Tag: Chris Colabello

Josh Donaldson

Settling the Score: Saturday’s results


It was another night of explosive offense for the Blue Jays, who pounced all over Angels starter Andrew Heaney and then kept right on rolling through the Anaheim bullpen Saturday night in a 15-3 victory.

Josh Donaldson picked up his 34th home run, 33rd double, and drove in six runs to push his RBI total to 100. The 29-year-old third baseman really is making a charge at Mike Trout for American League MVP.

Toronto is still a half-game behind the Yankees, who got a very good start from rookie Luis Severino on Saturday night to beat the Indians, but there’s no reason to think this Blue Jays attack is going to let up over the next five weeks. Jose Bautista had a two-run triple on Saturday as part of a 3-for-5 showing. Chris Colabello also finished 3-for-5 with two RBI. Edwin Encarnacion drove in three.

Ben Revere even got in on the act with a 2-for-4 and three runs scored.

Your box scores and AP recaps from Saturday …

Indians 2, Yankees 6

Braves 7, Cubs 9

Giants 2, Pirates 3

Twins 3, Orioles 2

Brewers 1, Nationals 6

Rangers 5, Tigers 3

Royals 6, Red Sox 3

Diamondbacks 11, Reds 7

Dodgers 1, Astros 3

Phillies 4, Marlins 2

Mets 14, Rockies 9

Cardinals 0, Padres 8

Blue Jays 15, Angels 3

Rays 5, Athletics 4

White Sox 6, Mariners 3 (10 innings)

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

Hisahi Iwakuma

source: Getty Images

Mariners 3, Orioles 0: Hisashi Iwakuma with the no-no. He walked three and struck out seven. It’s been a not-great year for both Iwakuma and the M’s, but this will at least give them something to put on the highlight reel. You’ve probably seen the final out highlight a few times since yesterday, but don’t sleep on Kyle Seager’s sweet catch in foul territory in the ninth to keep things going:

Mets 3, Rockies 0: Midseason additions Juan Uribe and Yoenis Cespedes each knock in a run, Cespedes on a homer, and Jacob deGrom continues to be ridiculous, striking out 10 in seven innings. Question: did the Rockies even bring their bats to New York?

Indians 2, Yankees 1: The Yankees; offensive struggles continue, this time managing only one run against Danny Salazar and the Tribe. And with that New York falls out of first place in the AL East. Maybe, like the Nationals, they have a veteran on the team who thinks it’s actually better to be in second place. I sort of doubt it, but I didn’t think such a beast existed before yesterday, so who knows?

Blue Jays 10, Athletics 3: Ten straight wins for Toronto and that puts them in first place. Chris Colabello and Justin Smoak, each castoffs from other teams, went deep with three-run shots. Josh Donaldson, who the A’s figured would be cool to trade away, knocked in two more runs giving him 85 on the year. And R.A. Dickey pitched well, giving the Jays their sixteenth straight game in which their starter has allowed three or fewer earned runs. They have one more this afternoon against the A’s and then weekend they face the Yankees in Toronto. It’s gonna be nuts.

Marlins 14, Red Sox 6: The Fish put up a ten-run sixth inning during which rookie J.T. Realmuto drove in five all by himself. He drove in six runs overall on the day. All this from a guy whose name sounds like something a kid make up on the spot when caught by a security guard with a spray paint can or something.

“Hey, you! Put that can down! What’s your name, kid?”

“It’s um . . . J.T. . . uhhh . . .Re . . .al . . .muto.”

“No, wait a minute. I know your parents. You’re Beth and Ryan Hogard’s son. That’s it, I’m calling your father!”

“Aw, man.”

Meanwhile, David Ortiz hit two homers in a winning effort in a losing cause.

Astros 2, Giants 0: Five pitchers, led by Scott Feldman, combine to toss a five-hit shutout for the Astros. Chris Heston allowed a homer to Colby Rasmus but otherwise pitched well. Ya need help, though.

Phillies 7, Diamondbacks 6: Down by one, the Phillies put up a four-run sixth inning capped by a Cameron Rupp three-run homer. He also had a sac fly in the game giving him four RBI. Rupp also made a nice swipe tag on a play at the plate that went to replay review and was upheld. Here’s Dbacks manager Chip Hale after the call went against him:

“I thought he was safe. I guess it wasn’t enough evidence,” Hale said. “That’s what you always hear. That’s their excuse. Not enough evidence. That’s the way it goes.”

You mad, bro?  The Phillies avoid the sweep. 

Reds 7, Padres 3: Matt Kemp hit a first inning three-run homer, but that’s all the Padres would do. Joey Votto hit a two-run homer. He also scored on a balk by James Shields, who has not won in 13 starts. Only three years left on that $75 million deal.


Rays 9, Braves 6: The Braves blew a four-run lead in the seventh when the Rays put up a six-spot. Curt Casali hit a two-run homer that inning along with a James Loney RBI double and a Logan Forsythe sacrifice fly. There was also a wild pitch and some clownshoes Braves defense in the mix. Personally, I spent my evening watching the Perseid meteor shower. It was far more engaging.

Cardinals 4, Pirates 2: Michael Wacha beats Gerrit Cole, giving the former his 14th win and leaving the latter at 14 wins, which ties both of them with Felix Hernandez for tops in the game. This was the Yadier Molina show, though. He had an RBI triple thanks to a poor decision in the outfield by Gregory Polanco, who let the ball get by him. He also stole a dang base — third base! — and threw out Polanco trying to steal.

Cubs 3, Brewers 2: Assuming, as it often safe to assume, that a wild pitch is a joint failure of catcher and pitcher, Miguel Montero contributed to this one going to extra innings when a wild pitch went past him in the ninth to tie the score. But he atoned just fine, thanks, by hitting the walkoff homer for the Cubs sixth straight win and their 12th in 13 games. Chicago is only a game and a half behind Pittsburgh for second place in the Central and first place in the NL Wild Card race.

White Sox 3, Angels 2: Avisail Garcia doubled in Jose Abreu in the 13th for the walkoff win. There was some controversy here in the ninth inning when the Angels tied it up, though. Angels shortstop Erick Aybar struck out to lead off the ninth against Dave Robertson. The ball was in the dirt, so catcher Tyler Flowers reached out to tag Aybar on the leg and was called out, but Aybar still broke for first base. A replay challenge ensued on whether the tag was made. After the out was confirmed, Mike Scioscia came out to argue and/or get an explanation from the home plate umpire. As he did so, he stood in front of home plate. After the game Robertson, who went on to blow the save that inning and force extras, called the move “bush league” by Scioscia, claiming that he was delaying the game by arguing and implying that he did so in that exact spot to keep Robertson from getting loose during the replay delay. Scioscia denied it. Fun, fun times.

Tigers 7, Royals 4: Detroit rallied with a four-run eighth inning and added one more in the ninth. The rally started against Edinson Volquez, who Ned Yost left to begin the eighth inning rather than go to Kelvin Herrera. Herrera was eventually called upon and let a couple of inherited runners score. Defensible given where Volquez’s pitch count was, I suppose, and the Royals lead in the Central is so big that it kind of doesn’t matter I guess. It’s the kind of decision that Yost would be wise to avoid when the games matter a bit more in October.

Twins 11, Rangers 1: Miguel Sano homered twice as the Twins win in a laugher. Both of his shots were absolute rockets that went upper deck. They were almost as impressive as the Perseid meteor shower.

Dodgers 3, Nationals 0: Clayton Kershaw with eight strikeouts in eight shutout innings. He was perfect through six. He also crossed the 200-strikeout mark and it was only August 12. It’s his sixth straight year of 200Ks, which matches Koufax and Tom Seaver for the lead in that department in the National League. I assumed Nolan Ryan, like, doubled up on that at some point but even he never had six-straight 200K seasons. Which is sort of amazing to me, but that’s how streaks go I guess. And that’s how crazy consistent Kershaw has been.

Edwin Encarnacion out Tuesday with lingering finger injury

Edwin Encarnacion

From Ben Nicholson-Smith of Toronto’s Sportsnet comes word that Edwin Encarnacion is out of the Blue Jays’ starting lineup Tuesday night against the Athletics because of lingering discomfort in his left middle finger. EE jammed the finger in late July and hasn’t really had time to fully recover.

He also sat out of Sunday afternoon’s series finale at Yankee Stadium, a big 2-0 victory for Toronto.

Justin Smoak is starting at first base and Chris Colabello is at DH as the Blue Jays open a three-game set at home versus the visiting Athletics.

Encarnacion is considered day-to-day for now. The 32-year-old slugger has 21 home runs and 64 RBI in 104 games this season for the Jays, who are just 1 1/2 games back of the Yankees in the American League East standings.

2015 MLB Trade Deadline Tracker

Detroit Tigers v Seattle Mariners

Find all of the completed deals right here through Friday afternoon’s trade deadline.

July 31

Mets acquired OF Yoenis Cespedes from the Tigers for RHP Michael Fulmer and RHP Luis Cessa

After backing out of the Carlos Gomez deal and flirting with Jay Bruce, the Mets still managed to pull off deadline day’s biggest deal, bringing in Cespedes in the midst of one of his best surge’s as a major leaguer. It’s not an ideal fit — a true center fielder would have been better — but it will give the offense quite a lift, even if Cespedes doesn’t offer much in the way of OBP. It will be interesting to see how the Mets try to get by with either Curtis Granderson or Cespedes in center. Ideally, Juan Lagares would start hitting and those two could stay in the corners. Lagares, though, appears to be too banged up to contribute. Expect him to take a backseat so that Michael Conforto can continue to start in left for now.

The Tigers did well to get Fulmer here. He has all of the makings of a No. 3 starter or perhaps even a No. 2, and he should be ready to help next year. Cessa has been a career starter in the minors, but he probably projects better as a reliever in the majors.

Blue Jays acquired OF Ben Revere from the Phillies for RHP Alberto Tirado and RHP Jimmy Cordero

The Phillies got two of the Blue Jays’ hardest throwers back for Revere, with the caveat that both are true relievers. Tirado has the better chance of the duo of turning into a late-game option in a couple of years, though Cordero could reach the majors first. Revere should be a nice complementary player for the Jays as a left fielder against right-handers and backup to Kevin Pillar in center. He hit .298/.334/.374 in 366 at-bats for the Phillies. The Blue Jays can continue to stick with Chris Colabello if he produces, but now he will be able to DH more frequently. Sacrificing power for defense makes plenty of sense here.

Orioles acquire OF Gerardo Parra from the Brewers for RHP Zach Davies

The Orioles had a Parra-type player in Alejandro De Aza, only to dump him after his slow start. Now they’ve had to give up a solid prospect and spend some money to replace him. Clearly it’s a win if Parra’s career season continues — he’s batting .328/.369/.517 right now after coming in at .265/.316/.387 the previous two years — but there isn’t much reason to think it will, particularly now that he’s switching leagues for the first time in his career. Also, his defense isn’t nearly what it was a few years back. All of that said, he’s better than what they have now and that probably makes the deal worth doing. Davies, 22, isn’t a big upside guy, but he has a 2.84 ERA and an 81/33 K/BB ratio with just four homers allowed in 101 1/3 innings in Triple-A this year. He could work out nicely as a fourth or fifth starter.

Cubs acquire RHP Dan Haren from the Marlins for RHP Ivan Pineyro and SS Elliot Soto

The Cubs would have preferred a top-of-the-rotation threat, but they needed to shore up the fifth spot and do that here. Haren has a 3.42 ERA in 21 starts for the Marlins, but it comes with a diminished strikeout rate and peripherals that suggest his ERA should be closer to the 4.00-4.50 range. He gives the Cubs security, but ideally, he wouldn’t be in their top four should they reach the postseason. The Marlins aren’t getting much in return. Pineyro is probably a middle reliever if he makes the majors. Soto might have some use as a utilityman if this year’s on-base skills are for real; he’s at .388 in Double-A this year, but his career mark is .328 in six minor league seasons.

Rangers acquired RHP Sam Dyson from the Marlins for LHP Cody Ege and C Tomas Telis

This one will slip under the radar, but Dyson is solid reliever capable of being something considerable more if he just brings down his walk rate some. He throws in the mid-90s and gets tons of grounders along with his strikeouts (41 in 44 IP this year). He makes the minimum for another year, and he could become a really good setup man for half a decade or so. The Marlins didn’t give him away; Ege has the makings of a strong lefty reliever himself, and Telis should grow into a long-term role as J.T. Realmuto’s backup. Still, this is a nice pickup for Texas.

Pirates acquired 1B-OF Mike Morse and cash from the Dodgers for OF Jose Tabata

Morse is being tossed around like he didn’t have an .811 OPS in 131 games for the Giants last year or a .794 career mark. The Pirates can use him as their first baseman against left-handers and give him a chance to secure the job outright if he outproduces Pedro Alvarez. He’s also an option in the outfield, but it’d be for the best if he’s not needed there. The Pirates are also finally out from under the rest of Tabata’s deal, which they’ve seemed to regret from the moment it was signed in Aug. 2011. He’s made $4 million this year while spending most of the season in the minors and gets $4.5 million next year before the guaranteed portion finally comes to an end. Tabata still might be useful as a fourth outfielder and starter against lefties, but the Dodgers probably won’t ever have playing time for him. He’ll head to Triple-A for now, and it’d be for the best if he simply gets released.

Blue Jays acquire RHP Mark Lowe from the Mariners for LHP Nick Wells, LHP Rob Rasmussen and LHP Jake Brentz

Lowe had had a fabulous year, posting a 1.00 ERA and a 47/11 K/BB ratio in 36 innings for the Mariners. His ability to keep it up is less about stuff and more about health. He’s always had durability issues, and he hasn’t topped 50 innings since 2011. This year, he’s already at 45, including his time in Triple-A. Coming back to the Mariners are three lefties. Wells is the prospect in the group, a 2014 third-round pick with a chance of turning into something someday. Right now, he’s sporting a 4.78 ERA in Rookie ball. Rasmussen is a fringy reliever who could slot into Seattle’s pen immediately. Brentz is another Rookie ball guy.

Twins acquire RHP Kevin Jepsen from the Rays for RHP Chih-Wei Hu and RHP Alexis Tapia

Jepsen has a 2.81 ERA for the Rays this year, but he’s gone from striking out 10.4 batters and walking 3.2 batters per nine innings last year to striking out 7.3 and walking 4.3 this year. That’s a big change, and it might not bode well for continued success in a setup role. On the plus side, the Twins didn’t part with any top prospects here. Hu, 21, has a nice 2.44 ERA and a 73/19 K/BB ratio in 84 2/3 innings in high-A ball, but he doesn’t get rave reviews for his stuff. Tapia is a 19 and pitching in Rookie ball. Neither made Baseball America’s preseason top 30 prospects list for the Twins.

Pirates acquired LHP J.A. Happ from the Mariners for RHP Adrian Sampson

With his ERA up to 4.64, the Mariners were all set to dump Happ from their rotation. This is a more permanent solution. Happ isn’t an upgrade for the Pirates rotation, either, though if A.J. Burnett needs a stint on the DL, he’s a capable replacement for two or three weeks. Sampson, 23, had a 3.98 ERA and a 95/29 K/BB ratio in 124 1/3 innings for Triple-A Indianapolis. His stuff is mediocre, and if he has any success in the majors, it’ll probably come as a reliever.

Cubs acquired RHP Tommy Hunter from the Orioles for OF Junior Lake

Hunter is a free agent at season’s end, and he hasn’t had a great year with his 3.63 ERA in 44 2/3 innings. Still, the feeling here is that the Orioles were better off with him in the pen than they are with Lake anywhere on the 40-man roster. Lake can hit lefties a bit, but he offers horrible plate discipline and subpar defense in an outfield corner. He’s a career .241/.283/.380 hitter with 198 strikeouts in 602 at-bats for the Cubs. That makes this a winner for the Cubs, even if Hunter is just the fifth- or sixth-best righty in their pen.

Padres acquired LHP Marc Rzepczynski from the Indians for OF Abraham Almonte

Haven’t these guys been traded for each other at least once already? No? Well, it had to happen at some point. Scrabble is a perfectly respectable lefty specialist, those his numbers this year against lefties aren’t as strong as usual (.264/.339/.358 in 53 AB). Almonte is a solid center fielder and a switch-hitter, but he lacks the bat to play regularly or even the splits to form part of a platoon. He might put up one or two good years before he’s done, but it’s anyone’s guess whether they’ll come in Cleveland.

Cardinals acquire RHP Jonathan Broxton from the Brewers for INF Malik Collymore

Just like Parra, Broxton was acquired by the Brewers as they tried to gear up for the postseason last year and now he’s gone in a deadline deal this year. Broxton was awful early on, but his ERA has dropped from 8.22 on May 20 to 5.89 now and he has a 37/10 K/BB ratio in 36 2/3 innings overall. The home run ball can be a problem for him, but the Cardinals play half of their games in a pretty forgiving stadium. Anyway, they aren’t bringing him in to pitch in crucial situations. Collymore, a 2013 10th-round pick, is in Rookie ball again this year and hitting .216/.326/.378 in 74 at-bats. He showed more last year, but he’s a long shot to reach the majors.

Athletics acquired LHP Felix Doubront from the Blue Jays for cash considerations

The Jays thought they could do without Doubront after their recent moves, so they save a little money here. The A’s get themselves some rotation insurance with Scott Kazmir gone and Drew Pomeranz apparently remaining in the bullpen.

Red Sox acquired RHP Ryan Cook from the Athletics for cash considerations

The 28-year-old Cook still possesses a nice 2.93 ERA as a major leaguer, with 207 strikeouts in 202 2/3 innings, but injuries caused him to slip last year and a disastrous spring cost him his spot entirely this year. He ended up giving up five runs over 4 1/3 innings in his final stints with the A’s, and they were probably just going to non-tender him rather than pay him another $1.5 million or so in arbitration next year. The Red Sox will take a look-see and see if he has anything left.

July 30

Blue Jays acquire LHP David Price from Tigers for LHP Daniel Norris, LHP Matt Boyd and LHP Jairo Labourt

With Norris involved, I’d say the Tigers did a bit better for their rental than the Reds did for Johnny Cueto, even if I’d put Boyd and Labourt behind all three arms the Royals surrendered. It’s just the Norris is the best bet of the six. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays have given themselves a much better shot at postseason success should they get there, though that’s still very much in doubt.

Astros acquire OF Carlos Gomez and RHP Mike Fiers from Brewers for OF Brett Phillips, OF Domingo Santana, LHP Josh Hader and RHP Adrian Houser

This is quite the hit to the Astros’ depth, but it’s a testament to their system that they could go get Gomez and Fiers without touching top arms like Vincent Velasquez, Mark Appel and Michael Feliz. Now we’ll just have to wait and see if Gomez’s can get back to where he was in 2013 and ’14 while perhaps dealing with a mysterious hip condition that wrecked the deal sending him to the Mets. Even if he just carries on his 2015 level of performance, he’s an upgrade over Jake Marisnick at a modest price through 2016. Fiers is making the minimum this year and next, and he won’t be eligible for free agency until after 2019. His upside would seem to be rather limited despite his strong strikeout rate, but he’s a nice asset at a bargain price. The Astros will likely send Scott Feldman to the pen to make room for him.

For the Brewers, this is quite a shift from the Zack Wheeler-Wilmer Flores deal that would have given them two ready pieces for 2016. It’s also interesting that they apparently didn’t ask for Marisnick, who could have taken over for Gomez in center. Of the four players they got back, only Santana is ready to contribute. He’s a high-risk, high-reward right fielder with a huge strikeout rate. Phillips and Hader are better long-term prospects. Phillips will hit for average and modest power and play a solid center field when he’s ready in 2017. Hader’s slight build has long had him looked at as an injury risk, but he’ll be nasty if his command and changeup come along. Houser might be a fourth or fifth starter if things break right.

Dodgers acquire LHP Alex Wood, 2B-OF Jose Peraza, RHP Jim Johnson, LHP Luis Avilan and RHP Bronson Arroyo from Braves and RHP Mat Latos and 1B-OF Mike Morse from Marlins; Braves acquire INF Hector Olivera, LHP Paco Rodriguez and RHP Zach Bird from Dodgers and competitive balance draft pick from Marlins; Marlins acquire RHP Jeff Brigham, RHP Victor Araujo and RHP Kevin Guzman from Dodgers

A whopper of a deal, this seems hugely skewed in the Dodgers’ favor, mostly because they’re eating about $40 million in Olivera’s signing bonus and the salaries of Morse and Arroyo to make it happen. This could be a huge blow to the Braves’ future if Olivera doesn’t work out. Wood is just 24, and he has a 3.10 ERA and a 337/108 K/BB ratio in 369 innings as a major leaguer. Peraza figures to turn into at least an average regular at second and maybe something more. Olivera offers a middle-of-the-order bat, but there are questions about his health and long-term position.

For Marlins fans, this should just be another bummer. None of the three prospects the Dodgers sent them would have rated in the top 20 in their system. Latos alone should have drawn a bigger return, but the Marlins were mostly interested in shedding Morse’s salary and even gave up a 2016 draft pick, likely to come in the 40-45 range, to make it happen. Landing that pick was a key to the Braves’ part of the deal.

Giants acquire RHP Mike Leake from the Reds for RHP Keury Mella and 1B-3B Adam Duvall

Leake is a perfectly solid starter, but do you want him starting postseason games? He has a career ERA+ of 100 and that’s with him benefiting from the Reds’ typical strong infield play; his career FIP of 4.17 is worse than his 3.87 ERA. He has been on quite the roll of late after a slow start, and he’s going from a good situation for pitchers to a great one. Still, he doesn’t really seem like a difference maker, especially for a Giants team seven deep in the rotation. Whether Leake is second, third, fourth or fifth best in that group is hard to tell. He’ll help, and he might prove necessary if Matt Cain fails to improve the further removed he gets from his injuries or Chris Heston hits the wall. Tim Hudson appears likely to exit to make room for him. It just seems like he would have helped other teams more.

The Reds did well here, considering that Leake is a free agent at season’s end. Mella has a terrific arm, one with more upside than any of the three the Reds got from the Royals for Cueto. Still, much could happen to it between now and his projected major league debut in late 2016 or 2017. Duvall has been one of the top power hitters in the minors, but he’s 26, he can’t really cut it at third and he’ll probably never hit for average in the majors. He needs to hope the Reds turn right around and trade Marlon Byrd or Jay Bruce. If that happens, he could take over in left field and hit several homers these next two months. But if it doesn’t materialize now, one wonders if he’ll ever get a chance.

Cardinals acquire 1B-OF Brandon Moss from Indians for LHP Rob Kaminsky

The Indians would much rather have been in position to buy than to sell this week, but at least they were able to flip Moss at a profit after giving up second baseman Joey Wendle to get him from the A’s in the offseason. Kaminsky, a 20-year-old southpaw with a 2.15 ERA in 217 innings as a minor leaguer, is a much more intriguing talent. He projects as a fine middle-of-the-rotation starter with continued good health. Moss gives the Cardinals a starter at first base or in left field against right-handers with Matt Adams and Matt Holliday out.

Pirates acquire RHP Joakim Soria from Tigers for SS JaCoby Jones

The Pirates didn’t really need the bullpen help, but there are some things major league teams can never have enough of. Soria, who had a 2.85 ERA as Detroit’s closer, can work the seventh and eighth innings in combination with Tony Watson, turning Jared Hughes into a big double-play weapon in the middle frames. It seems like a fine arrangement, and the price was right, since Jones didn’t fit into their plans. He’s not good enough defensively to stick at shortstop, and the Pirates weren’t ever likely to need him at his more natural position of center field. He’s probably not going to hit enough to make it as a regular anyway.

Yankees acquire 2B-OF Dustin Ackley from the Mariners for OF Ramon Flores and RHP Jose Ramirez

Ackley has picked it up some as a bench player these last two months after his dreadful start played a big role in the Mariners acquiring Mark Trumbo. Of particular interest here is that he’s hitting more flies and pulling the ball more frequently than usual, which could lead to homers in Yankee Stadium. While he’s the fifth outfielder right now, he’ll probably start getting worked out at second base some to give the Yankees an alternative to Stephen Drew.

As for the Mariners, well, they probably weren’t going to want to pay Ackley $3 million to be a spare part next year anyway. Flores has an Ackley-like bat as a corner outfielder. He’s hit .286/.377/.417 as a 23-year-old in Triple-A this year. Ramirez is a fringy middle reliever.

July 29

Rangers acquire LHP Cole Hamels, LHP Jake Diekman and cash from the Phillies for C Jorge Alfaro, RHP Jake Thompson, OF Nick Williams, RHP Alec Asher, RHP Jerad Eickhoff and LHP Matt Harrison

By taking on the whopping $33 million owed to Harrison and swallowing a further $9.5 million of Hamels’ salary, the Phillies were able to get three premium prospects here in Alfaro, Thompson and Williams, plus a decent fourth piece in Asher. It’s a fine return, even if there’s no slam dunk prospect in the deal. Alfaro should turn out to be a quality starting catcher, if not a star. Thompson has No. 2 starter upside. Williams has his detractors, but he offers the ability to hit for average and power. Most importantly, he’s gone from posting 140/22 and 117/19 K/BB ratios the last two years to a more reasonable 77/32 in 97 games this season.

Fortunately for the Rangers, they don’t have to win this year for this to pay off, though they’ve given themselves a chance to stay in the wild card race. Hamels should be a force for years to come, and it’ll be exciting to see him paired with Yu Darvish atop the rotation next year. Diekman isn’t exactly chopped liver, either. He’s one of the game’s hardest throwing left-handed relievers, and while that hasn’t resulted in good numbers this year, he could still take a step forward as a setup man. The 28-year-old has 225 strikeouts (and 95 walks) in 173 1/3 innings as a major leaguer, and he won’t be a free agent until after 2018.

Pirates acquire RHP Joe Blanton from Royals for cash considerations

July 28

Royals acquire INF-OF Ben Zobrist from the Athletics for LHP Sean Manaea and RHP Aaron Brooks

Nationals acquire RHP Jonathan Papelbon and cash from Phillies for RHP Nick Pivetta

Angels acquire OF David Murphy from Indians for SS Eric Stamets

Angels acquire OF David DeJesus from Rays for RHP Eduar Lopez

July 27

Blue Jays acquire SS Troy Tulowitzki and RHP LaTroy Hawkins from the Rockies for SS Jose Reyes, RHP Jeff Hoffman, RHP Miguel Castro and RHP Jesus Tinoco

Mets acquire RHP Tyler Clippard and cash from the Athletics for RHP Casey Meisner

Angels acquire OF Shane Victorino and cash from the Red Sox for INF Josh Rutledge

July 26

Royals acquire RHP Johnny Cueto from the Reds for LHP Brandon Finnegan, LHP John Lamb and LHP Cody Reed

July 24

Mets acquire 3B Juan Uribe, INF-OF Kelly Johnson and cash from the Braves for RHP John Gant and RHP Robert Whelan

Cardinals acquire RHP Steve Cishek from the Marlins for RHP Kyle Barraclough

Angels acquire 3B Conor Gillaspie from the White Sox for cash considerations

July 23

Astros acquire LHP Scott Kazmir from the Athletics for C Jake Nottingham and RHP Daniel Mangden

Pirates acquire 3B Aramis Ramirez and cash from the Brewers for RHP Yhonathan Barrios

Chris Sale throws a complete game, but his strikeout streak comes to an end

Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (49) delivers to the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning on Monday, July 6, 2015, at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)

White Sox ace Chris Sale entered tonight’s start against the Blue Jays with eight straight starts with 10 strikeouts or more, tying Pedro Martinez for the major league record. He fell a little bit short in his efforts of securing the record all for himself.

Sale struck out six batters (his lowest strikeout total since May 6) as part of a complete-game 4-2 victory over Toronto. He allowed six hits and no walks, with the only runs scoring on solo home runs from Chris Colabello and Josh Donaldson.

After an error by Jose Reyes, the White Sox rallied for three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning against Mark Buehrle. As a result, Sale notched his first win since June 8. This was his eighth career complete game and his first this season.

Sale owns a 2.80 ERA and 147/22 K/BB ratio in 112 1/3 innings over 16 starts this season. He has a strong case to start for the American League in next week’s All-Star Game.