Angels come up short in trade talks
Halos were unable to land Halladay, Bell
MINNEAPOLIS -- Right up to the non-waiver Trade Deadline at 1 p.m. PT on Friday, Angels general manager Tony Reagins was making bold, creative efforts to land not only Roy Halladay from Toronto, but also Heath Bell from San Diego, according to Angels manager Mike Scioscia.
"We were in for Halladay and Heath Bell right at the end -- among others," Scioscia confided. "There were others, too. A lot of guys were out there."
But the price tags, in the Angels' case, turned out to be exorbitant.
"I know everything that was explored," Scioscia said before the Angels, carrying a three-game American League West lead over Texas, faced the Twins to kick off a six-game road trip. "Tony spent a lot of time trying to improve our club at the deadline -- and will continue to do so.
"It's obvious there was something out there that was going to make us. Tony made some strong pushes. Unfortunately, other teams wanted some things that were going to create bigger holes than we were filling."
Reagins, in a conference call, did not specifically identify the objects of the club's pursuit, but emphasized that he felt he put together some fair proposals that were rejected.
"Ultimately," Reagins said, "they didn't materialize, so it's a moot point."
Reagins confirmed that he was assembling packages up to the deadline and that club owner Arte Moreno offered no "restraints" in financial terms.
"Rest assured we had some proposals that we felt fit," Reagins said. "Other clubs didn't see it as a fit.
"From a personnel standpoint, we made proposals that were very competitive and made sense. We had a comfort level in going in certain directions and were willing to be aggressive in securing a player who would help us.
"The other side has to feel they make sense as well. There were a lot of clubs seeking the same players, and in some cases that drove up the price.
The bidding for Halladay has been ongoing for weeks. The Blue Jays reportedly insisted on Erick Aybar -- an emerging star at shortstop -- being part of the package, along with Brandon Wood, a proven starting pitcher (presumably Joe Saunders or Jered Weaver) and a premium prospect.
Bell became a hot item in the past few days, with the Padres seeking a package for its gifted closer close in value to what Toronto was demanding for one of the Majors' elite starters.
"I was surprised we didn't get a pitcher," Angels ace John Lackey said, having watched old buddy and teammate Jarrod Washburn move from Seattle to Detroit earlier in the day. "I thought we would wind up getting an arm.
"I doubted we'd get Halladay, but I thought we'd get a guy to eat up some innings."
Now that the non-waiver Trade Deadline has passed, deals involving players on the 40-man roster cannot be made unless the players have already cleared waivers. In other words, the player must be offered to the other teams in reverse order of the standings, and if he is claimed by one of the teams, he cannot be traded. The club that placed the player on waivers can either withdraw the request and keep the player, or let the player go to the claiming team, which would then have the rights to the player.
Another deadline, Aug. 31, is very important to contending teams. Players must be on the Major League roster by midnight on that date to be eligible for postseason play.
From Scioscia's viewpoint, the Friday's events only underscored what he already understood. The most sensible way to acquire quality pitching is to draft it and nurture it.
"The bottom line of all this is as an organization, if you're not developing your own pitching, you're going to be in trouble," Scioscia said. "Whether it's starting or relief pitching, it's a [valuable] commodity. We've done a good job of it. We have a lot of good arms on the way."
A number of the team's young pitchers came up in trade talks, but no package was appealing enough to convince Toronto and San Diego to surrender Halladay and Bell, respectively.
Anticipation was high right up to the deadline. When he reached the Metrodome in the afternoon and saw that catcher Bobby Wilson and versatile Sean Rodriguez had been summoned from Triple-A Salt Lake, Lackey sensed something was about to happen.
It turns out Brandon Wood was being sent back to Salt Lake, and a roster spot was open with reliever Bobby Mosebach having been shipped to the Pacific Coast League affiliate on Wednesday.
"We had too many guys in here," Lackey said. "I've been around long enough to know what that means.
"We've just got to play up to our capabilities. The talent's in here. That's not an issue.
"I'm a little surprised, that's the extent of it. I'm not down or anything. We've just got to get it done."
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.