Here's a look at the trades that went down involving AL Central teams in what proved to be a relatively quiet month of July…
- Acquired left-hander Marc Rzepczynski from the Cardinals in exchange for minor league infielder Juan Herrera.
- Acquired outfielder Justin Maxwell from the Astros in exchange for minor league right-hander Kyle Smith.
- Acquired outfielder Gorkys Hernandez from the Marlins in exchange for minor league third baseman Alex McClure
- Acquired right-hander Jose Veras from the Astros in exchange for minor league outfielder Danrys Vasquez and a player to be named later.
- Acquired shortstop Jose Iglesias from the Red Sox in a three-team trade that sent outfielder Avisail Garcia to the White Sox and right-hander Brayan Villarreal to the Red Sox.
- Acquired minor league outfielder Brandon Jacobs from the Red Sox in exchange for left-hander Matt Thornton.
- Acquired outfielder Avisail Garcia from the Tigers and minor leaguers Francellis Montas, J.B. Wendelken and Cleuluis Rondon from the Red Sox in a three-team trade that sent Jake Peavy to Boston.
- Traded right-hander Jesse Crain to the Rays in exchange for future considerations contingent on Crain's health.
The Tigers and White Sox were the big players, making one of three-intra-division trades seen this July (though the Red Sox were involved as well). Detroit bolstered its bullpen at a relatively low cost, acquiring a solid arm in Veras rather than paying for a big name pitcher with a higher price tag. They safeguarded themselves against the Jhonny Peralta suspension that is likely on the horizon, landing Iglesias, who could turn into the game's best defender at short. The Tigers paid a steep price in moving Garcia, whom the White Sox surely are excited to bring to the organization. The White Sox received a trio of underwhelming prospects from Boston in the deal as well — a smaller return than most anticipated for Peavy — and their return on Crain's excellent season remains to be seen due to his injury.
The Royals found a nice platoon partner for David Lough in Maxwell, who has a career batting line of .253/.370/.455 against left-handed pitching. Smith is enjoying a nice season and has No. 3 starter upside, per Baseball America, so they had to part with someone of some significance to get him. MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo ranks Smith 15th among Astros prospects on his newly updated Top 20 list. Hernandez was acquired for depth, though he could be a fourth outfielder based on his glove.
The Indians refused to cave in and meet San Francisco's demands for Javier Lopez (not surprising, considering reports that the Giants demanded Danny Salazar in return). Instead, they acquired Rzepczynski, who had been displaced in the Cards' system. Rzepczynski has always been tough on lefties, which was GM Chris Antonetti's main target at the deadline.
The Twins stood pat, save for an insignificant transaction at the last minute that doesn't impact their future much. Justin Morneau's slump and large contract dried up interest in the former MVP, and Josh Willingham's knee injury kept him off the block as well. The Twins neglected to cash in on bullpen chips Jared Burton, Casey Fien and Brian Duensing, and they never budged from their insistence that Glen Perkins was not available. All of those players are controlled for at least two more seasons, and the Twins clearly didn't run into an offer they felt a need to accept. Morneau and Willingham, in particular, remain August trade candidates.