The Houston Astros were extremely active leading up to the MLB non-waiver trade deadline on Wednesday, but that can't be said about many other teams. Here's a round-up of what happened on Tuesday and Wednesday:
Boston Red Sox acquire Jake Peavy and Brayan Villareal, send Jose Iglesias to Detroit Tigers and minor leaguers Cleulius Rondon, Frank Montas and JB Wendelken to Chicago White Sox; Tigers send Avisail Garcia to White Sox
The Red Sox refused to part with Xander Bogaerts, putting an end to their attempt to land Philadelphia Phillies ace Cliff Lee. So, Boston settled on perhaps the second-best option in Peavy, who has taken advantage of good health to return to form over the past two seasons in Chicago.
Garcia, 22, looks like a promising player, albeit one who will have to hit .300 to contribute at a high level -- he has taken just 98 walks in a 615-game pro career, and hasn't yet evinced consistent home run power. A right fielder who hits, say, .290 with a .320 on-base percentage and a .420 slugging percentage is not quite league average for the position.
Norris was scratched from his start on Tuesday, leading many to believe that he'd be dealt a day before the deadline arrived. Instead, the Astros held out until Wednesday and were rewarded with two of the Orioles' top-10 prospects and a top-50 pick in the 2014 draft. That might have been too much for Baltimore to give for a guy who may not be the best fit for Camden Yards, writes Marc Normandin.
Kennedy's drop in production over the past couple of seasons has been stiff, but with a trade to San Diego, he'll now pitch half of his games in a ballpark that should assist him in righting the ship, says Normandin:
"Kennedy's command obviously needs fixing, but, if nothing else, Petco should help mitigate some of those issues. He might not turn things around immediately, but he doesn't have to: he's just in his first year of arbitration, and won't be a free agent until 2016 at the earliest."
The Diamondbacks receive help in the form of one of baseball's best relievers in Thatcher. After a couple of down years, Thatcher has returned to the form he exhibited in the latter part of the last decade thanks to a career-low walk rate. Stites, 23, has been dominant at mostly age-appropriate levels as a minor-league reliever and could be ready to contribute to the D-Backs soon.
The Royals felt they needed to bolster their offense, so they acquired a guy that hit 18 home runs in limited action last year before being hampered by injuries in 2013. Maxwell has hit lefties well over the course of his career, but has a slightly below-average hitter over the course of his career, posting a lifetime 96 OPS+.
Smith was rated as the Royals' No. 4 prospect entering the 2013 by Minor League Ball's John Sickels, and he hasn't done anything to make the ranking look bad, posting a 2.85 ERA with 96 strikeouts and 29 walks in 104 ⅓ innings as a 20-year-old in high-A.
The A's wanted an upgrade over Eric Sogard at second base, so they grabbed Callaspo from their division rivals, hoping that he'll improve upon his .252/.324/.347 line, which is actually worse than what Sogard was providing. Callaspo is thought of as a better defender than Sogard, even with a switch from third base to second.
Green struggled in his cameo for the A's earlier this season, going 0-for-15 at the plate. However, he has a first-round pedigree and has put up solid numbers throughout his minor-league career, including a .325/.379/.500 line in Triple-A this year.
Rzepczynski has endured some struggles at the big-league level since helping the Cardinals win the World Series in 2011, but he still fills a need for the Indians, whose best left-handed reliever this season has been Rich Hill -- the Rich Hill who sports a 6.35 ERA.
Herrera is a 20-year-old shortstop currently playing short-season ball who has shown good on-base ability but little pop in his limited professional experience.
Butera appeared in his first big-league game of 2013 on July 25 and is hitless in three plate appearances. The Dodgers immediately optioned him to Triple-A Albuquerque following the move.