Baseball

Angels, Diamondbacks eyeing Eckstein: report

Toronto Blue Jays infielder David Eckstein could be on the move by baseball's trade deadline on Sunday night, according to a media report.

Toronto Blue Jays infielder David Eckstein could be on the move by baseball's trade deadline on Sunday night, according to a media report.

The Foxsports.com story claimed that sources have identified Eckstein as the target of the Los Angeles Angels and the Arizona Diamondbacks, two clubs with playoff aspirations and big holes in their respective infields.

The Angels are peerless in the American League West, with a 17-game lead over the Texas Rangers entering play on Sunday. But a season-ending thumb injury to shortstop Maicer Izturis and hamstring injuries to Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar have Los Angeles looking for some insurance.

Eckstein made his major league debut with the then Anaheim Angels in 2001 and helped them win a World Series in 2002, his second of four seasons with the club.

Arizona, which leads the National League West, reportedly has interest in Eckstein after second baseman Orlando Hudson — a former Blue Jay — had season-ending wrist surgery on Aug. 10.

Eckstein, 33, missed most of May with a hip flexor injury and has seen his playing time with the Blue Jays diminish significantly since Cito Gaston supplanted John Gibbons as manager in late-June.

Since that point, John McDonald and Marco Scutaro, who are both signed through next season, have seen the majority of time at shortstop.

The two-time World Series champion is batting .274 in 252 at bats this season, with one home run, 22 RBIs and an on-base percentage of .353.

On Saturday, Toronto completed a deal to send Matt Stairs to the Philadelphia Phillies, officially ending the Fredericton native's tenure with Canada's only major-league ball club.

Stairs, 40, was designated for assignment on Thursday night, and expected to be traded before midnight Sunday, when teams must submit their final list of players eligible for the post-season.