Halladay remains top choice, Lee Plan B

There have been numerous reports on the back-and-forth between the Phils and Jays, enough to make your head spin. So here is what we know right now:

--The Phillies’ strong preference is to acquire Halladay, but they were expected to send superscout Charley Kerfeld to watch 2008 American League Cy Young Award Winner Cliff Lee pitch for Cleveland in Seattle today. While Halladay is due $15.75 million next season, Lee is owed just the remainder of his $5.75 million salary this year, and a $9 million team option for next season. Lee functions as a plan B, and a way to let the Jays know that the Phils have other options. 

Baseball sources indicate that the Phillies might be able to pry Lee away from Cleveland with a package of second-tier prospects like Carlos Carrasco and Jason Donald (by second-tier, I mean not phenoms like Kyle Drabek and Dominic Brown). 

--The Phillies are highly reluctant to surrender both Drabek and J.A. Happ. Outfield prospects Michael Taylor and Dominic Brown have been mentioned as possible pieces in a deal, and both teams believe that Brown has more potential than Taylor. A Blue Jays scout is watching Brown today in Clearwater, Fla.

--The entire Phillies front office will be on a plane to Arizona tonight to discuss these issues.  They typically only travel with one executive, but trade deadline week is a wild one. Stay tuned.