With the Blue Jays' focus on scouting and making sure they find the best prospects, would Toronto be better off keeping Roy Halladay for one final season and then letting him go as a free agent next year? Let's be true, Doc will be a Type A free agent and that means two more early Draft picks.
-- Joseph K., Tillsonburg, Ontario

The Blue Jays could potentially have as many as nine picks within the first three rounds of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, and the organization could have another big haul in 2011. Using this year's Elias rankings, Toronto is already in a position to possibly have five compensation picks in the early rounds two years from now.

Halladay and reliever Scott Downs are both classified as Type A free agents (worth two compensatory picks each) in the current rankings, while reliever Jason Frasor is a Type B (one extra pick). All three pitchers are under contract in 2010 and will be eligible for free agency next offseason.

With or without Halladay, the Jays are positioned to have some extra selections in the 2011 Draft, and that is not including any short-term signings that might result in even more picks. Toronto will certainly weigh all the options in its decision to either trade Halladay this winter, deal him before the July 31 Trade Deadline or hold onto him through the end of his contract.

It is no secret that Halladay plans on testing free agency next winter. The benefit to trying to deal him now is that the Jays can use the equivalent of two high Draft picks as a starting point in trade negotiations. More to the point, Toronto can ask for top prospects who have an established track record, rather than settling for untested draftees with no professional background.

By trying to deal Halladay now, the Jays can also target immediate needs through players who are big league ready or close to being ready for the Major League stage. Toronto wants to establish a solid foundation with young, controllable players and trading Halladay can potentially bring a package of three or four players to help in that regard.

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So there is definitely an upside to trying to trade Halladay now, or trying to move him before the Trade Deadline next season. At the very least, though, Toronto does know that it has those two compensatory Draft picks lined up if the club does not decide to trade Halladay and he opts for free agency next winter, as expected.

I was wondering if you had any idea of outfielder Travis Snider's standing on this ballclub. Are there any teams out there looking to acquire him, or is he an "untouchable" player for Toronto? Do you think he could potentially be included with Halladay for a monster trade this offseason?
-- Cody V., Mill Creek, Wash.

To use the phrasing of new Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos, there are a few players he would be "very reluctant to trade." Snider definitely makes that list. Is he untouchable? Let's be honest, any player is available for a certain price. I'm sure there are a lot of teams asking about Snider, but in no way is Toronto planning on trading Snider this offseason.

Second baseman Aaron Hill, outfielder Adam Lind and Snider currently give the Blue Jays a solid young core group to build around on offense. Snider has had his share of ups and downs on the big league stage, but Toronto believes he has the potential to become a true star and a fixture in the heart of the lineup.

Why weren't Hill or Lind mentioned for the American League Most Valuable Player Award? I think they should have had a chance to get it. They both racked up the home runs and RBIs.
-- Robert A., Orange County, Calif.

Hill and Lind both had fantastic seasons for the Blue Jays and they did receive consideration for the AL MVP, finishing 12th and 15th for the honor, respectively. As great as their showings were for the 75-win Blue Jays, though, Twins catcher Joe Mauer was the clear-cut favorite for the MVP this year after leading the league in average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

With all this talk about the Jays in rebuild mode for a couple of years, why are the Jays looking for help at the catcher position when they have J.P. Arencibia and Brian Jeroloman in the farm system? I thought that these guys were supposed to be our future catchers, so why not give them a chance to show what they can do at the big league level?
-- Darren H., St. John's, Newfoundland

Arencibia, who spent last year with Triple-A Las Vegas, underwent a kidney operation toward the end of this past season, and Jeroloman (Double-A) needed a hip procedure this offseason. The Jays need to see how they look during Spring Training before determining where they'll open next season. Under the circumstances, Toronto needs as much depth as it can get behind the plate, and the only veteran currently on the roster is Raul Chavez.