Halladay comes with 'steep price': Ricciardi

Toronto Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi isn't openly shopping pitching ace Roy Halladay, but he told both CBS Sportsline and Fox Sports that the team will listen to offers.

Toronto Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi isn't openly shopping pitching ace Roy Halladay, but he told both CBS Sportsline and Fox Sports that the team will listen to offers.

"We have to see what makes us better," Ricciardi told CBS Sportsline. "Obviously, if people have interest in Roy Halladay, they'd better realize there's a steep price that's going to come with it."

The veteran right-hander is in the second season of a three-year, $40-million US deal. He is due $14.25 million this season and $15.75 million in 2010.

While one rival executive thinks the Jays may be forced to dump salary by dealing Halladay, Fox Sports speculates that trading the 32-year-old ace could simply come as a result of the team falling out of playoff contention.

The Jays are not looking to increase their payroll for next season and Fox Sports suggests signing Halladay to a long-term deal may be difficult considering outfielders Vernon Wells and Alex Rios are owed roughly $160 million from 2010-14.

Halladay, who has a no-trade clause in his contract, would prefer to pitch for a contending team if he's allowed to test the free-agent market in 2010.

But Fox Sports believes Toronto could land a considerable amount of talent similar to the Cleveland Indians when they traded pitcher Bartolo Colon in 2002 to Montreal for outfielder Grady Sizemore, pitcher Cliff Lee and second baseman Brandon Phillips.

The Jays lost three of four games to American League East rival New York Yankees this past weekend and are seven games behind first-place Boston. Toronto is also six games behind the Yankees in the wild-card race.

"We have to see what's out there," Ricciardi told Fox Sports. "I'm not saying we're going to shop him. But if something makes sense, we at least have to listen. We're [leaning] more toward listening than we've ever been."

Halladay, the 2003 AL Cy Young winner, is having another stellar season, going 10-2 with a 2.79 earned-run average. He's only one of six major-league pitchers to hit 10 wins this season and boasts a 141-68 career record.