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After bullpen session, Wilson set to return

Lefty on track to start for Angels on Saturday vs. Rays at Tropicana Field

After bullpen session, Wilson set to return

BALTIMORE -- The Angels probably won't be adding a starting pitcher prior to Thursday's non-waiver Trade Deadline at 1 p.m. PT, but they could be getting back one of their own shortly thereafter.

C.J. Wilson completed his normal between-starts bullpen session on Wednesday, two days after an 81-pitch rehab start for Double-A Arkansas, and looks lined up to return from the disabled list to start Saturday's game against the Rays at Tropicana Field.

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If the veteran left-hander gets right, and rebounds from a 10.26 ERA from June 24 to July 9, Wilson could be the biggest rotation upgrade the Angels make.

"I just want to step back in and be a winning piece," Wilson said on Tuesday. "If I had been pitching well, I'd have like 13 wins by now. I have to get back on that train."

While teams like the A's, Orioles, Dodgers, Pirates and Cardinals spent the day linked to a host of available starting pitchers, from Jon Lester to John Lackey to David Price, most of the Angels' front office was back in Anaheim, doing its due diligence but also not sweating as the Deadline nears.

The Angels already addressed their most pressing need, adding three relievers in 22 days to turn a beleaguered bullpen into a strength, and aren't expected to swing another deal before the Deadline.

"No chance," one source said, while cautioning that things can always change quickly this time of year.

If the Angels are to add starting pitching, August -- when players can only be traded if they clear waivers -- may be the more likely time of year.

The club still has money to spend, but has very few prospects to give up. The Angels won't part ways with any of them for a starter who wouldn't be a clear upgrade over any of the six they have on the roster, and that's basically all their farm system can afford them nonetheless.

Waiting until August gives the Angels time to assess their situation -- to see how Wilson bounces back from a right ankle sprain, where they stand against the A's in the American League West, how the market changes -- and is more favorable to where they are as an organization.

As one source put it, "It's the time when money talks and prospects stay put."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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