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Wednesday, July 31
Updated: August 1, 5:35 PM ET
 
Thomson takes D'Amico's spot in Mets' rotation

Associated Press

Rundown of Wednesday's deals
Pitchers Bobby Howry, Steve Reed and John Thomson moved Wednesday as playoff contenders tinkered with their rosters before the non-waiver trading deadline.

There were a half-dozen trades -- outfielders Jay Payton, Todd Hollandsworth and Alex Ochoa were involved -- but none of them were blockbusters.

''It doesn't seem like many deals were done today,'' Tigers president Dave Dombrowski said. ''I think it's because a lot of deals, with some big names, have already been made. Clubs didn't wait for the deadline to make moves.''

The big deals, and there were plenty, came before the 4 p.m. EDT cutoff. Cliff Floyd was traded twice, eventually ending up with Boston on Tuesday night, and Scott Rolen, Raul Mondesi, Jeff Weaver, Chuck Finley, Kenny Lofton, Ray Durham and Ryan Dempster also moved in July.

All those trades came despite the possibility of a players' strike before the season ends. In 1994, there was only one deal on deadline day -- Milt Thompson went from Philadelphia to Houston -- and just a handful in July as a strike approached.

Teams can still make trades this season, but now players have to pass through waivers before they can be shipped.

A day after getting Floyd from Montreal, the Red Sox bolstered their bullpen by getting Howry from the Chicago White Sox for a pair of minor league pitchers.

The right-handed Howry is 2-2 with a 3.91 ERA.

''I'm going to a contending team,'' he said. ''That's why you play, not only because you love the game, but it's about winning.''

The Red Sox are chasing the New York Yankees in the AL East, but are in the thick of the wild card race.

''We're much better. How much? I don't know. I'll let you know in about a month,'' Boston manager Grady Little said. ''Nothing can be said about the deals until you see some results.''

The New York Mets made two trades, both for pitchers. They sent Payton, pitcher Mark Corey and minor league outfielder Robert Stratton to the Colorado Rockies for Thomson (7-8, 4.88 ERA) and outfielder Mark Little.

''I'm surprised we got a starter,'' Mets general manager Steve Phillips said. ''I wasn't very confident we would. Thomson is one of the guys we had identified that if the price was right we thought he would help us. But we weren't sure the price would be right.''

The Mets also traded left-hander Bobby Jones and minor leaguers Josh Reynolds and Jay Bay to the San Diego Padres for the right-handed Reed (2-4, 1.98 ERA) and pitcher Jason Middlebrook (1-3, 5.09 ERA).

''We've addressed our pitching needs,'' Phillips said. ''Steve Reed is not the sexiest name out there among the relief corps, but he's probably the guy pitching the best.''

The Anaheim Angels, solidly in the AL West and wild card races, got Ochoa and catcher Sal Fasano from Milwaukee for catcher Jorge Fabregas and two players to be named.

''I hope I can contribute,'' Ochoa said. ''I'm happy that they wanted me, and we'll be in the race automatically. It should be fun.''

The Rockies also traded Todd Hollandsworth and pitcher Dennys Reyes to Texas for outfielder Gabe Kapler and minor league infielder-outfielder Jason Romano.

In a swap of outfielders, Pittsburgh sent Chad Hermansen to the Chicago Cubs for Darren Lewis.

NEW YORK -- The New York Mets bolstered their pitching staff, acquiring starter John Thomson from Colorado and reliever Steve Reed from San Diego in a pair of deals before Wednesday's non-waiver deadline.

The Mets got Thomson and outfielder Mark Little from the Rockies for outfielder Jay Payton, right-hander Mark Corey and minor league outfielder Robert Stratton.

"I'm surprised we got a starter,'' Mets general manager Steve Phillips said. "I wasn't very confident we would. Thomson is one of the guys we had identified that if the price was right we thought he would help us. But we weren't sure the price would be right.''

Earlier Wednesday, the Mets acquired Reed and righty Jason Middlebrook from San Diego for lefty Bobby M. Jones, right-hander Josh Reynolds and outfielder Jay Bay.

"We've addressed our pitching needs,'' Phillips said. "Steve Reed is not the sexiest name out there among the relief corps, but he's probably the guy pitching the best.''

Reed went 2-4 with a 1.98 ERA in 40 relief appearances for San Diego this season, holding opponents to a .228 batting average.

Thomson will replace the struggling Jeff D'Amico in New York's rotation as the Mets try to make a playoff run.

New York began the day 4 games behind San Francisco and Los Angeles in the NL wild card race and was looking for a more consistent starter than D'Amico.

D'Amico allowed five runs in three innings of a 16-3 loss to Houston on Tuesday night. After spending parts of the past five seasons on the disabled list, D'Amico is finally healthy but he has struggled, going 5-9 with a 5.09 ERA.

"I've never felt this good and pitched this bad,'' he said. "Everything feels great. I'm just not getting the job done out there.''

Thomson has also pitched poorly of late, going 1-6 with a 5.74 ERA in his past 11 starts. He was 7-8 with a 4.88 ERA for Colorado but should benefit from a move from hitter-friendly Coors Field.

"He's done a good job in a tough park this year,'' Mets manager Bobby Valentine said.

Thomson admitted that a few years ago he thought there wasn't enough money that would make playing in New York worth it. But he is looking forward to joining a playoff race after languishing in Colorado.

"I haven't been in this situation before,'' Thomson said. "It's something I'm looking forward to. I think I'm going to like it.''

Payton, once a top prospect for the Mets, overcame a slew of injuries early in his career and is hitting .284 with eight homers and 31 RBI this season. Payton has been especially hot of late with a .365 average his last 18 games.

"It's going to be a good situation for me,'' said Payton, who is 8-for-13 in his career at Coors. "Some of those flyball outs to the warning track at Shea might go for round trippers. That won't be a bad thing.''

The Rockies also sent outfielder Todd Hollandsworth and left-hander Dennys Reyes to Texas for Kapler and infield-outfield prospect Jason Romano.

"Payton could really help us with his bat in our ballpark,'' Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. "Our most glaring problem has been offensive. Hopefully, we'll find some more firepower.''

Corey was 0-3 with a 4.50 ERA in 12 relief appearances for the Mets this season. He also had a seizure on June 26 shortly after smoking marijuana.

Little will provide outfield depth for the Mets. He batted .200 with no homers and five RBI in 105 at-bats for the Rockies this season.

The Mets activated infielder Joe McEwing from the 15-day disabled list and recalled lefty Mike Bacsik from Triple-A Norfolk before the game. They also transferred pitchers John Franco and Kane Davis to the 60-day disabled list and recalled first baseman-outfielder Jorge Toca from Norfolk to put him on the 60-day DL.

Bacsik was optioned back to Norfolk after the game, along with reliever Satoru Komiyama and infielder Marco Scutaro.




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