Astros acquire infielder Tyler Greene from Cardinals

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Before becoming Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow spent years running the Cardinals’ farm system and today he acquired one of his former first-round picks, Tyler Greene, from St. Louis.

Greene was the 30th overall pick in the 2005 draft out of Georgia Tech, but is now 28 years old and hasn’t hit in the majors with a lifetime .218 batting average and .624 OPS in 227 games.

Not surprisingly it didn’t take much for Luhnow to add him to the Astros’ infield mix, with a player to be named later or cash heading back to St. Louis in the deal.

Greene hasn’t done much to suggest that he’s capable of being more than a mediocre utility man, although in between the big-league ineptitude he did hit .323 with 14 homers and a 1.001 OPS in 66 games at Triple-A last season.

Cubs acquire Martín Maldonado from the Royals

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Last night Cubs catcher Willson Contreras was placed on the injured list with a strained muscle in his right foot. That injury inspired the Cubs to go out and get another catcher. They acquired Martín Maldonado in a trade with Kansas City in exchange for lefty Mike Montgomery, in a deal that was announced after the Cubs loss to the Reds.

Maldonado, 32, was a Gold Glove winner in 2017 with the Angels. At the moment he’s hitting .227 with six homers and 17 RBIs in 74 games. Obviously, though, defense is his calling card, as he’s a .220 career hitter with 57 homers and 210 RBIs in 686 games.

Montgomery, 30, is 1-2 with a 5.67 ERA in 20 relief appearances for the Cubs this year. He’s heading back to where his pro career began. He was drafted by Kanas City in 2008, though he was traded away in the James Shields/Wade David/Wil Myers deal in 2012. He made his big league debut for Seattle in 2015. Dayton Moore said last night that the Royals plan to use Montgomery in the rotation as a replacement for Homer Bailey, who was dealt to Oakland on Sunday.