Hoping to catch the NL West-leading Dodgers, the Arizona Diamondbacks filled a hole in their bullpen Wednesday by sending struggling 20-game winner Ian Kennedy to San Diego for lefty reliever Joe Thatcher.
Boston put the pressure on Baltimore by picking up 2007 NL Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy from the Chicago White Sox less than 24 hours earlier in a three-team trade. The deal was finalized quickly in part because the Detroit Tigers were eager to protect themselves in case shortstop Jhonny Peralta is suspended for his involvement in the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drugs scandal.
“The frank reality is that I do not know what is going to happen with Jhonny, but with this move, we now feel well protected if there is a long suspension,” Tigers general manager David Dombrowski said.
With all eyes on the Yankees because of Alex Rodriguez’s likely suspension by Major League Baseball for his role in the wide-ranging drug case, New York never could work out a deal with the Phillies for corner infielder Michael Young, who is staying _ for now _ with Philadelphia.
San Francisco also held onto left-hander Javier Lopez and the Los Angeles Angels kept second baseman Howie Kendrick after sending Alberto Callaspo to Oakland late Monday.
Other than a few other minor swaps Wednesday, baseball’s executives did much of their work in the weeks leading up to the 4 p.m. EDT non-waiver trade cutoff.
“In general I just think everybody was dealing with a relative level of frustration knowing that the strength wasn’t there, the bona fide help, per se, across the board was going to be very tough to fulfill their needs,” Giants general manager Brian Sabean said after the deadline passed.
The busy Cubs sent Alfonso Soriano to the Yankees, Matt Garza to Texas, Scott Feldman to Baltimore and Carlos Marmol to the Dodgers. Francisco Rodriguez, Marc Rzepczynski, Callaspo, Scott Downs and Jesse Crain also switched teams this month.
The NL Central-leading Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals and the struggling World Series champion Giants were among several teams that chose to stand pat Wednesday in a tepid market.
In the midst of a revival that has an entire city brimming with Bucs fever, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington reluctantly held back from making any deals.
“We talk a lot about, we don’t want to do something stupid,” Huntington said. “We were willing to do something stupid, we just didn’t want to do anything insane.”
Teams can make trades for the rest of the season, but it gets riskier. Players must first pass through waivers, meaning they can be claimed by another club before a deal takes place.
For a player to be eligible for the postseason with his new team, swaps must be completed before Aug. 31.
On Wednesday, Houston also sent outfielder Justin Maxwell to Kansas City and the Dodgers picked up backup catcher Drew Butera from Minnesota and sent him to the minors.