So, the big question floating around following the New York Yankees acquisition of Curtis Granderson is what impact that has on trade talks for Toronto ace Roy Halladay.
If you are pro Halladay to the Yankees you have to be excited about the fact that GM Brian Cashman still has Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes as trade chips. If you are anti-Halladay to the Yankees you are praying that Cashman's willingness to deal Austin Jackson doesn't mean he might also part with Jesus Montero.
Bob Klapisch figures the Granderson deal makes it less likely the Yankees will be able to land Halladay.
One American League source says it's now "unlikely" the Bombers have the prospects to convince the Blue Jays to deal their ace. Having shipped Austin Jackson to the Tigers, the Yankees intend to hang on to Jesus Montero, their up-and-coming catcher. That effectively narrows the field for Halladay to the Red Sox and Angels.
Cashman knows he's taking a risk, giving Boston a free shot at a confirmed Yankee-killer. Theo Epstein is loathe to trade prospects, and has said he wants to hang on to righty Clay Buchholz. But after seeing the Yankees fortify themselves yet again, the Sox GM may have no choice but to pick up the phone and call the Jays.
Early indications Tuesday were that Sox GM Theo Epstein remained reluctant to give up a package of top prospects to the Blue Jays, as well as the $100-plus million it will take to sign Halladay to a contract extension - no matter if Red Sox Nation was screaming for him to return fire on the Yankees.
But that hardly adds up to a no.
"Theo doesn't care what the fans want," was the way one major league executive put it. "He's not going to react just because the Yankees made a deal. But (owner) John Henry might be a different story.
"After everything their organization has done to turn the tables on the Yankees the last several years, (Henry) is very concerned about any perception the Sox have fallen behind them again. And he knows Halladay is the ultimate protection, whether you're talking perception or reality."
Even before the Granderson deal, where Halladay ends up was the most intrguing story of the winter. It still is.