The Houston Astros shipped closer Brett Myers and cash considerations to the Chicago White Sox on Saturday for right-handed pitcher Matt Heidenreich, left-handed pitcher Blair Walters and a player to be named later.
Houston continues to stock up its farm system by acquiring the two minor league hurlers. The Astros also picked up four minor leaguers as part of a 10-player deal with Toronto on Friday that included getting reliever Francisco Cordero, who has plenty of major league experience as a closer.
Myers told MLB.com that he was excited about being traded to a contender. Houston is in last place in the NL Central while Chicago narrowly led the AL Central when play began Saturday.
"They're in first place," he said. "I'm pumped about that and to play for a team that's fighting for a championship. That's why I play the game, to win championships."
Myers has 19 saves for the Astros this season, the last of his contract. He has a $10 million option for 2013 that vests if he finishes at least 45 games this year. He needs 16 more games to earn the option or else he gets a $3 million buyout.
Houston is expected to pay most of the remainder of Myers' $11 million contract for this year.
Myers was converted from a starter to a reliever before this season. He did close for Philadelphia in 2007.
"I was happy they gave me an opportunity to re-establish myself as a starter, and this year they needed a closer," Myers said. "They had a couple of guys to pick from and they asked me to do it and I was happy to do it. I had a good time there. It was good for my family and everything and it was a good place to play. I guess it just didn't work out in the end for us."
The 31-year-old signed a one-year contract with Houston for the 2010 season and went 14-8 with a 3.14 ERA in 33 starts. That got him an extension. He was 7-14 with a 4.46 ERA last year.
"Brett showed that he was a real team player by going to the bullpen for us and was very successful as our closer," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "We appreciate everything he has done for us."
Heidenreich was 9-4 with a 3.95 ERA in 18 combined starts at Class A Winston-Salem and Class AA Birmingham. He will be assigned to Class AA Corpus Christi.
Walters was 4-6 with a 3.96 ERA in 18 combined starts with Class A Kannapolis and Class A Winston-Salem. He will be assigned to Class A Lancaster.
The Astros also claimed right-hander Mark Hamburger off waivers from the San Diego Padres. Hamburger will pitch at Class AAA Oklahoma City. He was 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA in relief for the Texas Rangers last year.
--Slumping New York Mets left-handed starter Johan Santana was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a sore right ankle.
Santana allowed six runs for his third straight start Friday and has struggled in general since his no-hitter on June 1.
Santana hurt his ankle July 6 when the Chicago Cubs' Reed Johnson stepped on it during a play at first base.
"We've pretty much determined the ankle issue is bigger than everyone realized," Mets manager Terry Collins said before Saturday's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Collins said the ankle pain has caused Santana to use just his arm to pitch, which has caused fatigue.
"As I told him this morning, there's no injury there (in the arm), but due to the fatigue, injury is possible," Collins said.
The Mets said Santana would comment after the game.
Santana is in the roughest stretch of his career in which he is 0-3 with a 13.50 ERA in his last three starts. His latest effort resulted in a 7-6 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. His three-inning outing was the second-shortest of his career. He allowed seven hits, including home runs by Matt Kemp and Luis Cruz, as well as a four-pitch, bases-loaded walk.
Santana missed all of last season after having left shoulder surgery in September 2010. He was in the midst of a great comeback this season when he tossed a no-hitter on June 1. However, he is 3-5 with a 6.54 ERA in eight starts since throwing the no-hitter, the first in Mets history.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said Santana's arm fatigue is not tied to the 134-pitch no-hitter.
Right-handed pitcher Jeremy Hefner was called up to take Santana's spot on the roster. Alderson said Matt Harvey, their top pitching prospect, is a possibility to take Santana's start next Wednesday, but did not rule out Hefner.
--Washington Nationals center fielder Bryce Harper left Saturday's game against the visiting Atlanta Braves with a left ankle injury.
Harper fouled a Ben Sheets pitch off his left foot while attempting to bunt in the first inning. He was examined by the Nationals training staff and looked at by manager Davey Johnson before resuming the at-bat. He struck out swinging on the next pitch.
Harper went back to center field for the second inning, but Roger Bernadina took his place in the third. The severity of the injury or whether he would play in the second game of the doubleheader was not immediately known.
The 19-year-old has struggled of late as he is 4 for his last 20 with one run and one RBI. He is hitting .267 with eight home runs and 26 RBI in 72 games this season.
--Cleveland Indians pitcher Roberto Hernandez was suspended for three weeks by Major League Baseball for engaging in age and identity fraud, the club announced Saturday.
Hernandez also agreed to restructure his contract with the Indians.
The suspension runs through Aug. 10. Hernandez will be eligible for a minor league rehab assignment during the suspension.
"Roberto Hernandez has acquired his visa to enter the United States and we are eager for him to return to competition," Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said in a statement.
Hernandez, formerly Fausto Carmona, is 53-66 with a 4.59 ERA for his career. He helped the Indians get to the ALCS in 2007 when he went 19-8 with a 3.06 ERA, finishing fourth in the AL Cy Young award voting. He was an All-Star in 2010 and finished the year 13-14 with a 3.77 ERA. He struggled last year to a 7-15 mark with a 5.25 ERA.
The team said Hernandez will address the media before Sunday's game against the Baltimore Orioles in Cleveland.
--San Francisco Giants first baseman Aubrey Huff's MRI revealed patella tendinitis in his right knee, the club announced Saturday.
Huff, who reported pain in the knee Thursday while playing in a rehab assignment game for Class AAA Fresno, will be re-evaluated in San Francisco on Monday.
The Giants were preparing to activate him from the disabled list Monday.
Huff sprained the knee while trying to scale the dugout railing to join the Giants' on-field celebration following right-hander Matt Cain's perfect game on June 13.
Huff played in nine rehab games: four with Fresno and five with Class A San Jose. He went 6-for-29 with a home run and four RBI.