The Houston Astros continued to reload their farm system ahead of Wednesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, acquiring Orioles prospects L.J. Hoes and Josh Hader and Royals right-hander Kyle Smith in two of several deals made around baseball.
The Astros sent starting pitcher Bud Norris and an international bonus slot valued at $213,000 to Baltimore in exchange for Hoes, the Orioles' No. 7 prospect, Hader, a left-hander who is 3-6 with a 2.65 ERA in 17 starts for Class A Delmarva, as well as the second pick in 2014's Competitive Balance Round A.
The Royals then also sent Class A righty Smith, 20, to Houston for 29-year-old outfielder Justin Maxwell.
The other big move Wednesday featured the Padres dealing left-handed reliever Joe Thatcher, Minor League right-handed pitcher Matt Stites and a 2014 Competitive Balance Round B Draft pick to the D-backs for 28-year-old starter Ian Kennedy.
The Dodgers picked up Twins catcher Drew Butera for a player to be named, a day after the Red Sox, White Sox and Tigers came together on a three-way deal that sent veteran starter Jake Peavy to Boston. In that trade, the Red Sox picked up Peavy from Chicago and Triple-A reliever Brayan Villarreal from Detroit while sending third base prospect Jose Iglesias to the Tigers. Red Sox Minor League right-handers J.B. Wendelken and Francelis Montas and Minor League infielder Cleuluis Rondon went to the White Sox. Chicago along with promising outfielder Avisail Garcia from Detroit.
That deal potentially creates an opportunity for Red Sox No. 1 prospect Xander Bogaerts to see time at Fenway.
Hoes is arguably the biggest prospect on the move Wednesday. The 23-year-old, who had been scheduled to start in left field for the Orioles on Wednesday against Houston, has spent the majority of the season with Triple-A Norfolk, where he was batting .304 with three homers, 40 RBIs, seven steals and a .406 on-base percentage. Hoes was Baltimore's Brooks Robinson Award-winner as the organization's Minor League Hitter of the Year in 2012 after hitting .287 with five homers and 54 RBIs in 133 games between Norfolk and Double-A Bowie.
The Astros' prospect lineup includes some elite talets, including No. 1 overall picks Carlos Corre (2012) and Mark Appel (2013), sluggers George Springer and Jonathan Singleton and power arms like Lance McCullers, Mike Foltynewicz and Jarred Cosart. The organization also acquired prospects Ronald Torreyes from the Cubs for an international bonus slot and Danry Vasquez from the Tigers in exchange for reliever Jose Veras; Vasquez is now the organization's No. 16 prospect.
The Angels, aside from dealing Alberto Callaspo for Green, also acquired Braves right-hander Cory Rasmus in exchange for Scott Downs and got outfielder Julio Concepcion and right-hander Andres Perez from the Mets, the latter two also for one international bonus slot.
Concepcion made his organizational debut on July 30 with Rookie-level Orem after hitting .238 with three RBIs in six games for Class A Short-Season Brooklyn. Perez was 0-1 with a 5.52 ERA in seven outings for Rookie-level Kingsport but is expected to join the Arizona League Angels. Rasmus made his Triple-A Salt Lake debut on July 30 after spending most of the season with Triple-A Gwinnett.
Smith, the Royals' fourth-round pick in 2011, is 5-4 with a 2.85 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 104 1/3 innings with Class A Advanced Wilmington this season. A right-hander, he went a combined 5-3 and a 2.86 ERA for Rookie-level Idaho Falls and Class A Kane County.
Butera, who has spent parts of the last four seasons in the Majors, was batting .218 with two homers and 10 RBIs in 27 games for Triple-A Rochester this season. He appeared in two games for Minnesota, going hitless in three at-bats, and will serve as added insurance behind starter A.J. Ellis and rookie backup Tim Federowicz. According to MLB.com, he was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque and is on the 40-man roster.
Stites, San Diego's 17th-round pick in 2011 out of Missouri, is 2-2 with a 2.08 ERA with 51 strikeouts in 52 inings over 46 relief outings for Double-A San Antonio. He went 2-0 with a stellar 0.74 ERA in 42 outings last season at Class A Fort Wayne after debuting with the Padres' Rookie-level affiliates in 2011.