Sources: Angels intensify bid in Halladay chase

BY foxsports • July 26, 2009

The Phillies are still thought of as the favorite to acquire Roy Halladay. But major league sources told throughout Saturday that the Angels have intensified their own efforts to get the Toronto ace.

"They are not the only game in town," one executive said in reference to the Phillies.

Halladay has a no-trade clause but would approve a deal to either team, according to people familiar with his thinking.

Emboldened by Halladay's performance over his last two starts — 18 innings, two earned runs — the Jays are more convinced than ever in the justifiability of their high asking price.

The Angels, very involved in the market for pitching, caught the Jays' attention with an increased offer on Friday, according to multiple executives with knowledge of the Halladay market. But as of Saturday night, they didn't appear to be close on a deal for Halladay.

One major league source told on Saturday that Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi countered by asking for a four-player package: left-handed starter Joe Saunders, third baseman/shortstop Brandon Wood, shortstop Erick Aybar and a high-ceiling prospect from among the group of outfielder Peter Bourjos, left-hander Trevor Reckling and right-hander Sean O'Sullivan.

It's highly doubtful that Angels GM Tony Reagins would surrender that much talent, particularly since three players (Saunders, Wood and Aybar) are currently on the team's 25-man roster.

Of that group, it would be most difficult for the Angels to surrender Aybar, their everyday shortstop. But the Jays likely view Aybar as an essential component, as he could be the young shortstop that their farm system lacks.

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