AL teams get Guthrie, LyonTigers inch closer to AL Central lead

Published: Friday, July 20 2012 11:00 p.m. MDT

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander throws during the eighth inning of a baseball game Chicago White Sox in Detroit, Friday, July 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Associated Press

Jeremy Guthrie and Jonathan Sanchez both struggled this season after changing leagues.

On Friday, the pitchers were traded for each other.

Guthrie, a former BYU pitcher, had double-digit victories in three straight seasons with the Baltimore Orioles in the American League.

Sanchez threw a no-hitter for the San Francisco Giants and was a part of the Giants' 2010 World Series rotation.

Guthrie opened this season with the Colorado Rockies and Sanchez with the Kansas City Royals, but both struggled in their new leagues.

"I'm excited," Guthrie said. "The first thought is disappointment that I couldn't hold up my end of the bargain in Colorado and help that team win games, which I think they were built to do at the start of this year.

"But as I looked at what was in my future and I look at the Royals, I see a perfect fit there. I'm excited to play with the guys that are down there. It's a young core of great baseball players and an organization that has been lauded recently for the moves and the progress they've made, and I really hope to come in there and be a large part of good things that we can do here in the near future."

Sanchez was designated for assignment Tuesday by the Royals. The 29-year-old left-hander is 1-6 with a 7.76 ERA in 12 starts this season. A seven-year major league veteran, he is 39-52 with a 4.50 ERA, 420 walks and 772 strikeouts in 186 games (130 starts).

Sanchez threw a no-hitter against San Diego in 2009 and the Royals traded away Melky Cabrera to get him last November in what turned out to be one of the worst trades in team history. Sanchez was winless in his final 11 starts with Kansas City.

Guthrie, a 2002 first-round pick of the Cleveland Indians, was the Orioles' opening day starter 2008-10 and surpassed the 200-inning mark in each of the past three seasons.

He is scheduled to make his first Royals' start Sunday against the Twins. The Royals' rotation has a 26-40 record with a 5.43 ERA and has worked the fewest innings, 467 2

3, of any major league rotation this season.

"I'm looking to hopefully being a workhorse, someone that can go out there and be there for the team whenever he's needed," Guthrie said. "I have been blessed with a lot of health in my career, which is really important: to be able to go out there and your team can depend on you, to go out there and throw the innings and give them a chance to win."

ASTROS, BLUE JAYS STAGE 10-PLAYER DEAL: The Houston Astros acquired closer Francisco Cordero and outfielder Ben Francisco as part of a 10-player trade with Toronto on Friday.

Houston will also receive four minor leaguers in the deal — right-handed pitchers Joe Musgrove and Asher Wojciechowski, left-handed pitcher David Rollins, catcher Carlos Perez and a player to be named later.

The Blue Jays, who entered Friday at 45-47 and in last place in the AL East, will receive pitchers Brandon Lyon, J.A. Happ and David Carpenter from Houston.

"This is a very good deal for us," Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "Once again, we are adding depth to our minor league system with quality young players. We really feel this will help us moving forward and are extremely excited about the players we've added to our organization."

Cordero has 329 career saves, second among active players to the New York Yankees' Mariano Rivera (608). In 794 career relief appearances, the 37-year-old Cordero has a 3.28 ERA and has reached 40 or more saves in three seasons. Cordero is 3-5 with two saves in 41 appearances for Toronto this season.

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