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When the Hot Stove is burning, it’s really an inferno. In the same day John Lackey signed a five-year contract with the Red Sox (pending a physical), the Blue Jays have traded Sox nemesis Roy Halladay (a nemesis because he’s so good, not hated) out of the American League and to the Philadelphia Phillies, who then agreed to ship their ace, Cliff Lee, to the Seattle Mariners.
The Phillies will send prospects to the Blue Jays, and receive prospects from the Mariners, but it’s not known which players are involved. Philadelphia is reportedly trying to keep their payroll under $140 million.
SI.com’s Jon Heyman said Halladay is expected to agree to a contract extension in the next couple days to complete the deal, according to his sources.
The belief is that Halladay wanted to go to the Phillies badly enough that he is wiling to take a little less money than either Johan Santana or CC Sabathia, the pitching prizes of the past two offseasons. With Lee unwilling to take a discout, the Phillies were spurred to go after Halladay, who was more interested in a long-term deal with Philadelphia.
The big losers of the afternoon are the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who missed out on John Lackey and Roy Halladay, two players they coveted this offseason.