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In what turned out to be an ultimately underwhelming trade deadline day, the biggest move amounted to a walk down the hall.
The Astros and Orioles, who are currently playing a three-game series in Baltimore, completed a trade that sent RHP Bud Norris to the Orioles for OF L.J. Hoes, minor league LHP Josh Hader and a competitive balance draft pick in 2014.
The biggest ticket in the deal is certainly Norris. The right-hander has a 6-9 record but a 3.93 ERA this season in 21 starts. He's struck out just 16.6% of the batters he's faced this year, down from his career 21.4%, but he's giving up less than a home run per nine innings in a hitter-friendly park and has cut his walk rate.
Unfortunately he moves to a park that is also friendly to batters and a division, the American League East, that is unfriendly to opposing pitchers. He'll have an offense behind him that should provide him with more run support, so he may win one or two more games than he would have otherwise, but it may come at the expense of his earned run average. Norris will remain a fringe starter in deep mixed leagues -- for streaming purposes, his start against the Astros on Thursday makes him an attractive option -- but he shouldn't immediately be added just because he's pitching on a winning club now.
Other deals of note from Wednesday's trade deadline: the Padres bought low on Ian Kennedy, and the Royals added Justin Maxwell for no apparent reason.
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Some of the biggest moves made on Wednesday were teams placing prominent players on the disabled list.
The Rays are feeling some pain after disabling All-Star pitcher Matt Moore. Moore was placed on the DL with left elbow soreness. Fortunately for Moore and the Rays, an MRI showed no structural damage, so he'll likely miss just the necessary 15 days. The 24-year-old is 14-3 with a 3.41 ERA and 115 strikeouts in 121 1/3 innings this year.
For their part, the Rays don't seem too concerned about their young lefty.
"The off days really permitted us to do this more comfortably," Rays manager Joe Maddon told the Tampa Bay Times. "We don't think it's anything serious. We just wanted to give him that time."
The Cardinals placed their star catcher Yadier Molina on the 15-day DL with a right knee sprain. Molina suffered the injury in Tuesday night's game, and the Cardinals wasted little time making the move. Like with Moore, an MRI of the knee showed no structural damage, so rest is the prescribed treatment for the next few weeks. But it's a huge blow to the Cardinals and to fantasy teams to lose Molina, who is batting .330/.374/.479 this season.
It's an affliction Molina dealt with earlier in the season as well, but the catcher used the All-Star break and a few sporadic days off to avoid a trip to the disabled list at that time. Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said this time around the DL stint was unavoidable.
"Overall, it’s not that different from what was in there three weeks ago," Mozeliak told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "I think the big difference was looking at how to manage it moving forward and just getting him a true break. He didn’t get that for the All-Star Game. We really feel it’s best for him to have a quiet time."
Both players should be back and contributing this season, but no time is a good time to be without an All-Star.
Kemp With A Limp
Although he wasn't placed on the disabled list on Wednesday, Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp received some bad news as well.
The outfielder, who has been on the DL since July 24, is healing slowly from the sprained left ankle he suffered in a game on July 21. The Dodgers had originally hoped he would be able to return on August 6 when first eligible, but now there is some speculation Kemp might not return until September.
"We were hoping this was going to be a simple ankle sprain, but it's a lot more serious than that," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said via Dodgers.com. "He's been able to do some things, but is having soreness with that. We're still not where we need to be."
It's the latest setback in what's been a disastrous year for the 28-year-old. Kemp has missed time with a hamstring, shoulder and now ankle injuries this season. When he has played, Kemp has hit an unseemly .263/.319/.382 with just five home runs and 27 runs batted in in 62 games.
Redraft league owners can throw their hands up in disgust with the troubled outfielder, but owners in keeper leagues should exercise some patience when assessing Kemp. Though he's been plagued by injuries the past two seasons, Kemp isn't far removed from a 2011 season that saw him hit .324/.399/.586 with 39 home runs and 40 steals. Though a repeat isn't likely to happen, Kemp can still be a 25/25 guy with a full slate of games. Owners who sell Kemp for pennies on the dollar out of frustration could live to regret it.
National League Quick Hits: Carlos Gonzalez is still dealing with a sprained right middle finger, but a DL stint doesn't appear to be on the horizon ... Bryce Harper left Wednesday's game with a hip spasm but should be good to go by Friday ... Pablo Sandoval (heel) isn't expected to miss Thursday's game despite exiting early on Wednesday ... the Reds remain unclear on when Johnny Cueto (lat) will be able to resume a throwing program ... Yovani Gallardo was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring strain ... Trevor Cahill (hip, shoulder) could need two more rehab starts before he's ready to rejoin the Diamondbacks ... the Mets may use Zack Wheeler as a reliever down the stretch to limit his innings ... conflicting reports exist on whether the Marlins received an offer from the Pirates for Giancarlo Stanton, but the outfielder remained in Miami either way ... John Buck could go on paternity leave any day, possibly making way for Travis d'Arnaud's MLB debut ... Pirates acquired INF Robert Andino from the Mariners for a player to be named later and released INF Brandon Inge ... Kelly Shoppach has an offer from the Cardinals as they try to replace Yadier Molina in the short-term ... Ross Ohlendorf left Wednesday's game with an apparent injury but the club says that's not the case.
American League Quick Hits: Alex Rodriguez and Major League Baseball are negotiating a possible suspension. A-Rod is currently expected to begin a rehab assignment on Friday ... Peter Bourjos (wrist) took batting practice in a cage on Wednesday ... Curtis Granderson (finger) is expected to be back with the Yankees on Friday ... Jason Vargas (arm) will throw a simulated game on Thursday ... Lorenzo Cain (groin) hasn't played since Saturday and is day-to-day ... Sean Burnett (elbow) is done for the year ... Dustin McGowan (side) will be placed on the 15-day disabled list, replaced by Sergio Santos ... Astros released Carlos Pena ... Brian Dozier (back) is expected to return to the lineup on Thursday.
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- Yadier Molina
- Bud Norris