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Halladay rumors reach Cubs' door

Halladay rumors reach Cubs door

CHICAGO -- The Cubs are one of the teams the Blue Jays have contacted regarding former Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay.

Before Cubs fans start salivating at the prospect of having the dominant right-hander in the rotation with Ted Lilly, Carlos Zambrano, and Ryan Dempster, there's a catch. Halladay is owed $15.75 million in 2010, and the Blue Jays' wish list includes some of the Cubs' top prospects.

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Milton Bradley apparently is not on the list.

Elsewhere on the rumor mill, top officials at both the Rangers and Cubs on Friday denied a Chicago Tribune report that outlined a three-team swap that included the Mets. The proposed deal had Bradley going to the Rangers, who would ship Kevin Millwood to the Mets. The Cubs would get second baseman Luis Castillo from New York.

Back to Halladay. The Cubs would have to move Bradley and a pretty good chunk of the $21 million he is owed to free up some wiggle room in the budget for someone such as Halladay. Plus, the club is reluctant to part with players such as shortstop Starlin Castro, who is believed to be one of the names the Blue Jays mentioned in talks with Cubs officials.

Halladay was 17-10 with a 2.79 ERA this season, and is a free agent after 2010.

It's believed that four to six teams have expressed interest in acquiring Bradley, with the interest in varying degrees, depending on how much of the contract the Cubs are willing to pick up. It's become clear Chicago will consider doing just that if it can get the right match of players.

Regarding the reported deal that would bring Castillo to the North Side, the Cubs do want to upgrade at second base, but a high-ranking Rangers official told MLB.com such a deal is "not happening."

Bradley batted .257 with 40 RBIs in the first year of a three-year contract with Chicago.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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