Jays Begin P.R. Campaign against Halladay
When asked by the FAN's Mike Wilner on today's pre-game show what had changed in terms of their first thought of using 2009 as a bridge to being a contender in 2010 and now wanting to trade Roy Halladay as soon as possible, GM J.P. Ricciardi said:
"What changed is that Roy told us he was going to test the free-agent market."
The first salvo has been fired in the battle to sully Halladay's image as a loyal soldier.
What is wrong with what Halladay said? His contract is over after 2010. He has the right to test the free-agent market.
The only way Halladay was going to stay with the Jays is to give them a huge hometown discount. The Jays would have had to earn that respect by first showing Halladay that they were legitimate contenders for a World Series ring. Otherwise, with financial security already established for his family and with winning being what he wants now he has every right to test free agency.
Ricciardi promised Halladay the Jays would contend in 2008. That's why Doc extended the last time and took less money that '08 year so the Jays would have extra payroll for the necessary pieces to win. It didn't happen. It wasn't going to happen, so Halladay is set to test free agency.
Halladay watched the whole A.J. Burnett saga unfold, with Burnett never being offered an actual dollar figure by the Jays right up until the very moment he signed with the Yankees. The Jays said they had the money to keep Burnett, but never actually pulled it out of their pocket and when Burnett signed for a huge deal that the Jays would never have been able to match, he was made to look like an ungrateful, total mercenary.
Halladay will make more from some team than Burnett. The Jays will never have been able to match a Halladay offer if they could not ante up for Burnett. The campaign is now on to make Doc the bad guy as he is traded before his contract expires.
The fact is nothing but semantics has changed from what they originally said about contending in 2010, except maybe the Jays themselves don't believe it anymore. Now their fans don't either.