How much is too much? That’s a question Angels management could grapple with in the final days before the non-waiver trading deadline as it attempts to add a pitcher.
“If you want pitching, you’re going to overpay for it,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “It’s such a rare commodity.”
Just because Angels owner Arte Moreno said there are “no financial constraints” in his team’s pursuit of pitching help doesn’t mean the club won’t balk at the asking price.
Toronto ace Roy Halladay, for instance, could cost the Angels much more than the $20.5 million he’s owed for the rest of this season and all of next season.
According to a FOXSports.com report:-Angels-intensify-bid-in-Halladay-chase, Blue Jays General Manager J.P. Ricciardi has asked for a four-player package including starting pitcher Joe Saunders, top infield prospect Brandon Wood, shortstop Erick Aybar and a minor leaguer from a group that includes outfielder Peter Bourjos and pitchers Trevor Reckling and Sean O’Sullivan.
Angels General Manager Tony Reagins did not return a call seeking comment.
“If you’re going to overpay for pitching, how much do you want to overpay for a guy?” Scioscia said, speaking generally about trades. “That would be an internal discussion as to how much talent you’re willing to pay for a guy that maybe isn’t going to have a huge impact on your club.
“If you’re looking for a good bullpen arm, it could be as expensive as a good starter. If you’re looking for a middle reliever that’s going to help you bridge a little bit of a gap, it might be the same as a fifth starter.”
Taking no offense
With the Angels averaging more than nine runs over their last six games before Sunday, fans could have been forgiven for staying all nine innings in hopes of seeing a comeback in the series finale against Minnesota.
But with the exception of a two-on, one-out threat in the first inning and a bases-loaded opportunity in the seventh -- neither of which resulted in a run -- the Angels failed to pressure the Twins during a 10-1 loss at Angel Stadium.
Angels third baseman Chone Figgins credited Minnesota starter Anthony Swarzak, who gave up only one run, on Kendry Morales’ fourth-inning homer, in 6 2/3 innings.
“He got a lead and he kept throwing strikes,” Figgins said. “He kept the ball out of the hitting zones.”
Saunders starts against Cleveland tonight, his latest attempt to emerge from the first prolonged slump of his young career. The 28-year-old left-hander is 2-3 with a 6.87 earned-run average since the beginning of June, and pitching Coach Mike Butcher attributed Saunders’ struggles in part to “working behind in the count and not really staying with the game plan.”
“I think he’s tried to add too much to his game too early,” Butcher said. “He’s not really being simple, and that’s what he needs to get back to -- just keep it simple and throw [pitches] he knows he can execute.”
Outfielder Juan Rivera, recovering from a tight left hamstring, will attempt to run the bases at full speed today. Depending on how he feels, he could then play when the Angels open a three-game series against Cleveland. If Rivera is not ready, Scioscia said, he would probably return Tuesday. . . . Minnesota reliever Jose Mijares was taken to a hospital during the game Sunday after he started feeling sick in the bullpen.
Where: Angel Stadium.
On the air: TV: FS West; Radio: 830, 980, 1330.
Probable pitchers: Joe Saunders vs. Carl Pavano. Tuesday, 7 p.m. -- Jered Weaver (10-3, 3.57) vs. David Huff (5-4, 6.39). Wednesday, 12:30 p.m. -- John Lackey (6-4, 4.22) vs. Aaron Laffey (4-2, 3.71).
Update: Since going 5-1 with a 2.66 earned-run average in his first seven starts this season, Saunders is 3-5 with a 6.34 ERA in his last 13 starts. Saunders has an 8.18 ERA while failing to pitch more than six innings in any of his four starts in July. The Angels have gone 3-1 in those games primarily because they have averaged nearly eight runs. Pavano has won two of his last three starts, though Toronto rocked him for seven hits and seven runs in 4 2/3 innings during his most recent outing, a 10-6 Indians defeat on Wednesday.
-- Ben Bolch