Here's Ruben Amaro a few minutes ago on the rumors that talks for Roy Halladay are intensifying between the Phillies and Blue Jays: "I don't think there is any likeliness (of a big trade happening)…there is nothing likely. How about that?"

It was creative use of the world “likely.” Of course, no trade is “likely,” until just before it happens; there are too many variables and moving parts. But the Phillies are certainly more “likely” than about 27 other teams to acquire the ace.
As we’ve said all along, several factors would have to break the right way for Halladay to become a Phillie: The Yankees and Red Sox would have to bail, because if those two behemoths duked it out for Doc, they’d probably try to outdo one another with trade packages that eclipse what the Phils would want to present.  The Yankees lost a few trade chips when they acquired Curtis Granderson last week, but still have the talent to get a deal done, if they are motivated (it should be noted that Yanks' GM Brian Cashman is fiercely protective of his prospects, and would find it difficult to continue trading them this winter).
If the Yanks and Sox do not remain serious players for Halladay, he would probably fall to the Phillies and Angels. According to the Toronto Sun, L.A. yesterday offered pitcher Joe Saunders, shortstop Erik Aybar, and outfielder Peter Bourjos for Halladay. That’s a good offer, and a comparable one from the Phillies, talent-wise, would have to include J.A. Happ and Michael Taylor (Cole Hamels will not be traded). There have been rumors that Halladay wouldn’t go to the Angels because they train in Arizona and the Doc lives in Florida, but it is important to note that he has never actually said that, at least publicly. 
Here is what we know: The Phillies and Halladay have long expressed a mutual interest. The Phils have the talent to get a deal done, though they would have to increase payroll to add Halladay—something they have said they do not want to do. Other than the report of the Angels' offer, nothing has changed about this storyline in the past several days.
With the 26th pick in this morning’s Rule 5 draft, the Phillies selected RHP Kenneth Herndon from the Angels. Herndon, 24, is a 6 foot 5 reliever who throws a power sinker and slider.  In the minor league portion of the draft, the Phils pitched RHP Angelo Sanchez, 20, from Minnesota.
“We really like the sinker he has,” pro scouting director Mike Ondo said of Herndon. “We have seen him for three or four years now.”
Pitching for Double-A Arkansas last season, Herndon went 5-6, with 11 saves and a 3.03 earned run average in 50 games.  This winter, he pitched for Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican Winter League, going 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA in 16 appearances
A quick refresher on the Rule 5: Once selected, a player must remain on his new team’s 25-man roster for the entire next season—or the new team risks losing him to the old team again. Last year’s Rule 5-er was Bobby Mosebach, also an Angels reliever, who was returned to L.A. at the end of spring training. Shane Victorino was a notable recent Rule 5 choice who later found success.
The Mets selected righthanded pitcher Carlos Montasario from Lehigh Valley. Montasario came over in 2006 as part of the Bobby Abreu trade.


Reliever Brandon Lyon signed with Houston last night for a reported three years, $15 million.  The righthander was a prime Phillies' target to improve the bullpen, but a person with direct knowledge of the negotiations said that talks between the sides never gained any momentum at all.  Amaro had a different take today, saying, "We were in pretty deep."