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Angels not counting on Escobar, may go after Halladay

Kelvim Escobar went from the disabled list to the rotation to the bullpen and then back to the DL in the span of about a week last month, and now Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports that he "hasn't picked up a baseball in weeks and has to be considered a long shot to pitch again this season."

General manager Tony Reagins said yesterday that Escobar is still experiencing "a deep ache" in his surgically repaired shoulder, adding: "We wanted him to back off and that's what he's doing. We're not writing him off, by any means. We're going to move forward cautiously. If we get him back, great. If we don't get him back, then we don't get him back."

On a related note, Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels "are looking for late-inning relief help" and have targeted Scott Downs and Brandon League of the Blue Jays, Chad Qualls of the Diamondbacks, and Rafael Betancourt of the Indians. And of course DiGiovanna also notes that the Angels would be interested in a front-of-the-rotation starter like ... drum roll please! ... Roy Halladay.

In laying out potential deals for Halladay yesterday Matthew Pouliot speculated that the Angels could give up Jordan Walden, Brandon Wood, Trevor Reckling, and Matt Sweeney. On the other hand, DiGiovanna writes that "Halladay would probably cost the Angels pitcher Jered Weaver, a top pitching prospect such as Trevor Reckling or Jordan Walden, top hitting prospect Brandon Wood and a young big leaguer such as Erick Aybar or Howie Kendrick."

Halladay is an exceptionally good pitcher and the Blue Jays should be holding out for an exceptionally good package of players in return for him, but there's just no way that their asking price is anything close to Weaver, Reckling/Walden, Wood, and Kendrick/Aybar if they actually want to make a deal. For one thing, Weaver is 26 years old, has a 3.60 career ERA, makes the MLB minimum, and is under the Angels' control through 2012.

Does anyone think that upgrading from Weaver to Halladay--who's 32 years old, makes about 40 times as much money, and becomes a free agent after next season--is worth Wood, Walden, and Kendrick? If the Blue Jays want prospects like Walden or Wood, they can get them. If the Blue Jays want young major leaguers like Weaver or Kendrick, they can get them.

But as the deals for Dan Haren, Johan Santana, CC Sabathia, Josh Beckett, and various other top starters and the rumored offers for Jake Peavy have shown in recent years asking for a couple of choice names from Column A and a couple of choice names from Column B just isn't how these things tend to work.

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