July 2010

Giants get RHP Ramirez from Boston

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants continued to focus on relief pitching as Saturday’s Trade Deadline passed, acquiring right-hander Ramon Ramirez from the Boston Red Sox to go with  Pittsburgh lefty Javier Lopez.

Ramirez, 28, was 0-3 with a 4.46 ERA in 44 games for Boston this year. He preceded that with a pair of solid seasons. In 2008, Ramirez went 3-2 with a 2.64 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 71 2/3 innings in 71 games for Kansas City. Opponents hit .222 off him. Last year, Ramirez joined the Red Sox in a trade and finished 7-4 with a 2.84 ERA in 70 appearances.

Ramirez recently endured tightness in his right triceps but reportedly has recovered. He owns a 16-14 record with a 3.55 ERA in 268 career relief apppearances since 2006 with Colorado, Kansas City and Boston.

The Giants parted with right-hander Daniel Turpen, 23, to get Ramirez. Turpen, a non-roster invitee to Spring Training this year, was 5-5 with a 4.09 ERA in 37 relief appearances for Double-A Richmond. He had 42 strikeouts in 50 2/3 innings while yielding 55 hits.

— Chris Haft

Marlins acquire Ohman from Orioles

Minutes before the Trade Deadline, the Marlins acquired veteran lefty reliever Will Ohman from the Orioles for right-hander Rick VandenHurk.

Ohman appeared in 51 games with the Orioles, and he posted a 3.30 ERA.

A free agent after the season, Ohman provides a second left-hander to the Marlins bullpen, as he joins Taylor Tankersley.

Ohman turns 33 on Aug. 13, and the team is hopeful he can join the team in San Diego for Sunday’s game.

With a 52-51 record, the Marlins are hopeful of making a late push. President of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said in recent days the team hadn’t been seeking to move established players. They were hoping to add, rather than subtract.

But a number of teams made calls on outfielder Cody Ross, who is remaining with Florida.

— Joe Frisaro

Braves land Ankiel and Farnsworth

The Braves have landed outfielder Rick Ankiel and right-handed reliever Kyle Farnsworth from the Royals in exchange for outfielder Gregor Blanco,  right-handed reliever Jesse Chavez and left-handed reliever Tim Collins.  <p>

Ankiel provides the Braves the upgrade they were seeking in center field and Farnsworth will return to Atlanta to provide the bullpen depth that general manager Frank Wren has been attempting to land over the past couple of weeks. 

In another last minute deal, the Braves acquired Minor League outfielder Wilkin Ramirez from the Tigers in exchange for cash considerations or a player to be named later. 

Dodgers Acquire Dotel

The Dodgers bolstered their bullpen Saturday by acquiring veteran reliever Octavio Dotel and $500,000 from the Pittsburgh Pirates for pitcher James McDonald and Minor League outfielder Andrew Lambo. The 36-year-old Dotel is 2-2 with a 4.28 ERA. The move is similar to one the Dodgers made a year ago when they traded for Baltimore closer George Sherrill to set up for closer Jonathan Broxton.– Ken Gurnick 


Giants apparently seize LHP Lopez

SAN FRANCISCO — Beating Saturday’s Trade Deadline, the Giants fortified their bullpen by obtaining left-hander Javier Lopez from Pittsburgh for right-hander Joe Martinez, according to a Comcast Sports Net report.

With left-handers Jeremy Affeldt and Dan Runzler sidelined by injuries until possibly late August, the Giants sought a lefty who could neutralize opposing left-handed batters.

Lopez, 33, would seem to fit that description. The 33-year-old Puerto Rican compiled a 2-2 record with a 2.79 ERA in 50 games with Pittsburgh this year. Moreover, he limited left-handed hitters to a .204 average, though right-handers batted .315 against him.

Lopez isn’t particularly overpowering, having struck out 22 batters in 38 2/3 innings this season. Lifetime, he’s 13-9 with a 4.37 ERA in 393 appearances, all in relief.

The Giants will be Lopez’s fifth Major League team. He reached the Majors with Colorado in 2003 and also has pitched for Arizona and Boston before joining Pittsburgh this year.

Martinez, 27, has been primarily a starter in his six-year professional career, though he has bounced between the rotation and bullpen in his stints with the Giants this season and last. Martinez was 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA in four appearances this year for San Francisco after finishing 3-2, 7.50 in nine games (five starts) with the Giants last season.

— Chris Haft

Yankees closing in on Kerry Wood

The Yankees are closing in on a trade to acquire reliever Kerry Wood from the Indians, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported via Twitter. 

Wood was activated from the disabled list by Cleveland on Saturday and could help in the Bombers’ setup mix to get to closer Mariano Rivera, with Joba Chamberlain having lost his stranglehold on the eighth inning duties.
New York completed a deal with Cleveland on Friday, acquiring outfielder Austin Kearns for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
— Bryan Hoch

Dodgers Get Lilly

The Dodgers acquired left-handed starting pitcher Ted Lilly, Ryan Theriot and $2.5 million cash from the Cubs for second baseman Blake DeWitt and Minor League pitchers Kyle Smit and Brett Wallach. — Ken Gurnick

Report: Mets unsuccessfully tried to deal Ollie

An interesting note this morning out of SI.com, which reported that the Mets attempted to swap much-maligned lefty Oliver Perez to the Cubs for equally-maligned right-hander Carlos Zambrano. The sticking point, according to the report, was the Mets’ insistence that the Cubs also take on the contract of second baseman Luis Castillo.

Though the deal did not happen, the web site also reported that Mets manager Jerry Manuel is refusing to pitch Perez at home in New York. According to SI.com, the Mets again plan on asking Perez to accept a Minor League assignment — something he refused to do earlier this season.

–Anthony DiComo

Roundup: Trade Deadline comes and goes

That’s it. The non-waiver Trade Deadline has now passed, and the dust
has settled. Several big-name players — like Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt,
Dan Haren and Lance Berkman — wound up switching teams, while
several notable trade candidates — such as Adam Dunn, Jayson Werth,
Scott  Downs, Brett Myers and Prince Fielder
stayed put. 

Here’s a look at what did
happen Saturday … 

* The Dodgers acquired the best remaining starting pitcher on the
market, post-Oswalt, by swinging a deal for Lilly of the Cubs in
the afternoon. In the deal, the southpaw — a free agent after this season and
making $12 million in 2010 — infielder Ryan Theriot and $2.5 million go to Los Angeles, while infielder Blake
and Minor League right-handed-pitching prospects Kyle Smit
and Brett Wallach head
to Chicago. 

* The Cardinals officially acquired Indians pitcher Jake
in a three-team deal with the Indians and Padres. Westbrook
was scratched from his Saturday start as the deal was set into motion. The
Padres acquired Ryan Ludwick from the Cards, while Padres prospect
Cory Kluber was sent to
Cleveland and pitcher Nick Greenwood went to St. Louis.

* The Yankees made some big moves (surprised?). They solidified the designated-hitter role by
getting Berkman from the Astros, bolstered their outfield with the
acquisition of Austin Kearns from the Indians, and on Saturday, added an arm to the bullpen by getting
another Cleveland piece, closer Kerry Wood (acquired for a player to be
named later or cash). 

* A few other relievers were dealt just before the 4 p.m. ET Deadline.
Coveted left-hander Will Ohman went to the Marlins in exchange for Minor
League right-hander Rick VandenHurk; Pirates closer Octavio Dotel
was dealt to the Dodgers for right-hander James
and Minor League outfielder Andrew Lambo; Dotel’s
teammate, lefty Javier Lopez, was sent to the Giants for a couple of Minor
Leaguers; and the Giants got Ramon Ramirez from the Red Sox

* Just before the Deadline, the Red Sox got catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia from the
Rangers in exchange for two prospects — right-hander Ramon Mendez and
first baseman Chris McGuiness — and a player to be named later or cash. 

* The Braves bolstered their bullpen and got some needed help in
the outfield
by swinging a last-minute deal with the Royals, one
that brought right-hander Kyle
and outfielder Rick Ankiel (along with cash
considerations) to Atlanta in exchange for outfielder Gregor Blanco,
right-hander Jesse Chavez and Minor League lefty Tim Collins

* The Diamondbacks acquired outfielder Ryan Church,
infielder Bobby Crosby and reliever D.J. Carrasco from the
Pirates in exchange for catcher Chris Snyder and Minor League shortstop Pedro

* Looking to strengthen their bullpen, the
Rays nabbed veteran right-handed reliever Chad Qualls from the D-backs. 

* In what would have been a true Deadline blockbuster, FoxSports.com is reporting on Saturday that
the White Sox had been trying to acquire Manny Ramirez from the Dodgers,
but the Dodgers didn’t bite on the first attempt. 

Alden Gonzalez and Bailey Stephens

Cardinals close to acquiring Westbrook

The Indians are close to sending right-hander Jake Westbrook to the Cardinals.

Westbrook was scheduled to make the 1:07 p.m. ET start for the Tribe against the Blue Jays on Saturday, but a late scratch appeared likely.
Details on what the Indians would get back for Westbrook or how much of his remaining contract the club would have to give to the Cardinals were unclear. But it appeared possible that a third team might be involved in the deal.

Money is a major factor in this deal, as Westbrook is still owed nearly $4 million this season, plus a reported $2 million bonus, if traded.

Westbrook is 6-7 with a 4.65 ERA in 21 starts this season. He made his
return from 2008 Tommy John elbow surgery on Opening Day. He is 69-71
with a 4.34 ERA in 221 career appearances, including 181 starts. All
but three of his career appearances have been with the Indians, who
acquired him from the Yankees in 2000.

–Anthony Castrovince