1. Angels: GM Tony Reagins has been quoted as saying he never said shortstop Erick Aybar was a sticking point last July. He points out Brandon Wood can play third or short. A package that includes starter Jered Weaver, Aybar or Wood, one of their catchers and a minor-league arm would look better than any previous discussions. They seem to be pulling back on pursuit of Jason Bay.
2. Red Sox: If Boston wants to be a contender in the AL East, it should re-sign Bay, then trade a package led by Clay Buchholz, who could jump to the top of a Doc-less Jays rotation. They could add from among Daniel Bard, Casey Kelly and Ryan Westmoreland.
3. Phillies: These guys have been playing it low-key, but the news that they were thinking of trading Joe Blanton in arbitration coming off a $5.75 million (U.S.) contract would give them some cash toward Doc's $15.75 million. The Jays and Phils almost did it in July and they still own key pieces J.A. Happ and one of outfielders Dominic Brown or Michael Taylor, plus prospects.
4. Yankees: The Bombers signed Andy Pettitte, but he's become a six-inning No.4 in the rotation. He pitched his way back into the spotlight by winning the clinching game in all three post-season series. The ever-gracious A.J. Burnett gave him that opportunity by spitting the bit twice. The Yankee package would be led by catcher Jesus Montero and either Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes, plus 22-year-old right-hander Zach McAlister, says ESPN.com.
5. Dodgers: Since confirmation of the new front-office setup, the Dodgers, with cost certainty now known, are back in the Halladay picture. GM Ned Colletti does not want to give up either Chad Billingsley or Clayton Kershaw, so this package is still building.
6. Rays: That was an interesting Monday rumour that suggested the Jays would receive outfielder B.J. Upton and 24-year-old stud right-hander Wade Davis from Tampa, but the Rays shot it down.