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Eckstein deal still on hold

August 31, 2008|Kevin Baxter | Times Staff Writer

Toronto Blue Jays General Manager J.P. Ricciardi said Saturday that he remained in discussions with the Angels over a trade that could return popular shortstop David Eckstein to Anaheim.

Middle infielders John McDonald and Marco Scutaro have also been mentioned in the talks, but Eckstein is believed to be the most attractive to the Angels because of his experience and the fact he has only $750,000 left on his contract.

"No updates. Nothing new," Angels General Manager Tony Reagins said. "Really there's been no movement in any direction. I don't think anything is imminent."

The Angels, who have lost two shortstops and a second baseman to injury in the last two weeks, are suddenly desperate for help at both positions. But they need to swing a deal before midnight EDT tonight for the new player to be eligible for the team's postseason roster.

The Angels and Blue Jays were close to a deal early Friday before the talks stalled, apparently when another team began inquiring about Eckstein. Arizona Diamondbacks General Manager Josh Byrnes, who usually denies trade rumors that have no validity, offered no comment Saturday regarding his team's interest in Eckstein. Others believed to have talked with Toronto include Tampa Bay, Boston and the Dodgers.

"We still have 36 hours. Things can change in that time frame," Reagins said before Saturday's game. "And we'll keep working up to that point. At the end of the day, I have to make the best decision for the Angels, whatever that decision might be. The club that we have on the field right now is a good club. I'm content with being able to go to war with these guys."

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kevin.baxter@latimes.com

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