Teams continued to make some big moves as the trade deadline came and went. Here are some of the highlights from what turned out to be a busy week in major league baseball.
THURSDAY, JULY 29
Miguel Tejada traded to San Diego
Tejada now returns to the National League, and to his old position at shortstop after he was dealt to the Padres last Thursday. The Orioles received Minor league pitcher Wynn Pelzer in the deal, and had to send more than $1.15 million in cash in order to convince the Padres to take on Tejada's salary. Tejada's numbers plummeted this year, as he managed just seven home runs, 39 RBI, a .269 batting average, and a career-low .362 slugging percentage in 97 games with the Orioles. He now moves to one of the most extreme pitchers parks in all of baseball, so the 36-year-old veteran will be hard-pressed to improve on those numbers. He batted cleanup in his Padres debut, which is more a reflection of the Padres lack of offence than of Tejada's ability. Everth Cabrera returns to a reserve role, as he did nothing with the bat this year, hitting just .201 through Wednesday. Rookie Josh Bell inherits the third base job from Tejada in Baltimore. Bell hit .278 with 13 home runs and 50 RBI in 81 games with Triple-A Norfolk, and will likely have minimal fantasy value as he adjusts to Major League pitching.
Matt Capps traded to Minnesota
Capps will now pick up saves in Minnesota, as the Nationals dealt him to the Twins in exchange for catching prospect Wilson Ramos and Minor League pitcher Joe Testa. Capps picked up 26 saves with Washington this year with an ERA of 2.74, and should be first in line for saves ahead of Jon Rauch. Rauch did an admirable job in the closer's role while filling in for the injured Joe Nathan, as he picked up 21 saves to go along with an ERA of 3.05 through Wednesday. With both players doing so well in the role, don't be surprised if manager Ron Gardenhire switches things up once in a while and goes with the hot hand. Ramos has been considered a top prospect, but struggled with the Twins' Triple-A affiliate in Rochester this year. In 71 games, he hit just .241 with five home runs and 30 RBI. In Washington, Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard and Sean Burnett will now share the closing duties. Storen is the most enticing option, as the 22-year-old rookie has an ERA of 2.73 in 28 games.
FRIDAY, JULY 30
Edwin Jackson traded to the Chicago White Sox
The D-Backs parted ways with another starter on Friday, as they shipped the German-born Jackson off to the White Sox. Jackson had a hard time coping with the hitter-friendly confines in Arizona, and ended his stay with the Diamondbacks with a 6-10 record and a 5.16 ERA. Unfortunately for him, U.S. Cellular Field really isn't any friendlier to pitchers, so his struggles may continue. Nevertheless, the White Sox must have high hopes for him, as they gave up top prospect Daniel Hudson to get him. Hudson started three games for Chicago, and went 1-1 with a 6.32 ERA. In 17 Triple-A starts for Charlotte, he was 11-4 with a 3.47 ERA and 108 strikeouts in 93-plus innings. He will fill Edwin Jackson's rotation spot, but at just 23 years of age, he'll likely encounter some growing pains.
Jason Bay to the 15-day DL
One week after crashing into the left field wall and hitting his head, Jason Bay has landed on the DL due to continued headaches as a result of a concussion. Bay was off to one of the worst starts of his career, as he was hitting just .259 with only six home runs in 95 games at the time of his DL assignment. He had averaged 31 home runs and 103 RBI per season over his previous five campaigns, so his lack of power this season has been puzzling. To fill Bay's spot on the roster, the Mets recalled outfielder Jesus Feliciano from Buffalo. Feliciano hit .291 with no home runs and two RBI in 55 at-bats with the club earlier this year. He will likely be used in a backup role, as the Mets use an outfield of Angel Pagan, Carlos Beltran and Jeff Francoeur. Pagan and Francoeur had been sharing the right field duties, but should both receive some additional playing time now that Bay is on the shelf.
SATURDAY, JULY 31
Ted Lilly traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers strengthened their rotation on Saturday when they picked up veteran left-handed starter Ted Lilly from the Chicago Cubs. Lilly was the recipient of some terrible luck and a lack of run support while in Chicago, as he held a 3-8 record this year despite a very respectable ERA of 3.69. The Dodgers offense has been only marginally better than the Cubs this year, but his record should definitely improve regardless. The Dodgers also received infielder Ryan Theriot and a cash consideration from the Cubs. Theriot started the year as the Cubs shortstop, but moved over to second base with the emergence of Starlin Castro. Theriot hit .284 with just one home run and 21 RBI in 96 games with the Cubs this year. He will now man second base for the Dodgers, swapping places with Blake DeWitt, who went to the Cubs in this deal. DeWitt hit .270, but also suffered from a lack of power, hitting just one home run and driving in 30 in 82 games.
Lance Berkman traded to the New York Yankees
Berkman finally concluded his employment with the Houston Astros after he was shipped off to New York in exchange for a couple of Minor Leaguers -- pitcher Mark Melancon and infielder Jimmy Paredes. Berkman played for Houston for parts of 12 seasons, and finished his Astros career with 326 home runs, 1008 runs scored, 1090 RBI, and a .296 average. He will serve as the Yankees designated hitter, while also occasionally spelling Mark Teixeira at first base. The Yankees have used a variety of players in the DH role since they lost Nick Johnson to a wrist injury on May 8, so Berkman should provide some stability in the role. Melancon brings a career ERA of 4.87 in 15 Major League appearances over to the Astros and had been regarded as one of the Yankees top prospects. Paredes has yet to play above Single-A.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 1
Octavio Dotel traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers
The Pirates traded their closer Dotel to the Dodgers on Friday, a move that will likely eliminate most of his fantasy value. Dotel was 2-2 with 21 saves and a 4.28 ERA while with the Pirates, and he struck out 48 batters in just 40 innings. The Dodgers already have a solid closer in Jonathan Broxton, so Dotel will probably serve in a setup or middle relief role. The most likely candidates to pick up saves for the Pirates from here on out are Joel Hanrahan and Evan Meek. Hanrahan has the most closing experience of the two, as he picked up 14 saves for the Nationals between 2008 and 2009. He has an ERA of 3.35 with 63 strikeouts in 45-plus innings through Saturday. Meek has been excellent, posting a 1.23 ERA, but he has only one career save and is unproven in the role.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 3
Kevin Youkilis to the 15-day DL
And the injuries just keep on coming for the Boston Red Sox. Youkilis became the latest addition to Boston's overcrowded disabled list on Tuesday when he tore a muscle in his right thumb. He has emerged as one of Boston's top offensive threats in recent years, making his loss an especially tough one to take. He was hitting .307 with 19 home runs and 62 RBI in 102 games, so his replacement Mike Lowell will have a tough time trying to replace that offense. Lowell was activated from the 15-day DL to fill Youkilis' roster spot and batted .213 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 31 games in a backup role earlier this year. As Boston's regular third baseman last year, he hit .290 with 17 home runs and 75 RBI in 119 games before being replaced by Adrian Beltre this season. He could have some fantasy value, especially if Youkilis takes a long time to recover.
Travis Hafner and Carlos Santana to the 15-day DL
The Indians lost both their designated hitter and their catcher to injuries on Tuesday. Hafner hadn't played since July 28 due to inflammation in his surgically-repaired shoulder, so the Indians opted to give him some time off to recover. The move was made retroactive to July 29. Santana sprained his left knee on Monday in a collision at home plate, and had to be removed from the field in a stretcher. He could miss significant time, especially with surgery a possibility. Jordan Brown figures to get most of the at-bats as designated hitter, while Lou Marson was recalled from Columbus to handle the catching duties. Brown was just recalled on August 1 when he made his Major League debut, and Marson had lost the catching job after he hit just .191 in 45 games earlier this year. Marson should obviously be avoided in all fantasy league formats, while Brown appears to be somewhat lacking in terms of power and speed based on his Minor League numbers.
Ryan Howard to the 15-day DL
Philadelphia's other three regulars in the infield had already spent time on the DL, so apparently Howard was due. The slugging first baseman, who has clubbed 221 home runs since the start of the 2006 season, has been lost for at least 15 days due to a sprained left ankle. He was injured on Sunday while sliding into second base, and team officials say that the sprain is moderate. He was leading the National League with 81 RBI, and had averaged a whopping 143 RBI a season over the past four years. He joins slugging second baseman Chase Utley on the DL, while third baseman Placido Polanco and shortstop Jimmy Rollins have both missed time on the DL as well this year. The Phillies recalled outfielder John Mayberry Jr. to fill Howard's roster spot, and Cody Ransom should handle the first base duties in Howard's absence. Ransom is hitting just .205 through Monday.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4
Jacoby Ellsbury activated from the 15-day DL
The fleet-footed Red Sox outfielder made his long-awaited return on Wednesday, after missing most of the last four months due to an injury to his ribs. Ellsbury cracked his ribs in a collision with teammate Adrian Beltre way back on April 12, and attempted to make a return in late May after being cleared by the team's medical staff. His attempts to play through the injury made his condition worse, and after playing in just three more games, he found himself back on the DL. Ellsbury stole a combined 120 bases over the last two seasons, making him one of the best in all of baseball in that category. He began the year in left field, but returns as the team's center fielder with Mike Cameron landing on the disabled list on Monday. Ellsbury's return should help those fantasy owners who were counting on him to pad their stolen base totals, but it remains to be seen how much his latest injury will affect his baserunning abilities. Rookie outfielder Daniel Nava was optioned back down to Triple-A Pawtucket to free up space on the roster for Ellsbury. Nava hit .290 in 30 games with the Red Sox and will most certainly be among the team's callups in September, if not sooner.