While the biggest name in baseball trade rumors, Randy Johnson, remained a Seattle Mariner for one more day, two teams got reacquainted with familiar faces as baseball neared the non-waiver trading deadline tonight at midnight EDT.
The wild-card hopeful Boston Red Sox reacquired designated hitter-catcher Mike Stanley from Toronto for two minor league pitchers, and the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves obtained first baseman Greg Colbrunn from Colorado for two minor league pitchers.
This is the second consecutive year Stanley was traded into the pennant race.
Less than a year after the Red Sox sent Stanley to the Yankees, he returned to Boston.
Stanley batted .240 with 22 homers and 47 RBIs this year for Toronto, which signed him as a free agent.
The Blue Jays acquired pitchers Peter Munro and Jay Yennaco for Stanley, 35.
The Braves improved their bench by getting Colbrunn. Traded from Minnesota to the Braves last August, he played in 28 games for the Braves last year and was three for four in the postseason.
Colbrunn signed with the Rockies as a free agent last December and was batting .311 with two homers and 13 RBIs in 122 at-bats for the Rockies.
The Braves gave up pitchers David Cortes and Mike Porzio.
But the big deals stayed on deck.
While the Cleveland Indians, New York Yankees and other teams jockeyed for Johnson, the Braves were looking for a reliever such as Kansas City closer Jeff Montgomery. Pitcher Carlos Perez and shortstop Mark Grudzielanek of Montreal and Toronto pitcher Juan Guzman also were possibilities to move.
Indian Manager Mike Hargrove said he talked on the phone with General Manager John Hart in Cleveland. Hargrove remained hopeful the Indians could get Johnson, either before or shortly after they leave Seattle.
“If Randy winds up anywhere and it’s not in Cleveland, then I hope it’s in the National League,” Hargrove said.
Hargrove said he expects a Johnson trade, if it is made, to go down to “the last minute.”