General Manager Tony Reagins said the likelihood of the Angels acquiring a pitcher before Friday's non-waiver trade deadline "is probably 50-50 right now," but he would not specify whether he's zeroing in on an ace, a middle-of-the-rotation starter or a reliever.
"I will be optimistic until 1 p.m. on Friday," Reagins said. "But make no mistake, we really like this club. It can contend and win. If we don't do anything, we're confident in the 25 guys we have."
The chances of landing Toronto ace Roy Halladay appear to be remote unless the Blue Jays come off their demands.
According to reports, Toronto asked the Angels for shortstop Erick Aybar, a big league pitcher -- either Jered Weaver or Joe Saunders -- top infield prospect Brandon Wood and a double-A prospect, either pitcher Trevor Reckling or outfielder Peter Bourjos.
"Everybody realizes that to get some pieces you're looking for you'd have to overpay," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "But there's a fine line between overpaying and gutting an organization. . . .
"If you're going to make a deal that makes you extremely strong in one area and weakens you in other areas, you may not like what's left."
The Angels could pursue a second-tier starter such as Cincinnati's Bronson Arroyo or Aaron Harang, Arizona's Jon Garland or Seattle's Jarrod Washburn.
They're also looking for late-inning relief, but the competition remains fierce for the likes of San Diego's Heath Bell, Oakland's Michael Wuertz, Baltimore's George Sherrill, Toronto's Scott Downs, Jason Frasor and Brandon League, and Arizona's Chad Qualls.
"There are a lot of teams looking for a lot of the same pieces," Reagins said. "It's a challenge."
The reports on Sean O'Sullivan's start for triple-A Salt Lake on Tuesday night were mixed.
The right-hander did throw a no-hitter with seven strikeouts in a 2-0 win over Sacramento, the first nine-inning no-hitter in Salt Lake franchise history, but . . .
"He walked a guy, so we're a little disappointed in that," Scioscia joked. "Otherwise, he threw the ball OK."
O'Sullivan, a 21-year-old who is 3-0 with a 3.72 earned-run average in five starts for the Angels, retired the first 18 batters before issuing a leadoff walk in the seventh inning.
He was sent to triple A last week because the Angels don't need a fifth starter until Aug. 8.
Scioscia said that with Ervin Santana, Weaver and Saunders struggling, he may add a fifth starter -- O'Sullivan or Matt Palmer, who is 9-1 -- before Aug. 8 to give the other four starters an extra day or two of rest.
But he is not ready to remove Santana, Weaver or Saunders from the rotation temporarily.
"Right now, I don't think that would be beneficial," Scioscia said. "They say they're fine [physically]. Their stuff hasn't deteriorated appreciably."
Closer Brian Fuentes was given Wednesday off to "regroup," Scioscia said. The Angels are off today and begin a three-game series in Minnesota on Friday
The left-hander gave up a three-run home run to Victor Martinez and a solo shot to Jhonny Peralta in the Angels' 8-6 loss to Cleveland on Monday, his first blown save since May 30, and he didn't retire any of the four batters he faced with a three-run lead Tuesday night.
"He'll be back in his role Friday," Scioscia said. "He dealt with some mechanical things at the beginning of the year, straightened them out and got on a terrific roll. He'll straighten this out."
Reliever Bobby Mosebach, who gave up two ninth-inning runs Wednesday, was optioned to triple A after the game. The Angels will call up a position player, probably an outfielder, Friday.