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Rumor Mill: Halladay feeding frenzy

It's baaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

The rumor that wouldn't die -- Toronto's Roy Halladay wants to be traded and that the Cardinals are on the short list of places the no-trade clause protected player would be willing to go in a swap -- is back on the front burner.

Toronto's GM said Monday that the team would be unlikely to be able to re-sign its ace when his current contract expires at the end of the 2010, fueling speculation that he would be dealt sooner rather than later.'s Jordan Bastian writes that a dozen teams have dropped a dime on Halladay and that the Cardinals were amongst the most serious bidders. Those teams also include both New York clubs, the Brewers, Angels, Red Sox and Dodgers.

It would be interesting to see what the Cardinals would give up, since the Blue Jays would probably want young players or prospects. The Cardinals don't have a lot of Blue Chip pitching prospects. Would they part with AL friendly slugger Brett Wallace to get arguably the best pitcher in the American League? I would be shocked if the Jays didn't inquire about Adam Wainwright. But I think he would have to be amongst the top five most untouchable Cardinals with a young, effective arm and a friendly contract. Do the Cardinals have enough without putting Wainwright in a package?

Playing in the Cardinals favor is the fact that a ton of payroll is coming off the books at the end of the 2009 season. Troy Glaus ($11.25 million), Joel Pineiro ($7.5 million), Khalil Greene ($6.5 million), Mark DeRosa ($5 million) and Todd Wellemeyer ($4 million) account for about $35 million in payroll flexibility.

The down side is that Halladay isn't going to help the Redbirds hit at all. But who needs more than a couple runs a game if Halladay, Chris Carpenter, Wainwright and Kyle Lohse are your top four hurlers?