- Associated Press - Sunday, July 31, 2016

MIAMI (AP) - Zach Duke has bounced around during a 12-year major league career, and the St. Louis Cardinals became his seventh team Sunday. Even so, being traded at midseason is a new experience.

“I’ll check that off the list of career achievements,” said Duke, 33. “There are not many more. I’ve been released and designated for assignment and traded in the offseason. Now I add this one. About the only thing I have left after this will be retirement.”

St. Louis added depth to the back half of its bullpen by acquiring the veteran left-hander from the Chicago White Sox. The Cardinals gave up minor league outfielder Charlie Tilson in the trade announced before their game Sunday at Miami.

Duke went 2-0 with a 2.63 ERA for the White Sox this year and leads the American League with 53 appearances.

“The one area we needed to address was the bullpen,” Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said. “We were fortunate to get somebody of the caliber of Zach Duke. He will fit in ideally.”

Duke embraced the move to St. Louis.

“It’s a great situation for me and my family,” he said. “It’s about the closest team to our home base in Nashville, and a great organization. The Cardinals are top-notch all the way, so it should be a good thing.”

Duke is in the second year of a $15 million, three-year contract, which made him more appealing, Mozeliak said.

“I was not looking for a rental,” Mozeliak said.

Since 2014, Duke has appeared in 198 games, which ranks fourth in the majors. He made 169 career starts, all from 2005 to 2013.

While the Cardinals are in the mix for an NL wild-card berth, the White Sox became sellers at the trade deadline after dropping below .500 in the AL Central. Manager Robin Ventura acknowledged the deal sends a signal to the clubhouse.

“Any time you get around the trade deadline and something like this happens, it affects guys differently,” Ventura said. “They’re professional, they’ll go out there and continue to play, but it’s definitely a tough day.”

Duke will join the Cardinals for the start of their next series Tuesday in Cincinnati. He adds depth to a bullpen undermined by the struggles of Trevor Rosenthal, who lost his job as closer and went on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday because of inflammation in his right shoulder.

The 23-year-old Tilson was the Cardinals’ second-round pick in 2011 and is batting .282 this season for Triple-A Memphis. He has a .293 career minor league average in 471 games.

“Sometimes you have to make decisions with a steep cost,” Mozeliak said. “Charlie Tilson was someone we were very high on and thought he had some upside, but at some point you have to give up something to get something, and ultimately we feel like we have helped our big league club.”


AP freelancer writer Brian Hall in Minneapolis contributed to this report.

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