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MLB roundup: Tigers, Braves, Rays acquire relievers

The SportsXchange

The Detroit Tigers, Atlanta Braves and Tampa Bay Rays acquired relief pitchers in trades made on Monday, as they try to fortify their bullpens for the late-season push.

The Tigers obtained reliever Jose Veras from the Houston Astros for outfield prospect Danry Vasquez and a player to be named later.

Veras, 32, was 0-4 with a 2.93 ERA and 19 saves as the Astros closer this year.

However, Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Joaquin Benoit will remain the team's closer.

The Los Angeles Angels traded left-handed reliever Scott Downs to the Braves for right-handed pitcher Cory Rasmus.

Downs, 37, is 2-3 with a 1.84 ERA and in 29 1/3 innings this year. He has held left-handed hitters to a .196 batting average.

Rasmus, 25, has an 8.10 ERA over 6 2/3 innings pitched for the Braves.

Finally, the Rays acquired relief pitcher Jesse Crain from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for future considerations, ESPN's Buster Olney reported.

In 38 appearances this year, Crain has an ERA of 0.74 ERA with 46 strikeouts and 11 walks. He has had shoulder problems, though, and has not appeared in a game since June 29.

---Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz will not be suspended for destroying a phone with his bat during a dugout tirade Saturday, according to the Boston Globe.

Major League Baseball decided a suspension was not necessary after reviewing the incident.

---The Washington County, Miss., coroner announced that former major leaguer George Scott died. He was 71.

No cause of death was reported.

Scott played 14 major league seasons. He played for the American League champion-Boston Red Sox in 1967 and led the A.L. in home runs (36), RBI (109) and total bases (318) with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1975.

He was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2006.

---The Seattle Mariners designated outfielder Jason Bay for assignment on Monday.

The move was made to make room for the return of Michael Morse, who was activated from the disabled list.

Bay, 34, had 11 home runs this season, but his batting average was just .204.

---The Philadelphia Phillies are looking to trade left-handed starting pitcher Cliff Lee, but are asking for a lot in return.

General manager Ruben Amaro is seeking multiple prospects and for the other team to take on Lee's salary, according to CBS Sports.

The Phillies are not trying to trade second baseman Chase Utley, though. Two general managers interested in trading for Utley told CBS Sports that the Phillies let them know he is not available.

---The San Francisco Giants are willing to trade right fielder Hunter Pence, right-handed starter Tim Lincecum and reliever Javier Lopez, but the asking price for Pence and Lincecum is steep, according to CBS Sports.

All three players are pending free agents at the end of the year.

The Giants plan to make one-year qualifying offers to Pence and Lincecum at the end of the season, which is expected to be in the $14 million range. If the players do not accept the offers and go other teams, the Giants would receive draft picks as compensation.

---Toronto Blue Jays Minor League outfielder Brian Van Kirk received a 50-game suspension without pay after a second violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program for a drug of abuse, Major League Baseball announced.

Van Kirk is on the roster of the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats of the Eastern League.
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