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Halladay: ‘There’s a Point in Your Career Where You Have to Take a Chance’

07.13.09 at 12:06 pm ET
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ST. LOUIS — Roy Halladay, described as “maybe the best pitcher in the American League” over the past several years by Tampa Bay and A.L. All-Star Manager Joe Maddon, addressed the swirl of trade rumors around him. He was introduced by emcee Bob Costas as “representing, at least for now, the Toronto Blue Jays,” which elicited a laugh from the Toronto ace who admitted, “I’m not looking forward to this (press conference).”

“It’s tough. Obviously, I’m somewhere that I enjoy being and have spent my entire career. There’s a lot, I think, that goes into it. I think as a player, there’s a will to win. There’s that will to do it in October. Basically, that’s all this is about. I’d like that chance. I’m not saying it won’t be Toronto. It’s what’s best for the organization,” said Halladay. “But it has been tough. I do enjoy Toronto very much.”

Halladay made a number of subsequent points, among them:

–The trade banter has been “awkward” for Halladay to deal with. He’s trying to stay out of the process and let the Jays front office explore scenarios.

–All things being equal, he would rather remain in Toronto. He considers the relatively quiet Toronto market ideal for his personality. That said, he is open to a bigger market if it means a chance to win.

“Toronto has been phenomenal to me. I consider it home…That’s what’s made Toronto great for me. It is quiet. It is a great place,” he said. “(But) there’s a point in your career where you’ve got to ake a chance, try (change), and win…I’ve always been able to separate the field from off-field.”

–He described it as a “flip of the coin” whether he would be in Toronto come August 1. He recognizes that the Jays will only move him if it entails a significant organizational improvement, meaning the sort of prospect package that other teams would be reluctant to part with.

–He does not have a list of teams that he’s established for where he’d accept a trade.

“I haven’t really put together teams,” said Halladay. “I haven’t had to put together places I would want to go.”

–He has not made any decisions about whether or not he would require a contract extension to approve a no-trade clause.

“All I can tell you is my priority would be winning,” said Halladay. “I’ve been fortunate to be taken care of financially down the road.”

–He would not mind going to the National League, based on the challenge of pitching in the A.L. East.

“I’d rather hit than have to face Jeter and A-Rod and Matsui,” he said.

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