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Wednesday's question: What will be the biggest story to emerge from baseball's winter meetings?

December 2, 2009 | 11:59 am

Reporters from the Tribune family tackle the question of the day, then you get a chance to chime in and tell them why they are wrong.

Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times

The Roy Halladay trade talks will garner plenty of attention, but the headlines when the meetings are over could well involve free agents. CC Sabathia agreed to terms at last year's winter meetings, and Mark Teixeira did soon after. The late end to the World Series meant a late start to the free-agent market, but with agents and general managers huddling in person at the winter meetings, we should have a pretty good idea of where Jason Bay, John Lackey, Chone Figgins and Randy Wolf might be headed. Matt Holliday, as a top Scott Boras client, is less likely to sign soon.


Dom Amore, Hartford Courant

To the chagrin of any free agent on the market, the hot topic of the winter meetings will be Roy Halladay, the Blue Jays pitcher known as one of the best in the game. It will not be a "bidding war" between the Yankee and Red Sox, but more of a chess match.

 Both teams would love to have him and need to show their fan base they're trying to get him, but neither wants to make this kind of trade, paying in prospects and dollars. So both would like to find a way to shoo Halladay off to the NL, ala Johan Santana.

But in the meantime, a lot of other possibilities, especially John Lackey's free agency, figure to be on hold until the Jays deal Halladay, so that will dominate the meetings.

Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune

Alex Anthopoulos is going to be a very popular man at the winter meetings. The Toronto Blue Jays and their rookie GM seem very serious about trading the best pitcher in baseball, Roy Halladay – a job that fell to him because predecessor J.P. Ricciardi didn’t pull the trigger in July – and Halladay could fuel a feeding frenzy outside the Jays’ suite. Anthopoulos says he’s willing to deal Halladay to the Yankees or Red Sox but would surely prefer to send him to the National League, and failing that to a team from the AL West (Angels) or Central (good luck on that). Given a weak crop of free agents and a slow developing market, it’s likely that trades, not signings, will be dominate news coming out of Indianapolis. There’s no bigger fish in the pool than Halladay.

 
Amanda Housenick, Allentown Morning Call

How many times can you say Roy Halladay?

The Toronto Blue Jays pitcher is the biggest name out there. His right arm has a healthy track record. He is a good clubhouse guy. Oh, and he’s got great stuff. Cy Young-type arsenal. He gets out lefties, righties, sluggers and slap hitters.

Halladay, who would become a free agent after the 2010 season, won’t be agreeable to any trade discussion once he reports to spring training in February. The Blue Jays, who couldn’t pull the trigger on a deal before the July 2009 trade deadline, want to get something for the six-time All-Star who has 25 complete games in the last three seasons.

Look for the Yankees and Red Sox to willingly get in a bidding war for the 2003 American League Cy Young Award winner. Expect the Angels to dip their toes in the water. And, if the price isn’t too steep, don’t count out the Phillies, especially with the 2009 breakdown season of Cole Hamels.

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