Pennant contenders went on their annual shopping sprees Friday, making last-minute deals to beat the deadline for eligibility for postseason play, while non-contenders swapped veterans for prospects.
The Houston Astros were a major dealer, sending reliever Larry Andersen to Boston for minor league third baseman Jeff Bagwell, 22, who is leading the double-A Eastern League in hitting. The Astros also sent veteran second baseman Bill Doran to their National League West rivals, the division-leading Cincinnati Reds, for three players to be named.
The deadline for eligibility for postseason play was Friday night.
The Doran deal came after he turned down a trade to the New York Mets, who then acquired another veteran second baseman, Tommy Herr, from the Philadelphia Phillies for two minor league prospects.
Andersen, 37, appeared in 50 games with Houston this season, compiling a 5-2 record with six saves.
Doran, 32, rejected the deal to the Mets, saying he didn't have enough time to consider the implications. The deal was conditional on the Mets being able to sign Doran, who can become a free agent after this season.
"You don't do things at the last minute like (the clubs have) done, and then ask somebody to make a decision within a few hours (that determines) what your life is going to be like the next three or four years," Doran said. "That's no way to do business."
Doran has played all 1,165 games of his major league career with the Astros since he came up to the majors in 1982. He was hitting .288 with six homers and 32 RBIs for the Astros.
The Mets, who acquired veteran first baseman Pat Tabler from Kansas City late Thursday night, also got catcher Charlie O'Brien and a player to be named from Milwaukee for two players to be named.
Herr, 34, is a lifetime .275 hitter over 12 seasons with St. Louis, Minnesota and the Phillies. He is hitting .264 this season with four homers and 50 RBIs and can become a free agent.
"I'm a little puzzled by the whole thing, but I've been traded before," Herr said. "I don't want to go to New York with a bad attitude like I did with Minnesota. I know all the players in New York and that will make a difference."
O'Brien was batting .186 in 145 at-bats with Milwaukee with no homers and 11 RBIs. The Mets made room for him by releasing catcher Alex Trevino.
Pittsburgh sent right-handed pitcher Randy Kramer to Chicago for minor league right-hander Greg Kallevig.