Deal for Stairs yet to be called official
GM Ricciardi won't confirm trade, in talks with Halos on swap
NEW YORK -- The Blue Jays aren't saying it officially, but according to multiple sources, it appears as though the club is close to finalizing a trade that would send veteran Matt Stairs to the Phillies in exchange for a Minor League player.
Late on Thursday, Toronto designated the 40-year-old Stairs for assignment and promoted top outfield prospect Travis Snider from Triple-A Syracuse. At Yankee Stadium on Friday afternoon, Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi would neither confirm nor deny that Stairs was headed to the Phillies.
"If you're guessing that it could be in the state of Pennsylvania," Ricciardi said, "I'm not going to tell you you're wrong. But, I'm not going to tell you anything else."
That included a no comment from Ricciardi when asked about an online report that indicated that the Phillies had agreed to send left-hander Fabio Castro to the Blue Jays as part of the deal. Ricciardi did say that Toronto hopes to complete the trade by Saturday at the latest.
This season, Stairs hit .250 with 11 home runs and 44 RBIs in 105 games for Toronto, which signed him to a two-year contract worth $3.25 million in November. Last year, Stairs -- under contract for $2.25 million this season and $1 million in 2009 -- hit .289 with 21 homers and 64 RBIs over 125 games for the Jays.
The 23-year-old Castro is 8-4 with a 4.71 ERA between stints with Triple-A Lehigh Valley and Double-A Reading this season in the Phillies farm system. Dating back to 2006, Castro owns a 3.30 ERA over 30 big-league games between tours with Philadelphia and Texas.
Ricciardi did confirm that he has been in talks with the Angels about a potential deal that could fit one of Toronto's three shortstops -- John McDonald, Marco Scutaro or David Eckstein -- in a Halos uniform.
In order for the player to be eligible for L.A.'s postseason roster, he'd have to be dealt before Monday. The Angels lost shortstop Maicer Izturis for the season after he tore a ligament in his left thumb on Aug. 13 and L.A. shortstop Erick Aybar is currently battling a tight left hamstring.
Ricciardi said he's received more calls on his players leading up to Monday's waiver deadline than before the July 31 non-waiver deadline.
"The teams that are talking to us about players pretty much know they're going to be in the playoffs," Ricciardi said. "They're probably trying to solidify how they want to go into the playoffs."
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.