Baseball

Halladay would consider trade, if Jays ask

Roy Halladay wants to keep pitching for Toronto but is willing to consider accepting a trade if approached by the Blue Jays.

“I want to stay, but I think it’s a situation you have to evaluate,” Halladay said Tuesday. “I’m really not at that situation just yet. If something does come up, you weigh your options at that point. I hate to put the cart in front of the horse and start saying ‘Do I want to do that?’ I think you just evaluate the situations when they come.”

Halladay is 10-2 with a 2.79 ERA in 16 starts. He’ll be paid $14.25 million this year, and his contract, which has a no-trade clause, expires after the 2010 season, when he’s set to earn $15.75 million.

The 17th overall pick in 1995, Halladay has spent his entire career with Toronto, amassing a career mark of 141-68 with a 3.47 ERA. He won the Cy Young Award in 2003 and finished second to Cleveland’s Cliff Lee in ’08.

Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi said he’s willing to listen to offers for Halladay.

“I don’t think anything has changed, I just think, ‘You know what, why not listen? The worst we can say is no,’ ” Ricciardi told The Canadian Press.

“If someone wants Roy and they’re willing to blow us away, we’d be willing to listen, that’s all I’m saying. That doesn’t mean we’d trade him, that doesn’t mean we’re looking to trade him. All it means is we’d be willing to listen.”

“In the past we weren’t willing to listen and we figured let’s just see what someone’s got out there and what someone is willing to offer,” Ricciardi said.

The Blue Jays began Tuesday at 43-41, seven games back of Boston in the AL East and six out of the wild card – behind six other teams.

“All I can do is try to avoid that becoming a distraction and go from there,” Halladay said. “It’s a situation where, I think, if it’s best for the team, it’s best for me, then it just means you go from there. It’s basically just saying this is an option that we have and maybe we’ll look at it. I think that’s really the extent at this point.”

Interim CEO Paul Beeston declined to comment on dealing Halladay but did say the team’s payroll for next season is still a work in progress. The Blue Jays have $82.45 million committed to Halladay and seven others next year.

The only salary commitments the Blue Jays have between 2011-14 are to Vernon Wells, Alex Rios and Aaron Hill worth about $40 million per season.

Mets’ maladies continue

Help isn’t coming anytime soon for the banged-up New York Mets.

Shortstop Jose Reyes had a cortisone shot Tuesday because he still feels pain in his right leg, and center fielder Carlos Beltran will need a rehabilitation assignment once the bone bruise below his right knee subsides. He won’t even be re-examined until the All-Star break, when he’ll have an MRI.

New York (39-42) had lost eight of 10 games going into Tuesday night’s homestand opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Presidents’ day at All-Star Game

All five living presidents will appear in a video shown before next week’s All-Star game.

Major League Baseball said it’s the first time every living president will participate in a ceremony at a sports event. President Barack Obama will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game in St. Louis on July 14.

George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter will recognize citizens being honored by baseball for their community service in the approximately seven-minute video.

Short hops

St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa has dropped his lawsuit against the social networking site Twitter Inc. A one-paragraph statement filed June 26 with the U.S. District Court in San Francisco says La Russa had dropped all claims – and that San Francisco-based Twitter did not compensate him in exchange. … Ryan Dempster, a 17-game winner last season for the Chicago Cubs, was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday due to a broken right toe. … The St. Louis Cardinals are placing newly acquired utilityman Mark DeRosa on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 1, because of a strained left wrist. … The Arizona Diamondbacks have traded right-handed reliever Tony Peña, who began the season as the team’s top setup man but had struggled in recent weeks, to the Chicago White Sox for minor league infielder Brandon Allen. … Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario left New York before the series opener against the Mets and is going back to Los Angeles for tests on his painful right elbow. … The New York Yankees are moving right-hander Alfredo Aceves from the bullpen for a spot start on Thursday against the Minnesota Twins. He will fill in for Chien-Ming Wang, who is on the DL with a shoulder injury. … The Kansas City Royals have designated infielder Luis Hernandez for assignment to make room for Ryan Freel, who was acquired from the Chicago Cubs on Monday.

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