Astros, Padres reportedly working on 'something big;' White Sox show interest in J. Upton, Cespedes
By Paul Casella and Austin Laymance
Today's non-waiver Trade Deadline is fast approaching, and if Thursday's blockbuster deals were any indication, the final hours leading up to 4 p.m. ET should be thrilling.
MLB Network will air live coverage of Trade Deadline news starting at 10 a.m. ET. To get you prepared for what figures to be a wild day in baseball, here's a recap of what went down Thursday and the top rumors circulating around the league:
Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @paul_casella. Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Blue Jays win bidding for prized lefty Price
Tigers to receive package of prospects, including Toronto's No. 1-ranked Norris
By Gregor Chisholm
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays became instant contenders in the American League after they pulled off yet another blockbuster trade on Thursday afternoon by acquiring former AL Cy Young Award winner David Price from the Tigers.
Toronto sent left-handed prospects Daniel Norris, Matt Boyd and Jairo Labourt to the Tigers as part of the deal. It's the second major move this week after the Blue Jays acquired All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and LaTroy Hawkins from the Rockies on Tuesday.
HOUSTON -- The Astros landed the right-handed bat and starting pitcher they coveted Thursday, striking a deal with the Brewers for outfielder Carlos Gomez and right-hander Mike Fiers in exchange for four prospects -- outfielders Brett Phillips and Domingo Santana, right-hander Adrian Houser and left-hander Josh Hader.
Gomez, 29, is a right-handed-hitting center fielder who was batting .262 with eight homers and 43 RBIs in 74 games for the Brewers. He's a career .260 hitter with 99 homers and 387 RBIs in a nine-year career with the Mets (2007), Twins ('08-09) and Brewers ('09-15).
ARLINGTON -- Bent on improving their starting rotation, the Giants obtained right-hander Mike Leake from the Cincinnati Reds late Thursday night for two Minor Leaguers, right-hander Keury Mella and infielder Adam Duvall.
Giants general manager Bobby Evans tried fruitlessly to acquire Cole Hamels from Philadelphia or David Price from Detroit, All-Star left-handers who were considered the two premier starters among the pitchers considered available before Friday's 1 p.m. PT non-waiver Trade Deadline. Evans said that Hamels waived his no-trade clause to make a deal involving San Francisco possible, but the Phillies reached a tentative agreement with Texas instead. The Giants lacked the Major League-ready starters Detroit wanted in exchange for Price, who went to Toronto for three Minor League left-handers.
HOUSTON -- Jason Castro, who came into his ninth-inning at-bat with six hits with runners in scoring position this season, blasted a three-run walk-off home run to complete the Astros' sweep of the Angels with a 3-0 win Thursday night, giving Houston a two-game lead in the American League West.
Castro turned on Fernando Salas' 1-2 pitch to dispatch it into the right-field seats for the Astros' second walk-off home run of the season. Salas entered the game with two outs in relief of Jose Alvarez and surrendered a single to Marwin Gonzalez before Castro ended the game.
In the quiet period leading up to this last week of July, we heard a lot of chatter about Major League Baseball possibly moving the non-waiver Trade Deadline to mid-August to account for the increased parity brought about by having two Wild Card teams per league and the logjam it causes on the trade market.
CINCINNATI -- The National League Central race still has 10 weeks to go. But the Pirates have already beaten out the Cardinals on one count: Joakim Soria.
Swinging their second deal of the day to solidify the bullpen, the Bucs on Thursday acquired the Tigers' closer -- who had been also on the wish-list of the Cardinals, looking to bolster their own bullpen even after last week's acquisition of Steve Cishek from the Marlins.
Not content to give the entire baseball world just oneTrade Deadline headfake, Justin Upton and the Padres were back at it again on Thursday. But this time, rather than being pulled from the game, Upton decided to confound the #HugWatch movement completely -- giving out fake hugs to his teammates in the dugout, just for kicks.
Second baseman homers twice, notches career-high seven RBIs
By Robert Bondy
CINCINNATI -- Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips set a Major League record that had never been touched since 1920 on Thursday night -- and he didn't need the entire nine innings to do it.
Phillips went 4-for-5 to help lead the Reds to a 15-5 victory over the Pirates at Great American Ball Park on Thursday. With the incredible night, Phillips became the first player since MLB began keeping track of RBIs in 1920 to record two home runs, two stolen bases, four hits and seven RBIs in a single game, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
Robert Bondy is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Hug it out: In-game trades a part of the game
Flores situation brings back memories of dugout goodbyes
By AJ Cassavell
With all the chatter about transactions before Friday's 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline, it's easy to forget there is a human element to all of this. Come late July every year, players get uprooted, leaving behind their teammates and cities to join a new ballclub at a moment's notice.
That has led to some strange scenes over the years, perhaps none stranger than what we saw on Wednesday night involving Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores. When word of an impending trade reached him, cameras caught Flores tearing up on the field -- only for the trade to fall through, leaving Flores with the Mets after all.
Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
The Blue Jays' new playoff odds
By Mike Petriello
There are two ways to look at the pair of jaw-dropping non-waiver Trade Deadline deals that brought the Blue Jays two of baseball's biggest stars in Troy Tulowitzki and David Price. Either the Blue Jays are a much better team than their 52-51 record would make it seem -- their run differential of +100 heading into Thursday night was the second-best in all of baseball, after all -- and circumstances demand they go all-in this year, or they're the frustrating group that's suffered three losing months out of four and is just a game up on the fourth-place Tampa Bay Rays.
How you feel about the decision to mortgage some of the future in an attempt to win now is without question colored by what you think the Blue Jays' chances actually are of making 2015 a memorable year. Clearly, Toronto management feels it's the former, because they've cashed in six players, including highly touted pitching prospects Daniel Norris and Jeff Hoffman, to try to end the longest playoff drought in North American team sports. (Norris and Hoffman were each born in 1993, the last time Toronto saw postseason baseball.)
ST. LOUIS -- Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez's loud bat is drowning what little noise there is leading up to today's 2 p.m. MT non-waiver Trade Deadline.
The Angels have made their big move for outfield bats, the Mets reportedly are pushing for Reds right fielder Jay Bruce and the Cardinals added left-handed-hitting help by trading with the Indians for Brandon Moss on Thursday. The only known rumor, reported by CBS Sports on Thursday, involves the Orioles, who have pitching prospects the Rockies may covet.
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have acquired pitcher Cole Hamels and reliever Jake Diekman from the Phillies, according to multiple Major League sources. The two sides spent Thursday reviewing medical records and waiting for Major League approval on the money exchange.
All of that was completed on Thursday, and all that was left were paperwork issues to be cleared up. Neither club has confirmed the deal, although an announcement is expected Friday.
By Jenifer Langosch and Thomas Harding
ST. LOUIS -- In a game that featured six lead changes, the Cardinals snagged the final one, stunning the Rockies with a three-run ninth to steal a 9-8 win at Busch Stadium on Thursday night. Greg Garcia, who had been called up from Triple-A earlier in the day, gave the Cardinals their seventh walk-off win of the year by drawing a bases-loaded walk.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Eddie Rosario and Aaron Hicks combined for six hits, five runs and four RBIs to help the Twins snap a four-game losing streak with a 9-5 win over the Mariners on Thursday night at Target Field.
Rosario fell a single short of the cycle, as he was robbed of a hit in the eighth on a leaping catch from Mariners shortstop Brad Miller, but still had three hits, including a three-run blast as part of a five-run first inning. Hicks registered his fifth straight multi-hit game by going 3-for-4 with a solo homer and a walk, and is hitting .365 over his last 22 games since coming off the disabled list.
ARLINGTON -- Josh Hamilton hit a single through the right side with two outs in the ninth off reliever Andrew Miller to bring home Leonys Martin with the winning run in the Rangers' 7-6 walk-off victory over the Yankees on Thursday night.
Hamilton, who had a three-run home run in the first inning, was mobbed at first base after the Rangers celebrated their second straight win over the Yankees.
HOUSTON -- The day ended for the Houston Astros with one of those electrifying moments that makes the whole incredible ride feel magical. If things work out a certain way for this team, players and coaches might look back on Thursday and see it as another sign that something special is happening.
Catcher Jason Castro's three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning delivered a 3-0 victory that completed a three-game sweep of the Angels. With the sweep, the Astros -- a team that averaged 104 losses the last four seasons -- is 58-45 and leading the American League West over the Angels by two games.
ARLINGTON -- CC Sabathia's night started with a hanging slider that landed in the seats for a titanic Josh Hamilton homer, and after toiling in triple-digit temperatures, it ended with the Yankees left-hander admitted to a local hospital for symptoms of dehydration.
Sabathia worked five-plus innings in a 7-6 loss to the Rangers at Globe Life Park, and the Yankees said that he experienced cramping during his post-start ice session. Head athletic trainer Steve Donohue advised that Sabathia visit the nearest hospital, Medical Center of Arlington, as a precaution.
BALTIMORE -- The Tigers exploded for 16 hits on Thursday night in a 9-8 victory over the Orioles at Camden Yards, giving Detroit its first consecutive victories since July 8-9 as the team tries to gain ground in the American League Wild Card race on the day it traded away starter David Price and closer Joakim Soria.
The Tigers' offense scratched five runs off Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez and four more off reliever Bud Norris, with J.D. Martinez and Yoenis Cespedes each contributing three RBIs. But for as good as the offensive production was, it didn't overshadow the night of Detroit starter Alfredo Simon, who picked up his 10th win of the season. The right-hander gave up two hits, both home runs, over 5 2/3 innings in his first career appearance against the Orioles after playing in Baltimore from 2008-11.
J.J. Watt obliterates baseballs during BP with Astros
By Ben Cosman and Brian McTaggart/MLB.com |
J.J. Watt is a powerful human being. He is 6-foot-5, 290 pounds of wrecking-ball strength. So when he snuck in to batting practice at Minute Maid Park on Thursday, it was practically a given that he would send baseballs into low-orbit.
ARLINGTON -- The Yankees joined the busy buildup to Friday's 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline with a smaller move on Thursday, acquiring infielder-outfielder Dustin Ackley from the Mariners in exchange for Minor League outfielder Ramon Flores and Minor League right-hander Jose Ramirez.
Manager Joe Girardi said that the team liked Ackley's versatility, envisioning him as a piece that could help them at all three outfield positions as well as first and second base while the Yankees fight for a postseason berth.
Yet another example of how much progress the Astros have made in 2015 came on Thursday evening. Houston gave up four prospects in a trade, something it never would have considered at any other point this decade.
But these aren't the Astros that finished with baseball's worst record for three years running in 2011-13 or haven't had a winning season since 2008. They're leading the American League West in pursuit of their first division title in 14 years.
Cleveland acquires Kaminsky, ranked 10th among LHP prospects
By Jenifer Langosch
ST. LOUIS -- On the heels of consecutive shutouts that underscored the club's need for an offensive jolt, general manager John Mozeliak swung a player swap with Cleveland early Thursday morning to bring Brandon Moss and his power potential to St. Louis.
The cost for Moss was heavy, as the Cardinals parted with 20-year-old Rob Kaminsky, who is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the 10th-best left-handed pitching prospect in baseball. The lefty starter and 28th overall selection in the MLB Draft had a 2.15 ERA through his first 43 professional appearances. This year, Kaminsky posted a 2.09 ERA and 79 strikeouts in 94 2/3 innings for Class A Advanced Palm Beach.
The Arizona Fall League released its schedule for the 2015 campaign on Thursday, and six prospect-heavy teams will play games running through mid-October to late November. The league's schedule will begin on October 13th and will conclude with the league championship on November 21.
HOUSTON -- Angels center fielder Mike Trout returned to the starting lineup for Thursday's series finale against the Astros at Minute Maid Park after missing the last two games with soreness in his left wrist.
Trout took some swings off a tee, then hit some soft toss and "didn't really feel anything" in his ailing wrist, so the Angels started him in center field and in his customary No. 3 spot in the batting order.