Rangers stand out on busy trade deadline day
Jonathan Lucroy got a deal he liked, Carlos Beltran joined him in Texas and Jay Bruce was shipped to the New York Mets on Monday during an 18-swap frenzy at baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline.
Matt Moore and Francisco Liriano found new homes, too, as playoff contenders stocked up for the stretch.
“That’s what we play for. Those are the moments we want to be in,” Moore said after the NL West-leading San Francisco Giants got the left-hander from last-place Tampa Bay. “For someone to reach out and come get me, it’s a really good feeling.”
Monday was the busiest deadline day since at least 1995, eclipsing the 15 deals made on the final day for non-waiver trades in 2010 and 2015, according to Major League Baseball.
Teams had until 1 p.m. PDT to make trades without waivers. From now on, no player can be dealt unless he goes unclaimed by everyone else.
The AL West-leading Rangers made two major moves.
After Lucroy used his limited no-trade clause to block a deal to Cleveland, the All-Star catcher was sent to Texas.
“Really excited and can’t wait to get after it!” he posted on Twitter.
The 30-year-old Lucroy is batting .299 with 13 homers and 50 RBIs this season. As part of the deal, the Rangers also received Brewers closer Jeremy Jeffress, who has 27 saves and a 2.22 ERA.
Texas also got Beltran, a proven postseason star, from the New York Yankees for right-hander Dillon Tate, the fourth overall pick in the 2015 amateur draft, and two other pitching prospects.
“As a player you know this moment could happen. But when it happens, it hits you,” Beltran said.
The Yankees kept reworking their roster, trying to turn the best parts of a .500 team into a bright future. They’d already dealt relief aces Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller in the previous week.
As always, relievers were in demand. The Giants aimed to bolster a shaky bullpen by getting left-hander Will Smith from Milwaukee, and Boston got Fernando Abad from Minnesota.
The banged-up Mets acquired Bruce, the All-Star outfielder who leads the NL with 80 RBIs, from Cincinnati for infielder Dilson Herrera and minor league left-hander Max Wotell.
The Mets also got pitcher Jon Niese, who spent his first eight years in New York, from Pittsburgh for reliever Antonio Bastardo.
Toronto was busy, making three deals. A day after falling out of the AL East lead, they got Liriano from Pittsburgh.
“Where he’s been and what he’s accomplished his entire career, we feel like gives us a chance to have someone who could be pitching in Game 2, 3 or 4 of a World Series run,” Blue Jays General Manager Ross Atkins said.
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