Dempster lands in Texas; Victorino, Pence traded
Baseball’s haves picked up more players from the have-nots at Tuesday’s trade deadline, when Ryan Dempster was dealt from the Chicago Cubs to the Texas Rangers and Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence and Jonathan Broxton all wound up on new teams.
Matt Garza, Josh Johnson and Joe Blanton stayed put for now as the window closed for clubs to make trades without having players pass through waivers.
Four days after the AL West rival Los Angeles Angels acquired former Cy Young Award winner Zack Geinke, the Rangers obtained Dempster for infielder Christian Villanueva and pitcher Kyle Hendricks. Texas also acquired catcher Geovany Soto from the Cubs for right-hander Jake Brigham.
“It’s a great opportunity over there,” Dempster said. “It’s not going to be easy. There are a lot of teams out there that are really good. I think they have as good a chance as anybody.”
Dempster, who will replace Roy Oswalt in the rotation, had power to block deals and refused to approve a trade to Atlanta last week.
Dempster was 5-5 with a 2.25 ERA in 16 starts for the Cubs and can become a free agent after the season.
“He’s a veteran. He’s been through some wars before,” said Rangers general manager Jon Daniels, who team has won two straight AL pennants but no World Series.
The Philadelphia Phillies, last in the NL East and their run five straight division titles all but over, sent Victorino to the Los Angeles Dodgers for right-handers Josh Lindblom and Ethan Martin and cash. They also shipped Pence to San Francisco for outfielder Nate Schierholtz, catching prospect Tommy Joseph and right-hander Seth Rosin.
Cincinnati received Broxton from Kansas City, also a cellar dweller.
“When you’re in last place, you can try any damn thing,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “You don’t have nothing to lose.”
The deals capped a busy two-week period that also saw Ichiro Suzuki, Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez and Francisco Liriano change teams as general managers assessed whether they had a chance to make this year’s expanded 10-team playoffs or whether to focus on rebuilding for 2013.
Pence is batting .271 with 17 homers and 59 RBIs this season. He fills a major need for the Giants, giving them a right-handed hitter with power.
Victorino is batting .261 with nine homers, 40 RBIs and 24 steals. He helped the Phillies win five straight NL East titles and the 2008 World Series championship.
While getting rid of stars, the Phillies held on to Cliff Lee and Blanton. After jettisoning Ramirez, Sanchez and Omar Infante as the deadline approached, the Miami Marlins traded pitcher Edward Mujica to St. Louis and sent former All-Star first baseman Gaby Sanchez and right-hander Kyle Kaminska to Pittsburgh for outfielder Gorkys Hernandez and a 2013 draft pick.
Chicago, in its first season under new baseball head Theo Epstein, also dealt pitcher Paul Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson to Atlanta on Monday.
NL Central-leading Cincinnati, hopeful of just its second postseason appearance since 1995, got Broxton from Kansas City—the team with the worst record in the AL.
In other deals:
n Boston sent right-hander Matt Albers and outfielder Scott Podsednik to Arizona for left-hander Craig Breslow and dealt utilityman Lars Anderson to Cleveland for right-hander Steven Wright.
n The Yankees traded right-hander Chad Qualls to Pittsburgh for infielder Casey McGehee, a move that followed injuries to Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira.