If the Toronto Blue Jays end up trading ace pitcher Roy Halladay this winter, the team that acquires him could have his services for more than one season.
MLB.com reports that if the Blue Jays can work out a deal to move Halladay - who has a no-trade clause in his contract which ends after the 2010 season - they would consider granting the other team a window to discuss a long-term contract with Halladay before the trade is completed.
The signing window would allow the Jays to get a better return in a trade, as the team acquiring Halladay would then know whether or not he was a one-year acquisition.
The tactic is not uncommon in trade discussions. In 2008, the New York Mets acquired Johan Santana from the Minnesota Twins and worked out an extension with the left-hander before the deal was officially completed.
While Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos won't publicly comment on trade rumours, there is rampant speculation that that Halladay will be moved because of the club's effort to rebuild and a high demand for Halladay with a slim market for pitchers via free agency.
SI.com reported on Wednesday that the Yankees and Red Sox were both actively pursuing Halladay because unlike J.P. Ricciardi, who didn't want to move Halladay to a team in the American League East, and would expect a huge overpayment to consider it, Anthopoulos won't rule it out.
"This isn't the NBA where you're talking about one of five guys on the floor at all times ... If you have two trades that are identical, and one is in the division and one is outside, then it's easy to go outside the division," Anthopoulos told SI.com. "However, if the trade is better inside the division, I think you have to take a look at it. We have to do what's best for our organization."