeouts (208) and earned-run average (2.79).
It would be the biggest move by Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos since he took over from the fired J.P. Ricciardi in October.
Ricciardi attempted to trade Halladay to Philadelphia before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. But Ricciardi's asking price of a handful of top prospects was apparently too high and the Phillies instead acquired Lee from Cleveland.
In July, Ricciardi said "in the vicinity of maybe 10 teams" expressed interest in Halladay, but only "two or three" approached with a "level of seriousness."
Talks with various teams recently picked up steam at baseball's winter meetings in Indianapolis, with Anthopoulos reportedly talking then of three- and four-team trades.
Lee won seven games in 12 regular-season starts with Philadelphia and went 4-0 in five post-season appearances with 33 strikeouts in 40 1/3 innings pitched for the reigning National League champions.
Halladay has spent his entire major-league career with the Blue Jays.
Halladay MLB stats