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Braves acquire Bonifacio and Russell

The Braves attempted to strength both their bullpen and bench by acquiring utility man Emilio Bonifacio and left-hander James Russell from the Cubs just before Thursday afternoon’s Trade Deadline.  The Cubs will receive Minor League catcher Victor Caratini, who is regarded as an intriguing prospect with  a high offensive upside.

The Braves will receive cash to account for the remaining salary owed to Bonifacio and Russell this year.

Bonifacio’s versatility should help the Braves anemic bench from both an offensive and defensive perspective.  The 29-year-old veteran can play both the infield and outfield while assuming a role similar to the one he had when playing for Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez while they were both with the Marlins in 2009-10.    He has hit .279 and stolen 14 bases in 298 plate appearances this year.

Russell gives the Braves the left-handed reliever they were seeking.  But this season’s splits indicate he will not be utilized simply as left-handed specialist. The veteran southpaw has limited right-handed hitters to a .103 (6-for-58) batting average and .243 on-base percentage this year. Left-handed hitters have batted .295 (18-for-61) with a .358 on-base percentage against him.

In 316 career appearances, Russell has allowed left-handed hitters to bat .242 with a .276 on-base percentage.

Caratini taken in the second round of the 2013 Draft has hit .279 with five home runs and a .757 OPS in 87 games with Class A Rome this year.  While there is some reason to wonder if he will remain a catcher, his offensive potential has not created much scrutiny.

 

Yankees trade for Prado

The Yankees have landed another piece at the Trade Deadline, acquiring Martin Prado from the D-backs.

The utility man was an All-Star in 2010 with the Braves before he was dealt in January 2013 in the deal that sent Justin Upton to Atlanta. Over two seasons with the D-backs, Prado has hit .278 with 19 homers and 124 RBIs.

The D-backs will receive power-hitting catching prospect Peter O’Brien, along with a player to be named later or cash considerations, in the deal. O’Brien is considered by MLB.com’s Prospect Watch to be the team’s No. 9 overall prospect, and has spent this season between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton.

MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert also reported Arizona will not be including any cash in the deal for Prado’s contract.

– Joey Nowak

Tigers land Price in 3-way deal with M’s, Rays

Just when it looked like Thursday’s Non-Waiver Trade Deadline was going to come and go without Dave Dombrowski and the Tigers making significant noise, they made perhaps the biggest splash of all.

The Tigers worked out a three-way agreement with the Rays and Mariners that brings four-time All-Star and 2012 Cy Young Award winner David Price to Detroit.

Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson — who was removed in the middle of the seventh inning from Detroit’s game against Chicago — headed to Seattle, and Nick Franklin went to Tampa Bay. Tigers lefty Drew Smyly and 18-year-old shortstop prospect Willy Adames (ranked No. 3 in the Tigers system) went to Tampa Bay in the deal.

The Tigers are eyeing the World Series and have given themselves considerable means to get there with July trades for Joakim Soria and now Price. The ace is owed $14 million this year, is under arbitration control next season and will be a free agent after the 2015 season.

Price has spent his entire seven-year career in Tampa Bay, where he’s amassed 82 wins in 175 appearances (170 starts). He owns a career 3.18 ERA and is 11-8 with a 3.11 ERA this season.

Jackson, who played five seasons with the Tigers and finished second in the 2010 Rookie of the Year voting, is a career .277 hitter with a .270 average in 99 games this season. Smyly has split time between the bullpen and rotation in his Tigers career, but pitched well as a starter this season (6-9, 3.77 ERA).

In 119 games with the Mariners, Franklin has hit .214 with 12 homers and 47 RBIs.

– Joey Nowak

Red Sox, Yankees swap Drew, Johnson

Stephen Drew and Kelly Johnson are trading places. The Red Sox and Yankees — making their first trade together since 1997 — exchanged infielders shortly before the 4 p.m. ET Trade Deadline, MLB.com confirmed.

Drew has hit only .176/.255/.328 since re-signing with the Red Sox in May, while Johnson is on the disabled list with a strained left groin. Johnson, who was batting .219 with a .304 on-base percentage and .373 slugging mark before  his injury, saw time at all four corner spots and second base for New York this season.

The role for both players with their team new is not clear. The Yankees have Derek Jeter at shortstop, of course, and Brian Roberts at second. Johnson could serve as a utility infielder for Boston, who have Dustin Pedroia entrenched at second and the threesome of Xander Bogaerts, Brock Holt and a rehabbing Will Middlebrooks competing for time on the left side of the infield.

Drew and Johnson are both free agents at the end of the season.

The move was the fourth of the day for the Red Sox, who also traded Jon Lester, John Lackey and Andrew Miller.

The Red Sox and Yankees meet for a three-game series at Fenway starting Friday.

-Tim Healey

 

 

Red Sox send lefty Andrew Miller to O’s

The wheeling-and-dealing Red Sox made their third trade of the day Thursday afternoon, sending left-handed reliever Andrew Miller to the Orioles in exchange for left-handed pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez, the teams announced.

Miller has emerged as a reliable left-handed reliever for Boston in recent years. After posting a 2.64 ERA and 14.1 strikeouts per nine innings during his injury-shortened 2013, Miller has rebounded with an even better campaign. He owns a 2.34 ERA and 0.90 WHIP while striking out 14.7 batters per nine innings, a rate good for fourth best among Major League relievers.

Rodriguez is Baltimore’s No. 3 prospect, according to the MLB.com rankings released Sunday. He is struggling with Double-A Bowie this season (4.79 ERA, 1.44 WHIP), but “still profiles as a middle-of-the rotation starter,” according to MLB.com’s Prospect Watch. Left-handed batters are hitting .186 with just five extra-base hits (all doubles) against Rodriguez.

This trade came hours after the Red Sox sent starters Jon Lester and John Lackey to the A’s and Cardinals, respectively.

-Tim Healey

Cabrera to Nationals

The Nationals have made a significant move to bolster their infield by landing Asdrubal Cabrera in a trade with the Indians.

The Indians will be sending cash along with Cabrera, and will be receiving infielder Zach Walters in the deal.

Cabrera, being paid $10 million in the final year of his contract with the Tribe, was an All-Star in 2011 and 2012. He’s appeared in 97 games this season, batting .246 with nine homers and 40 RBIs.

He has played only shortstop (aside from the occasional DH day) with Cleveland since 2009, when he last saw time at second base. The Nationals certainly have a bounty of infielders with All-Star shortstop Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa, Anthony Rendon and Ryan Zimmerman (though currently injured and playing some outfield lately).

Walters has appeared in just 40 MLB games in the last two years (32 this season), batting .234, but  has a .965 OPS with Triple-A Syracuse this year.

– Joey Nowak

Orioles get Miller for E. Rodriguez

The Orioles have acquired left-handed reliever Andrew Miller from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for one of their top pitching prospects in Eduardo Rodriguez.

The deal, first reported by ESPN, is a bit of a departure for the O’s in dealing one of the young pitchers but isn’t completely a shock. Rodriguez has had a down year, along with an injury, and the organization had been down on the young lefty some in 2014.

Miller fills a need for the Orioles, giving them a left-handed reliever who can defend himself against lefties and righties. A free agent at the end of the season, Miller has a 2.34 ERA and has struck out 69 in 42 1/3 innings pitched this season. The 29-year-old has held righties to a .180./.279/.258 line and lefties to a .150/.203/.217 line.

Reports: Lackey to Cardinals

The Red Sox are well on their way to dealing away a large chunk of their starting rotation Thursday, now reportedly trading John Lackey to the Cardinals just hours after Jon Lester was dealt to Oakland.

CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman had the news first, and Peter Gammons reported the Red Sox would receive Allen Craig and Joe Kelly in the deal.

Lackey, 35, has pitched 12 years in the Majors — eight for the Angels and the last four for the Red Sox — compiling a 149-114 record and a 4.02 ERA. He was an All-Star in 2007.

Boston has now traded away three of its starters who pitched in the World Series last year — Lester, Lackey and Jake Peavy.

– Joey Nowak

Danks starting Thursday

John Danks was scheduled to take the mound as expected Thursday afternoon at Comerica Park, despite rumors connecting the White Sox to the Yankees and the Marlins in regard to talks concerning the veteran southpaw. Danks has $28.50 million remaining over the next two years of his five-year extension, and can block trades to the Blue Jays, A’s, Orioles, Nationals, Cubs and Mets.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura reiterated pregame Monday that he didn’t expect the White Sox to make any moves before Thursday’s 4 p.m. ET non-waiver deadline.

– Scott Merkin

A’s not done yet: Milone dealt for Fuld

Billy Beane pulled off the biggest trade of the Deadline day (so far) but he wasn’t finished with the Jon Lester/Yoenis Cespedes deal. 

Shortly after that news broke, FOXSports.com‘s Ken Rosenthal tweeted that lefty Tommy Milone was heading to Minnesota in a deal, and FOX‘s Jon Morosi reported it was for outfielder Sam Fuld. MLB.com‘s Rhett Bollinger confirmed the deal.

Milone, 27, has spent the last three seasons with the A’s. In 75 games with Oakland (73 starts), he’s 31-22 with a 3.84 ERA. He’s 6-3 with a 3.55 ERA this season, in 16 starts spanning 96 1/3 innings.

Fuld, who played in seven games for the A’s earlier this season before being selected off waivers on April 20 by the Twins, is batting ,263 with 21 RBIs, 13 stolen bases and 20 runs scored this year.

– Joey Nowak

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