With minutes to spare on Friday, the Mets finally landed the premium outfield bat that they had been searching for all along when agreeing to acquire Yoenis Cespedes from the Tigers in exchange for a pair of prospects.
The 29-year-old outfielder, who is a free agent at season's end, is in the midst of his finest season as a professional. He is hitting .293/.323/.506 with 18 homers and 61 RBI in 102 games and adds a legitimate power threat to the middle of the Mets lineup.
He is also one of the best all-around defensive outfielders in baseball. He leads all major league left fielders in defensive runs saved this year with 11 and has an absolute cannon of an arm that opposing baserunners are leery of challenging.
The Mets are taking on $3.8 million by picking up the outfielder's salary for the remainder of the season, bringing the total payroll added to $8.5 million with all trade deadline acquisitions. They currently sit two games behind the Nationals in the National League East and believe hope that Cespedes is the missing piece that propels them to a division title.
The Mets also have to be thrilled that they were able to land an impact bat without parting with any of their prized pitching prospects. That isn't to say that the Tigers came away with nothing however. In return for Cespedes, the Tigers received Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa.
Fulmer is the prize of the deal on Detroit's end. Rival executives marveled Friday at the quality of return that Dave Dombrowski was able to net for a rental player. The 22-year-old right-hander is vaulted himself back into top prospect status (#7 in the Mets organization) this season. He has been especially good in his last nine starts at Double-A Binghamton, registering a 0.68 ERA and 61/9 K/BB ratio over 53 1/3 innings.
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Cubs solidify rotation with Haren
The Cubs also made a big move on Friday, solidifying their starting rotation by acquiring Dan Haren from the Marlins. Theo Epstein and company had been in the market for an upgrade to their rotation, and had been mentioned in rumblings for all of the high-priced hurlers who changed teams this week.
The veteran right-hander was enjoying a resurgence with the Marlins, registering a 3.42 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 88/25 K/BB ratio over 129 innings in his 21 starts. He brings another strong veteran presence to the Cubs rotation, and has proven to be a highly-capable performer in the postseason throughout the years.
He'll join Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta and Jason Hammel atop the Cubs rotation as they look to make a push toward the postseason. Despite being in third place in their division, the Cubs currently sit just one game back in the hunt for the second Wild Card.
In return, the Marlins receive a pair of minor leaguers: Ivan Pineyro and Elliot Soto. Pineyro, a 23-year-old right-hander, is the better prospect of the two and owns a 3.69 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 92/30 K/BB ratio over 107 1/3 innings at Double-A Tennessee this year.
Rockies Ax their closer
The 32-year-old right-hander had owned a terrific 2.36 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 25/11 K/BB ratio over his first 29 appearances, converting 16 of his first 17 save chances. His last five outings have been a completely different story though, as he has surrendered eight runs in just 3 2/3 innings (19.64 ERA) while blowing four saves.
American League Quick Hits: The Orioles improved their lineup and defense on Friday, acquiring Gerardo Parra from the Brewers for minor league hurler Zach Davies... Johnny Cueto allowed three runs in a no-decision against the Jays in his Royals debut... The Yankees will recall top prospect Luis Severino to replace the injured Michael Pineda in the team's rotation... The Blue Jays acquired speedster Ben Revere from the Phillies for Alberto Tirado and Jimmy Cordero... They also acquired Mark Lowe from the M's for three minor leaguers... Robinson Cano (abdomen) missed another game and isn't expected to return this weekend... C.J. Wilson was placed on the disabled list with left elbow inflammation... The Red Sox acquired Ryan Cook from the A's for a player to be named or cash... Manny Machado blasted his 22nd homer in a come-from-behind win over the Tigers... Jesus Montero was recalled from Triple-A, and went 2-for-4 with a homer in a win over the Twins... Jon Singleton was sent back to Triple-A to make room for Carlos Gomez... Miguel Cabrera (calf) began doing agility drills on Friday and remains hopeful of an August 15 return... The Twins bolstered their bullpen by acquiring Kevin Jepsen from the Rays for two minor league pitchers... The Yankees designated Garett Jones for assignment... Devon Travis is heading back to the disabled list with a left shoulder strain... Mark Teixeira homered twice and plated six runs in a victory over the White Sox... Josh Donaldson plated four runs, including a walk-off RBI single in the 11th inning to beat the Royals.
National League Quick Hits: National League Quick Hits: Clayton Kershaw (hip) was scratched from his scheduled start on Friday, though he's likely to pitch on Saturday... The Cardinals acquired Jonathan Broxton from the Brewers for minor league outfielder Malik Collymore... Stephen Strasburg (oblique) will require one more rehab start before he's cleared to rejoin the Nationals... A.J. Burnett landed on the 15-day disabled list due to inflammation in his pitching elbow... Welington Castillo's 10th inning homer powered the D'Backs past the Astros... A.J. Pollock was forced to leave Friday's game due to tightness in his hamstring. He's day-to-day... Mark Melancon secured his league-leading 33rd save on Friday… Corey Dickerson underwent an MRI exam on his injured ribs on Friday, the results of which are not yet known... The Dodgers acquired Jose Tabata from the Pirates for Michael Morse... Tim Hudson was placed on the disabled list with a shoulder injury... The Padres landed left-hander Marc Rzepczynski from the Indians for Abraham Almonte... The Pirates plucked J.A. Happ away from the Mariners for Adrian Sampson... The Phillies and Rangers officially announced their deal for Cole Hamels... The Cubs picked up Tommy Hunter from the Orioles for Junior Lake... Wilmer Flores blasted a walk-off solo home run in the 12th inning on Friday, powering the Mets to a critical victory over the division-rival Nationals.