Saturday, July 31, 2010

Yankees Acquire Berkman From Houston et al

In the space of 36 hours, the Houston Astros unloaded two of their players who spent their entire big league careers with the organization.

After dealing pitcher Roy Oswalt to the Phillies, the Astros then traded Lance Berkman to the Yankees for relief pitcher Mark Melancon and a minor leaguer. Berkman and Oswalt had played with the Astros since 1999 and 2001, respectively. Their departures fundamentally alters the character of the Astros who are in a rebuilding mode.

As for the Yankees, they also made two separate deals with the Cleveland Indians acquiring outfielder Austin Kearns and relief pitcher Kerry Wood. Berkman will serve as the Yankees' DH while Kearns will be the club's fourth outfielder and Wood will be Mariano Rivera's set up man.

The Tribe has been busy unloading players. Before sending Kearns and Wood to New York they traded infielder Jhonny Peralta to Detroit. Well, add pitcher Jake Westbrook to that list. Westbrook is now a Cardinal and becomes their number four starter. The Indians obtained a minor leaguer while the Cards sent outfielder Ryan Ludwick to the San Diego Padres. Ludwick along with newly acquired Miguel Tejada give Adrian Gonzalez a lot more protection.

The Arizona Diamondbacks have been even busier than the Tribe in the trade market. Yesterday, the D'Backs traded pitcher Edwin Jackson to the Chicago White Sox for pitcher Daniel Hudson and a minor leaguer. Jackson, of course, threw a no-hitter for the D'Backs last month. However, rumor has it that Jackson could be on his way to Washington in exchange for slugger Adam Dunn. So Jackson may never throw a pitch for the Chisox.

Today, the D'Backs traded relief pitcher Chad Qualls to the Tampa Bay Rays for a minor leaguer. They also traded catcher Chris Snyder and a minor leaguer to the Pittsburgh Pirates for infielder Bobby Crosby, outfielder Ryan Church and relief pitcher D.J. Carrasco. Personally, I think the D'Backs pulled one over on the Bucs. The Bucs gave up way too much to get a catcher with a lifetime batting average of .233. I certainly don't think Snyder is an improvement over Ryan Doumit.

Are the Pirates engaging in yet another fire sale? The Bucs also dealt their closer Octavio Dotel to the Los Angeles Dodgers for reliever James McDonald. They then traded reliever Javier Lopez to the San Francisco Giants for outfielder John Bowker and pitcher Joe Martinez.

In addition to obtaining Lopez, the Giants also acquired reliever Ramon Ramirez from the Boston Red Sox for a minor league pitcher. As for the Bosox, the only other trade they made was to acquire catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia from the Texas Rangers for two minor leaguers and a player to be named later.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Cubs traded pitcher Ted Lilly and infielder Ryan Theriot to the Los Angeles Dodgers for infielder Blake DeWitt and two minor leaguers.

The Kansas City Royals traded outfielder Rick Ankiel and reliever Kyle Farnsworth to the Atlanta Braves for outfielder Gregor Blanco, pitcher Jesse Chavez and a minor leaguer.

The Texas Rangers acquired infielder Cristian Guzman from the Washington Nationals which compliments their acquisition of Jorge Cantu from the Florida Marlins.

The Marlins traded starting pitcher Rick Vanden Hurk to the Baltimore Orioles for relief pitcher Will Ohman.

Big league clubs can still make trades but now that the trade deadliine has come and gone other teams can block deals by putting in a waiver claim on a player.

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