Report: Angels offer Aybar, Saunders for Halladay

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The Toronto Sun is reporting that the Angels have offered up Erick Aybar, Joe Saunders and Peter Bourjos in exchange for Jays ace Roy Halladay.
The Aybar inclusion is big, given the complete lack of any other quality young shortstops on the market and Toronto’s intense desire for a long-term option at the position.
A big issue with the offer, though, is that both of the big pieces have three years of service time in, meaning they’re already set to make considerably more than the minimum. Both Aybar and Saunders are arbitration eligible this winter. They’re each due to reach free agency after 2012.
Bourjos is pretty much the best position player prospect the Angels can offer, but it’s pretty iffy whether he’ll make it as a regular. He hit .281/.354/.423 with 32 steals as a 22-year-old in Double-A last season. He can go get it in center field, but the offensive ability probably won’t be there to make him a top-of-the-order threat in the majors.
If the Angels made the deal, they’d get themselves an ace, but they’d open up a big hole at shortstop and they’d still be short a legitimate fifth starter. Using Brandon Wood at short and Maicer Izturis at third base is an option, but it’d leave the Angels with a much weaker infield defense than they possessed last season.
They might well have a better chance of winning the AL West with their current team and the extra $10 million in cash. Halladay, though, would seem to make them a much bigger threat in the postseason.

Brewers claim Stephen Vogt off waivers from the Athletics

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported on Sunday that the Brewers claimed catcher Stephen Vogt off waivers from the Athletics. Vogt was designated for assignment by the Athletics on Thursday.

Vogt, 32, was an All-Star in each of the last two seasons, but struggled this year. He hit .217/.287/.357 with four home runs and 20 RBI in 174 plate appearances.

With the Brewers, Vogt will likely split time behind the plate with Manny Pina. Meanwhlie, the Athletics’ catching situation will be handled by Josh Phegley and Bruce Maxwell.

Dallas Keuchel is unlikely to return before the All-Star break

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Astros’ left-hander Dallas Keuchel might not return to the rotation before the All-Star break, Houston manager A.J. Hinch told reporters prior to Sunday’s game. The club placed their star southpaw on the 10-day disabled list on June 8, retroactive to June 5, after a nerve issue was revealed in his neck.

Keuchel has taken a conservative approach to his recovery over the last several weeks, and while he appears to have made some progress, still has yet to throw off the mound. The injury interrupted the start of an outstanding run with the Astros, during which the 29-year-old lefty furnished a 9-0 record with a 1.67 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 through his first 75 2/3 innings of 2017.

According to Hinch, it’s certainly possible that Keuchel could return to the team sometime within the next two weeks, but it’s clear that the team would prefer to play it extra safe with their ace. Even assuming that he feels ready to reclaim his spot on the Astros’ pitching staff, he still needs to complete a few key activities before competing in another game — like throwing off a mound, for example. In the meantime, Lance McCullers Jr. will continue to head Houston’s rotation as they try to build on their 12.5-game lead in the AL West.

 

Hinch’s full comments are below: