Thursday roundup: Astros end up getting Gomez in trade
Houston — The Astros added another bat to their lineup as they make a push for the postseason, acquiring two-time All-Star outfielder Carlos Gomez from the Milwaukee Brewers.
Houston also received right-hander Mike Fiers in the deal and sent four prospects to the Brewers: left-hander Josh Hader, right-hander Adrian Houser and outfielders Brett Phillips and Domingo Santana.
“This was a move with an eye toward this year, next year and the year after that, more so than five or seven years from now,” Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow said. “That’s what our fans want. They want us to win.”
Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin said a trade fell through Wednesday that would have sent Gomez to the New York Mets for infielder Wilmer Flores and injured pitcher Zack Wheeler.
Luhnow said he had been talking with Melvin for a few weeks and that they resumed talks on Thursday morning. He raved about Gomez.
“He’ll be plugged right in,” Luhnow said. “He’s an All Star-caliber player. This guy is exciting. Everybody here is going to love him once they get to know him. He’s got a lot of energy. … He has all the tools and abilities in the world.”
When Gomez was called into the manager’s office by the Brewers on Thursday, he thought they were going to explain to him what happened the day before.
“But they tell me: ‘No, you’ve been traded,’ ” he said. “And I say: ‘Is this going for like two or three hours or is this the real one?’ So I was laughing a little bit. But they say, no, it’s true that you get traded to the Houston Astros.”
To add to the crazy week Gomez has had professionally, he’s also a new dad. Already the father to a 6-year-old boy and a 15-month-old boy, Gomez and his wife welcomed a third child 10 days ago.
“Her mom is right here with her, but she has go back to the Dominican, and we are still waiting on the birth certificate and the passport so they can come with me to Houston,” he said.
Houston’s move came a week after the Astros obtained top starter Scott Kazmir from the Oakland Athletics. Seeking its first postseason appearance since 2005, Houston entered Thursday with a one-game lead in the AL West.
The 29-year-old Gomez is hitting .262 with eight homers and 43 RBIs in 74 games for the Brewers this season. He is making $8 million this season and $9 million in 2016, then can become a free agent.
Gomez, who won a Gold Glove in 2013, is a nine-year veteran coming off a career-best season last year, when he hit .284 with 34 doubles, 23 homers, 73 RBIs and 34 steals. Gomez and Mike Trout are the only players with at least 100 steals and 50 home runs over the last four seasons.
Gomez played for the Mets and the Twins before joining the Brewers in 2010.
Fiers is 5-9 with a 3.89 ERA in 21 starts for Milwaukee this season. He has 121 strikeouts in 118 innings this season. He won’t be a free agent until after the 2019 season.
“He’s got a good fast ball. His curveball is his out pitch,” Luhnow said. “If you look at his numbers, he’s been punching out more than a guy an inning for his entire career. He doesn’t walk a lot of guys. Very effective.”
Before the trade, Melvin bristled at the notion the Mets didn’t make their proposed deal because they concluded Gomez has a bad hip.
“Like any typical trade, you have a box you have to check off to get deals approved. In the end, we did have a deal done. When all was said and done, there was a level of discomfort (on the part of the Mets) in making the deal complete,” Melvin said.
Santana was playing at Triple A Fresno and Hader, Houser and Phillips were all at Double A Corpus Christi.
Melvin felt lucky to have snagged Phillips.
“Phillips was a young player that they just did not want to put in any deal,” he said. “He was supposedly an untouchable.”
Dodgers load up in trade
The first-place Los Angeles Dodgers bolstered their pitching staff on the eve of the trade deadline, completing a 13-player deal with the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins that sent two starters and two relievers to the NL West leaders on Thursday.
Clinging to a half-game lead over San Francisco, the Dodgers acquired right-hander Mat Latos from the Marlins and left-hander Alex Wood from the Braves, two pitchers who can move right into the rotation behind aces Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. Also, Los Angeles obtained relievers Jim Johnson, a former Tiger, and Luis Avilan from Atlanta, adding needed depth to the bullpen.
“To sit here having addressed the biggest areas of need for us in terms of rotation and bullpen, while adding future pieces and preserving the top guys in our farm system, that’s a really good outcome,” said Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations. “Not only for what it does for the 2015 team, but the position it puts us in for the winter and next season and beyond.”
The rebuilding Braves kept up their massive overhaul, also surrendering top infield prospect Jose Peraza to the Dodgers largely to land 30-year-old Cuban defector Hector Olivera, an infielder who has impressed in the minors since signing a six-year, $62.5 million deal with Los Angeles this year.
As for the Marlins, it was another familiar salary dump. Out of contention in the NL East, Miami rid itself of Latos and first baseman Michael Morse for three minor leaguers. Morse didn’t last long with the Dodgers, who designated him for assignment shortly after the trade.
The deals worked like this:
The Dodgers got Wood (7-6, 3.54 ERA), Johnson (2-3, 2.25, nine saves), Avilan (2-4, 3.58), Peraza (.294 with 26 stolen bases for Triple A Gwinnett) and pitcher Bronson Arroyo from the Braves, along with Latos (4-7, 4.48), Morse (.214, four homers, 12 RBIs) and cash considerations from the Marlins. Arroyo is coming back from Tommy John surgery and hasn’t pitched this season, his inclusion in the deal mainly a financial benefit to the Braves.
Atlanta received Olivera, who is hitting a combined .348 with two homers and seven RBIs in 19 games at three different levels of the Dodgers’ farm system this season, along with injured left-hander Paco Rodriguez and minor leaguer Zachary Bird, a right-handed pitcher. The Braves also got a draft pick from the Marlins.
Miami acquired minor league right-handers Kevin Guzman, Jeff Brigham and Victor Araujo from the Dodgers, none of whom has pitched above Class A.
To clear room in the rotation, the Dodgers will drop Mike Bolsinger despite his going 5-3 with a 2.83 ERA in 16 starts.
Indians slugger Brandon Moss was dealt to the Cardinals for minor league pitcher Rob Kaminsky.
... The Yankees acquired utility player Dustin Ackley from the Mariners for two minor leaguers: right-hander Jose Ramirez and outfielder Ramon Flores.