Acquired LHP Oliver Perez from the Diamondbacks in exchange for LHP Junior Garcia. [8/8]
What do you get the bullpen that has it all? Apparently another southpaw who can touch the mid-90s. The Astros employed Tony Sipp already, but he's a legitimate two-way threat. Perez is more of your typical, six pack–variety left-handed specialist, from his platoon splits all the way down to his arm slot and slider-heavy approach. Because Perez's career resurgence came with bad teams in Seattle and Arizona, his standing as a legitimate middle-relief option might double as a surprise. Don't let the lack of a spotlight mislead you: Perez gives A.J. Hinch another capable arm to use to shorten games. –R.J. Anderson
Signed OF-R Chris Heisey to a minor-league deal. [8/12]
Acquired INF-S Cliff Pennington from the Diamondbacks in exchange for SS-R Dawel Lugo. [8/8]
Between Devon Travis' injury—which propelled Ryan Goins into the starting lineup—and the decision to roll with a short bench, the Blue Jays needed an improvement at utility infielder. Hence Pennington, who, despite poor seasonal numbers, represents an upgrade over Munenori Kawasaki. Pennington's best attributes are his defensive versatility (he has experience at both middle-infield positions and third base, and has even made a few appearances in left field) and a patient, disciplined approach that allows him to draw walks even though he doesn't hit for average or power. He'll need to make the most of his chances down the stretch or else he'll be choosing between minor-league contracts come winter.
Heisey, for his part, failed to make an impact with the Dodgers. Viewed in the right light, he's a semi-interesting bench piece, a fine athlete with some power who historically has performed better without the platoon advantage. The Jays will likely recall him when rosters expand in a few weeks. –R.J. Anderson
Acquired SS-R Dawel Lugo from the Blue Jays in exchange for INF-S Cliff Pennington. [8/8]
Acquired LHP Junior Garcia from the Astros in exchange for LHP Oliver Perez. [8/8]
Lugo was considered one of the prizes of the 2011 international class, signing with the Blue Jays for $1.3 million that summer. He hasn't been as advanced with the bat as advertised—a career .645 OPS in 332 games—but there's still some offensive upside along with a more polished glove than anticipated.
At the plate, Lugo's best skill is his ability to consistently make contact, thanks to his hand-eye coordination and a short, quick swing. He's still developing physically, but the swing path suggests that we're looking at 40 power, with 45 being the ceiling. His approach also needs significant work, as evidenced in his career 45 walks.
Despite below-average speed, Lugo has a chance to stick at short, as he has excellent instincts, and that along with a 60 arm allow him to turn hits into outs. The ceiling is bottom-of-the-order shortstop with above-average defense from a premium position, with a 25th-man floor. –Christopher Crawford
Signed RHP Bud Norris; designated RHP Dale Thayer and 2B-L Taylor Lindsey for assignment. [8/11]
Claimed LHP Caleb Thielbar off waivers from the Twins. [8/8]
Who said A.J. Preller was done making big moves? Here Preller adds two relievers to evaluate for the next few weeks.
Yes, Norris—he of the 166 career big-league starts—is slated to come out of the bullpen for the Padres. He'd worked from the 'pen during his final days in Baltimore, albeit to little success. Nonetheless, there's reason to believe Norris could succeed in relief, namely his fastball-slider combination. The main knocks against Norris throughout his career were his lagging changeup and command, so this move could be permanent. Better yet, this move could make him an intriguing free-agent middle reliever once he hits the market this offseason.
While Norris figures to be a short-term addition to the Padres, Thielbar has long-term potential. You might remember him from the decent work he did in 2013-14 with the Twins. That success has failed to translate to 2015, as he's spent most of the year fighting his control in Triple-A. Thielbar relies on his deception and location, meaning a failure to improve on his sloppy geography could leave him in the minors for good. Conversely, he could be a cheap, passable middle-relief option if he reverts to his old strike-throwing ways. –R.J. Anderson
Signed OF-L Tony Campana to a two-year minor-league deal. [8/11]
Campana receives the rare multi-year minor-league deal for good reason, as his short-term status remains in question. After tearing his ACL in February, he's since rehabbed to the point where he resumed baseball-related activities in July. If he can get back into sprinting shape—and if, for that matter, the Nationals can remain in the race—Campana could serve as the Nationals' designated pinch-runner for the postseason. If not, then pretend the previous 12 words were about the 2016 season. –R.J. Anderson