ESPN's Jayson Stark said the deal hinges on the Phillies' ability to extend Roy Halladay, who is believed to be willing to accept a three-year, $60 million extension with a vesting option. [Link]
Beerleaguer: Speculation continues to swirl at this hour and most outlets are sure a deal will not be finalized tonight. However, the possibility of Roy Halladay wearing red pinstripes next season appears likely. Pick your poison with these rumors, but I'm hanging my hat on Stark's latest offering; Stark has been a good friend to Beerleaguer over the years. Stark and several others believe there is a three-way trade on the table, with Philadelphia receiving Halladay, postseason hero Cliff Lee going to Seattle and a care package of Phillies and Mariners prospects going north of the border. Aside from finalizing an extension with Doc, it sounds like there are other variables at play. Phillies catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud is believed to be involved in the deal, but there is some uncertainty over the second player in the the package; speculation surrounds outfielder Michael Taylor, but that is unconfirmed (it's all unconfirmed). Meanwhile, the deal may or may not involve cash coming from Toronto; the latest reports actually have the Phillies getting a few players back in the deal. The centerpiece of the deal, from the Jays' end, appears to be right-handed prospect Phillipe Aumont, a Canadian first-round pick of Seattle in 2007.
If the reported deal holds, the Phillies will be able to keep Domonic Brown and Kyle Drabek, who are considered 1-2 in the Phillies' system with a wide gap between the next best players; this according to Stark on Beerleaguer two weeks ago. Toronto has been hot after both of them since July. According to Stark, the Phillies had been trying to shed payroll by aggressively shopping Joe Blanton at the Winter Meetings, but couldn't find a match.