Ben Zobrist is traded to Royals from Athletics

Ben Zobrist

Utility player Ben Zobrist throws the ball to first base to get an out during a game against the San Francisco Giants on July 24.

(Lachlan Cunningham / Getty Images)
Associated Press

Utilityman Ben Zobrist was acquired Tuesday by the Kansas City Royals from the Oakland Athletics.

The Athletics also sent cash to the Royals in exchange for right-hander Aaron Brooks and minor league left-hander Sean Manaea.

Zobrist, 34, is batting .268 with six home runs, 20 doubles, two triples and 33 runs batted in. He sat out one month after arthroscopic surgery on the left knee in April for torn cartilage.

Zobrist could fill a void in left field and play some second base. Left fielder Alex Gordon will probably be sidelined until at least late September after straining his groin tracking a fly ball just before the break.


Brooks had a 6.23 earned-run average over 4 1/3 innings for the Royals. He has mostly pitched at triple-A Omaha.

Manaea, a top prospect, has pitched in rookie ball, Class A and double A this season.

Phillies agree to trade Jonathan Papelbon to Nationals

A person familiar with the trade said that the Philadelphia Phillies have agreed to send closer Jonathan Papelbon to the Washington Nationals.


The person spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been finalized. reported the Phillies will receive double-A right-hander Nick Pivetta for Papelbon.

Papelbon, 34, is Philadelphia’s career saves leader with 123 and is 17 for 17 in save opportunities this season. He is also the Boston Red Sox’s saves leader with 219.

Drew Storen is 29 for 31 in save opportunities for the Nationals but will probably move to a setup role because Papelbon made it clear he wouldn’t accept a trade unless he was going to remain a closer.

Phillies push back Cole Hamels’ next start

Left-hander Cole Hamels is being pushed back one day in the Philadelphia Phillies’ rotation and is not scheduled to start until after Friday’s trade deadline has passed.

The decision gives Hamels an extra day of rest, and prevents him from getting injured before Friday’s 1 p.m. PDT deadline to trade players without securing waivers.

Hamels, who threw a no-hitter against the Chicago Cubs on Sunday, remains the subject of various trade rumors.

Marlins’ Henderson Alvarez has shoulder surgery


Right-hander Henderson Alvarez of the Miami Marlins had season-ending shoulder surgery.

Alvarez pitched a no-hitter in 2013 and was an All-Star last year. He was 0-4 with a 6.45 ERA this season, and hadn’t pitched since May 22.

Manager Dan Jennings said doctors found a tear in Alvarez’s shoulder but did not give other specifics, including potential recovery time.

Mets’ Jenrry Mejia is suspended for 162 games

Just back from an 80-game drug suspension, New York Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia was banned for 162 games after a positive test for stanozolol and boldenone.

Mejia was suspended April 11 after a positive test for Stanozolol and said in a statement then “I can honestly say I have no idea how a banned substance ended up in my system.”

He returned July 12 and was 1-0 in seven games.

Hall of Fame cuts down number of voters


The Hall of Fame is cutting the number of voters in its annual election by eliminating writers who have not been active for more than 10 years.

Until now, the electorate included people who had been active members of the Baseball Writers’ Assn. of America for 10 consecutive years at any point.