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NL East: Trade roundup

Michael Rushton, MLB Contributing Editor

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - With Saturday's non-waiver trade deadline having come and gone, lets take a look at how the residents of the National League East fared.

BRAVES: UPGRADE BATS AND BULLPEN

The Atlanta Braves made a quiet move on Friday, trading Mitch Jones to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Turns out that was just an appetizer to a bigger deal on Saturday that saw club get outfielder Rick Ankiel and reliever Kyle Farnsworth from the Royals.

Farnsworth will give manager Bobby Cox another option out of the 'pen for the first-place Braves. Atlanta's bullpen was already loaded with the likes of Peter Moylan, Jonny Venters, Takashi Saito and closer Billy Wagner.

In his second tour of duty with Atlanta, the right-handed Farnsworth was 3-0 with a 2.42 earned run average in 37 games with the Royals this year. He was also acquired prior to the trade deadline in 2005 by Atlanta.

Ankiel, meanwhile, should get significant playing time in center. Melky Cabrera is batting just .265 in 100 games and Opening Day starter Nate McLouth has struggled so much this year he is currently in the minors.

Ankiel played in just 27 games with Kansas City this year due to a right quad strain and is hitting .261 with four homers and 15 RBI. He set career highs with St. Louis in 2008 with 25 homers and 71 RBI.

To get the two, the Braves traded outfielder Gregor Blanco, reliever Jesse Chavez and minor league pitcher Tim Collins, who was acquired by the Braves from Toronto in the deal that sent Yunel Escobar to the Blue Jays for fellow shortstop Alex Gonzalez.

PHILLIES: LAND ONE OF THE TOP STARTERS

A recent eight-game winning streak has the Philadelphia Phillies nipping at the heels of the Braves, so the club went all in and acquired Roy Oswalt from the Houston Astros on Thursday.

The Phillies gave up young left-hander J.A. Happ along with minor leaguers Anthony Gose and Jonathan Villar to land Oswalt, who was 6-12 in 20 starts with Houston this year despite a solid 3.42 earned run average.

It marked the second year that the Phillies landed one of the top available pitchers before the deadline as they acquired Cliff Lee from the Indians a season ago.

Oswalt is expected to team with Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels to give the Phillies one of the top 1-2-3 punches of any rotation. His debut did not go as planned on Friday in Washington however, as Oswalt allowed five runs -- four earned --over six innings of an 8-1 loss.

Despite a payroll crunch set up for next year, Philadelphia elected not to trade outfielder Jayson Werth even though it might not be able to afford the pending free agent next year.

Werth has been one of the Phillies' top hitters this year, batting .295 with 15 homers and 55 RBI.

MARLINS: BOTH BUY AND SELL


Will Ohman has pitched in 51 games with the Orioles this year.
The Florida Marlins enter play on Sunday tied with the New York Mets for third place in the NL East, 6 1/2 games back.

So, it wasn't surprising when the Marlins dealt third baseman Jorge Cantu to the Texas Rangers on Friday for a pair of pitching prospects. However, the club then added to its bullpen on Saturday, nabbing lefty Will Ohman from Baltimore for hurler Rick VandenHurk.

Cantu can be a free agent at season's end and didn't figure into the Marlins' long-term plans.

In return, the Marlins got pitchers Omar Poveda and Evan Reed. Poveda is recovering from Tommy John surgery and won't be ready to return until next season. Reed, meanwhile, went 1-1 with a 1.62 earned run average in 30 games with Double-A Frisco. He was sent to Double-A Jacksonville after the trade.

In Ohman, the Marlins added a second lefty to their bullpen. The 32-year-old pitched in 51 games with the Orioles this year, notching a 3.30 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 30 innings.

VandenHurk pitched in two games with the Marlins this year and is 8-9 with a 5.96 ERA in 35 major league games, 32 of those starts. He has spent most of this season in Triple-A New Orleans.

Both outfielder Cody Ross and second baseman Dan Uggla figured to attract interest prior to the deadline, but the Marlins held on to both.

METS: ALL QUIET IN QUEENS

The only thing the New York Mets did prior to Saturday's deadline was place outfielder Jason Bay on the disabled list the day before due to a concussion.

Despite a 6 1/2-game deficit for first place heading into play on Sunday, Mets general manager Omar Minaya let the deadline come and go without a move.

Maybe he thought the deadline was Sunday.

New York failed to grab one of the top pitchers available in Lee, Oswalt and Dan Haren, and Bay's injury made it difficult to part with outfielder Jeff Francoeur. Instead, Minaya decided to keep his prospects and hope for the best. The club could also make a move after the Saturday's deadline, but involved players now have to pass waivers first.

"We'll continue to have dialogue with teams," Minaya told New York's website. "I do believe that opportunities will be there after the trade deadline. The fact that other teams made moves in our division, that's fine."

Pitching, both starting and relief, figure to be New York's main needs and the club could also use bench depth.

NATIONALS: SHED SOME POUNDS

The deadline has passed and slugging first baseman Adam Dunn is still a Washington National.

Dunn was arguably the Nats most attractive chip and his pending free agency this winter led to Washington fielding calls for the power hitter. Of course, keeping him could blow up in general manager Mike Rizzo's face if Dunn, who is hitting .276 in 103 games this year with 24 homers and 64 RBI, isn't signed to an extension and leaves as a free agent.

"I am happy that I'm still here," Dunn told Washington's website. "I don't know if a deal will get done, but I'm sure we will continue to work on it."

Outfielder Josh Willingham also saw his name pop up in rumor talk, but he wasn't dealt either. Instead, Washington traded infielder Cristian Guzman to Texas on Friday, one day after sending closer Matt Capps to Minnesota.

Those moves were designed for the future, as the Nats got a pair of Double-A pitching prospects from the Rangers as well as catcher Wilson Ramos and lefty Joe Testa, also both minor leaguers, from the Twins.

Ramos was perhaps the biggest catch by the Nationals. Ramos, who could join Washington in September, is considered one of the top catching prospects and plays excellent defense. His move to the majors was blocked in Minnesota by Joe Mauer.

Sean Burnett, Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen figure to share closer duties with Capps gone.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Michael Rushton at mrushton@sportsnetwork.com.

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