Former All-Stars Jake Westbrook, Ted Lilly, Ryan Ludwick and Kerry Wood were traded Saturday as pennant contenders played a game of beat-the-clock. Lance Berkman went to the World Series champion New York Yankees after rejecting the Chicago White Sox.
Octavio Dotel, Rick Ankiel, Kyle Farnsworth, Chad Qualls and Ryan Theriot also joined the playoff chase.
The swaps came as clubs scrambled before the 3 p.m. deadline for making trades without waivers. It was a day full of deals between haves and have-nots — veterans for prospects, mostly.
The NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals were the prime players in a three-team trade, getting Westbrook from Cleveland and sending Ludwick to NL Central-leading San Diego.
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"I'm excited to go to a club that's contending for a playoff spot and pitch in some meaningful ballgames," Westbrook said. "That's why you play the game, to get a chance to play in the playoffs, and I look forward to doing that."
Westbrook was scratched before he was set to start at Toronto. Ludwick leaves a crowded outfield in St. Louis.
The Yankees plucked Wood from Cleveland, shortly after finishing off the deal to get Berkman from Houston. The Astros sent $4 million and Berkman, the Yankees' new designated hitter, for reliever Mark Melancon and minor league infielder Jimmy Paredes.
The AL Central-leading White Sox had a deal in place for Berkman, general manager Kenny Williams said. But because Berkman is a 10-and-5 player — 10 years in the majors, the last five with the same team — the slugger could turn it down. Instead, he chose the Yankees.
"What is the most frustrating part is we actually did get something done and unfortunately the player had other ideas and wanted to be somewhere else. But we did come to an agreement on a deal, and you're at the mercy of contract sometimes," Williams said.
"He sent me a message and said it wasn't personal but he had already had conversations with Andy Pettitte and their best friends and that's kind of what was in his mind, his family's mind," Wi lliams said.
In other deals:
* NL East-leading Atlanta acquired outfielder Rick Ankiel, reliever Kyle Farnsworth and cash from Kansas City for pitchers Tim Collins and Jesse Chavez and outfielder Gregor Blanco.
* The Los Angeles Dodgers, seven games behind San Diego, got the left-handed Lilly, Theriot and about $2.5 million from the Chicago Cubs for infielder Blake DeWitt and minor league right-handers Kyle Smit and Brett Wallach. The Dodgers also boosted their bullpen by obtaining Dotel from Pittsburgh.
* AL West-leading Texas traded catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia to Boston for pitcher Roman Mendez, first baseman Chris McGuiness, a player to be named later and cash.
* Tampa Bay got Qualls from Arizona for a player to be named. The 31-year-old righty reliever was 1-4 with 12 saves and an 8.29 ERA.
* San Francisco sent pitcher Joe Martinez and outfielder John Bowker to Pittsburgh for left-handed reliever Javier Lopez, and also acquired reliever Ramon Ramirez from Boston.
* Detroit traded outfielder Wilkin Ramirez to Atlanta for a player to be named or cash.
* Florida got lefty reliever Will Ohman from Baltimore for minor league righty Rick VandenHurk.
Texas also completed its trade for Cristian Guzman, getting the infielder and cash from Washington for right-handers Tanner Roark and Ryan Tatusko. The active Rangers made several deals in the days leading up the deadline, acquiring ace Cliff Lee and infielder Jorge Cantu.
"We've been looking for a quality starting pitcher to add to our rotation for some time," Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said in a statement. "Westbrook is someone we've had our eye s on for a good period of time."