In what had been an arduous walk-up to the trading deadline, the Toronto Blue Jays and Houston Astros completed a 10-player deal Friday morning that sent pitchers J.A. Happ, Brandon Lyon and David Carpenter to the Blue Jays.
The Astros received reliever Francisco Cordero, outfielder Ben Francisco, four minor leaguers and a player to be named later.
In a somewhat more conventional deal also struck Friday morning, the Colorado Rockies and Kansas City Royals swapped struggling starting pitchers. The Rockies acquired left-hander Jonathan Sanchez and his 7.76 ERA in return for right-hander Jeremy Guthrie and his 6.35 ERA. Sanchez, who had been designated for assignment by the Royals, was acquired by the Royals last winter for outfielder Melky Cabrera, now batting .357 for the San Francisco Giants. Fox Sports first reported the Sanchez-Guthrie trade.
What the Blue Jays-Astros trade carried in numbers, it lacked in immediate impact and top-end players. The Blue Jays are in last place in the AL East, though just 3 ½ games back in the wild-card race. They have endured numerous injuries in their starting rotation and bullpen. Happ is 7-9 with a 4.83 ERA in 18 starts, Lyon has a 3.25 ERA in 37 appearances and Carpenter has a 6.07 ERA over 30 games.
The Astros have the worst record in baseball, are headed to the American League next season, and are in a rebuild under new general manager Jeff Luhnow. To that end, Luhnow acquired right-hander Joe Musgrove, right-hander Asher Wojciechowski, left-hander David Rollins and catcher Carlos Perez. Wojciechowski is regarded as the best prospect of the four.
It is unlikely the veterans Cordero or Francisco would figure in long-term plans for the Astros.
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