MLB trade deadline: Carlos Beltran, Jonathan Lucroy, Jay Bruce all move

MLB trade deadline: Carlos Beltran, Jonathan Lucroy, Jay Bruce all move

Jonathan Lucroy got a deal he liked, Carlos Beltran joined him in Texas and Jay Bruce and Rich Hill also moved Monday during an 18-swap frenzy at the trade deadline.

Matt Moore, Francisco Liriano and Joe Smith 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 NL West-leading San Francisco got the lefty from last-place Tampa Bay. "For someone to reach out and come get me, it's a really good feeling."

Teams had until 4 p.m. EDT to make trades without waivers. From now, 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.

"Now, moving on to the (at)Rangers let's take this bad boy to the `ship! 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.

Texas also got Beltran, a proven postseason star, from the New York Yankees for righty Dillon Tate, the fourth overall pick in the 2015 amateur draft, and two other pitching prospects.

"I think as a player, you know that this moment could happen. But when it happens, it hits you," Beltran said.

Twice before in his career, Beltran was traded in midseason to a team with playoff hopes. Like the Rangers, Beltran has been to the World Series but never won the crown.

The Yankees kept reworking their roster, trying to turn the best parts of a .500 team into a bright future. They had already traded relief aces Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller leading up to the deadline.

"We're kind of in unfamiliar territory with the Yankees," first baseman Mark Teixeira said.

"That's life. I mean, we've had a nice run the last eight years," he said.

As always, relievers were in demand.

The Giants aimed to bolster a shaky bullpen by getting Will Smith from Milwaukee, Boston got Fernando Abad from Minnesota and the NL Central-leading Cubs obtained sidearming righty Joe Smith from the Angels.

The Cubs previously got lefties Chapman and Mike Montgomery for their bullpen.

"That was an area we thought we could make some changes," general manager Jed Hoyer said. "Adding a closer, a left-hander and then adding a guy like Smith who can be a right-handed specialist, we felt like those were areas that would improve our team and improve the mix of our bullpen."

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 lefty Max Wotell.

The Mets also got pitcher Jon Niese, who spent his first eight years in New York, from Pittsburgh for reliever Antonio Bastardo.

The contending Los Angeles Dodgers fortified their rotation by getting Rich Hill along with outfielder Josh Reddick from Oakland for three pitching prospects.

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is on the disabled list with back trouble, and they don't know when he'll be back. The 36-year-old Hill is 9-3 with a 2.25 ERA in 14 starts and on the DL because of a blister on the middle finger of his throwing hand that hasn't healed.

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.

Phillies lose Tommy Joseph to Rangers

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Phillies lose Tommy Joseph to Rangers

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Tommy Joseph is headed to the American League. The Texas Rangers claimed him off waivers on Monday. The Arizona native will head to his home state to join the Rangers for the remainder of spring training.

The Phillies designated Joseph for assignment last week. The move was made to clear room for pitcher Jake Arrieta on the 40-man roster. 

Joseph, 26, joined the Phillies organization in the summer of 2012 in the trade that sent Hunter Pence to San Francisco. At the time, Joseph was a catcher. A series of concussions nearly ended his career, but he converted to first base and forged his way to the majors in May 2016. He hit 43 home runs the last two seasons, but did not reach base enough to satisfy a front office that wants to build a lineup around players with that skill. The emergence of Rhys Hoskins last season and the signing of free-agent first baseman Carlos Santana this winter made Joseph expendable and efforts to trade him were fruitless.

Joseph’s power makes him a potential fit for a role as a designated hitter. He could also be the right-handed portion of a first base platoon with Joey Gallo, who has hit just .199 against lefties in the majors.

Joseph is now on the Rangers’ 40-man roster.

Phillies’ focus turns to Aaron Nola, Scott Kingery, bench competition

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Phillies’ focus turns to Aaron Nola, Scott Kingery, bench competition


FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Phillies began their final full week in Florida on Sunday with a game against the Minnesota Twins. It provided manager Gabe Kapler the opportunity to look at a number of important areas — some settled, some unsettled — of his roster.

To wit:

• The opening day battery of Aaron Nola and Jorge Alfaro worked together. Nola battled through an early rough patch and delivered five innings of two-run ball. He will have one more start before he gets the call in Atlanta in 11 days.

• Scott Kingery, everybody’s favorite prospect, got the start at third base. He had two hits, raising his average to .378 (14 for 37), and made a nice play on a bunt. Kingery is projected to open at Triple A so the Phillies can control his rights through 2024. But that doesn’t mean he’ll be down there long. He projects as the second baseman of the future, but Cesar Hernandez is at the position for now. Third base could be a temporary landing spot for Kingery if Maikel Franco struggles. Kingery played some third at Triple A last season. Yes, Kapler wants to create versatility on his roster. But it was still notable that Kingery got his first look of the spring at third. He will get more time in the outfield before camp ends.

“We want him ready to step in and play all over the diamond whenever that time is,” Kapler said.

• The battle for bench spots was in full display. It’s not clear if the Phils have two or three spots open on the bench because they don’t need a fifth starting pitcher until April 11 and that could allow them a five-man bench at the outset. Regardless, the competition will come into focus this week.  Candidates Ryan Flaherty, Adam Rosales, Pedro Florimon, Jesmuel Valentin and Roman Quinn all played in the game.

Quinn, Florimon and Valentin are all on the 40-man roster so that could help their chances. Quinn, an outfielder by trade, got another look at shortstop. Florimon played left field, had a hit and walked twice. Valentin, an infielder by trade, got a look in right field and belted his third homer of the spring, a three-run shot, for the Phillies’ only runs in a 4-3 loss.

“Valentin has really put his strongest foot forward,” Kapler said. “He’s demonstrated pop, versatility and come up with huge hits.”

Flaherty, who played seven different positions with the Orioles over the last six seasons, started at first base and had a hit. He’s hitting .333.

“He’s having an awesome spring,” Kapler said.

Like Flaherty, Rosales, who has played parts of the last 10 seasons in the majors, can also play anywhere. Flaherty has an out in his minor-league contract on Thursday, so that could bring some clarity to his situation. If he’s still in the hunt Saturday, the Phillies must add him to the 40-man roster, pay him a $100,000 retention bonus or allow him to walk. Ditto for Rosales. So the bench picture will start to come into focus soon.

“There’s a lot to be excited about in that bench role,” Kapler said.