The Associated Press
Eric Gagne gave up a closing job in Texas for a setup role in Boston in the biggest trade Tuesday before baseball’s deadline to make deals without waivers.
Atlanta finalized its seven-player trade to acquire power-hitting first baseman Mark Teixeira from the payroll-paring Rangers. Those were by far the biggest of the 10 trades that involved 25 players.
Many of the big names bandied about in recent weeks stayed put, with no deals materializing for Chicago White Sox outfielder Jermaine Dye, Washington closer Chad Cordero and Cincinnati outfielder Adam Dunn by the 4 p.m. deadline.
Instead, contenders scrambled for whatever relief pitching was available, with the Braves obtaining setup man Octavio Dotel from Kansas City and the Los Angeles Dodgers getting Scott Proctor from the New York Yankees for infielder Wilson Betemit.
Gagne, a three-time All-Star and the 2003 NL Cy Young Award winner for the Dodgers, was traded for left-hander Kason Gabbard and minor league outfielders David Murphy and Engel Beltre. Gagne will serve as Jonathan Papelbon’s primary setup man and will close on days Papelbon needs rest.
“We actually love our bullpen,” Boston manager Terry Francona said of his relievers, who have the lowest ERA in the majors at 2.74. “I think it just got a lot better.”