Heav­ily armed

Yan­kees, Dodgers land aces

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - SPORTS -

Yu Darvish and Sonny Gray headed a pa­rade of prized arms on the move Mon­day, leav­ing lit­tle doubt on trade dead­line day that the top teams made a big pitch for the play­offs.

All-Star Bran­don Kint­zler, Ad­di­son Reed and Justin Wil­son were among the many re­liev­ers swapped be­fore the cut­off. There were 14 deals in­volv­ing ma­jor lea­guers, and all six divi­sion lead­ers got some­one new.

“We’re try­ing to go from good to great,” New York Yan­kees Gen­eral Man­ager Brian Cash­man said.

The Los An­ge­les Dodgers, own­ers of the best record in the ma­jors and the top pay­roll, gave up three mi­nor lea­guers for Darvish. The Texas ace will join three-time Cy Young Award win­ner Clayton Ker­shaw, cur­rently on the dis­abled list, as the Dodgers try

to reach the World Se­ries for the first time since their 1988 ti­tle.

“We’re not go­ing to be lin­ing up our play­off ro­ta­tion quite yet,” Dodgers Gen­eral Man­ager Farhan Zaidi said.

Darvish was an All-Star this year for the fourth time in his five sea­sons play­ing for the Rangers. He joined Texas be­fore the 2012 sea­son and missed all of 2015 af­ter el­bow surgery. In 22 starts this sea­son, he is 6-9 with a 4.01 ERA.

In 122 starts over­all for the Rangers, he was 52-39 with a 3.42 ERA and 960 strike­outs over 7822/3 in­nings.

“It’s an honor to be wanted by the team,” Darvish said through his trans­la­tor, ad­ding that he had “noth­ing but ap­pre­ci­a­tion” for his time in Texas.

The pitcher who turns 31 on Aug. 16 was 0-5 with a 5.81 ERA in his past eight starts. He was tagged by the Mi­ami Mar­lins for a ca­reer-worst 10 runs Wed­nes­day, and he later re­vealed he was tip­ping his pitches.

In re­turn for Darvish, Los An­ge­les sent the Rangers sec­ond base­man/out­fielder Wil­lie Cal­houn, right-han­der A.J. Alexy and in­fielder Bren­don Davis.

Los An­ge­les also added re­liev­ers Tony Wat­son from Pitts­burgh and Tony Cin­grani from Cincin­nati.

The Yan­kees bol­stered their ro­ta­tion by get­ting Gray from Oakland for three mi­nor lea­guers.

A 27-year-old right-han­der who has been slowed by a se­ries of in­juries, Gray is 6-5 with a 3.43 ERA in 16 starts this sea­son and 4-2 with a 1.37 ERA in his last six out­ings. He makes $3,575,000 and is not el­i­gi­ble for free agency un­til af­ter the 2019 sea­son.

“I think we’ve def­i­nitely im­proved our­selves,” Yan­kees Man­ager Joe Gi­rardi said. “When I look at own­er­ship and the front of­fice, they’ve given us an op­por­tu­nity to do some­thing special here. Now we have to go out and do it.”

A few stars men­tioned in trade spec­u­la­tion stayed put, in­clud­ing Ori­oles closer Zach Brit­ton, Detroit starter Justin Ver­lan­der and San Diego re­liever Brad Hand.

“We just didn’t line up at this time,”

said Padres Gen­eral Man­ager A.J. Preller, ad­ding there was “no rush” to make a move right now.

Teams had un­til 3 p.m. Cen­tral to make trades with­out waivers. For the rest of the sea­son, play­ers can be dealt only if ev­ery other club passes on a chance to claim them.

A year af­ter the cham­pion Chicago Cubs and Cleve­land used deep bullpens to reach the World Se­ries, sev­eral teams boosted their re­liev­ers. As did the Cubs and In­di­ans.

Chicago got Wil­son, a valu­able lefty, along with backup catcher Alex Avila from Detroit. Avila was traded away by his dad, Tigers Gen­eral Man­ager Alex Avila.

Joe Smith, who re­lieved for Cleve­land from 2009-2013, was sent from Toronto to the In­di­ans.

“A lot of fans of Smitty in this or­ga­ni­za­tion, so get­ting him back will be a lot of fun,” Cleve­land Man­ager Terry Fran­cona said.

NL East-lead­ing Wash­ing­ton got Kint­zler from Min­nesota. The Na­tion­als also re­cently ac­quired re­liev­ers Ryan Mad­son and Sean Doolit­tle from Oakland.

The Hous­ton Astros, al­ready run­ning away with the AL West, plucked left-han­der Fran­cisco Liri­ano from Toronto. He can ei­ther patch a ro­ta­tion that’s dealt with in­juries to Dal­las Keuchel (Arkansas Ra­zor­backs), Lance Mc­Cullers and Collin McHugh this year or pro­vide a weapon out of the bullpen.

The 33-year-old Liri­ano is 6-5 with a 5.88 ERA in 18 starts this sea­son.

The Astros traded out­field­ers Nori Aoki and Teoscar Her­nan­dez for Liri­ano.

The con­tend­ing Boston Red Sox added Reed, who had been serv­ing as the New York Mets’ closer. Reed is 1-2 with a 2.57 ERA and 19 saves in 21 chances, and he joins a bullpen that in­cludes dom­i­nant closer Craig Kim­brel.

Like a lot of other ex­ec­u­tives, Red Sox Pres­i­dent of Base­ball Op­er­a­tions Dave Dom­browski was on the prowl for pitch­ing.

“We liked a lot of the guys. We were in­quir­ing about a lot of the guys,” he said at Fen­way Park, ad­ding, “My list is long.”

AP file photo

The Texas Rangers traded pitcher Yu Darvish (above) to the Los An­ge­les Dodgers on Mon­day for three mi­nor league play­ers. Darvish, 30, is 6-9 with a 4.01 ERA in 22 starts this sea­son. The Dodgers (74-31) en­tered Mon­day lead­ing the Na­tional League West by 14 games over the Ari­zona Di­a­mond­backs and are at­tempt­ing to win their first World Se­ries ti­tle since 1988.



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