(Reuters) - The Toronto Blue Jays swapped All-Star shortstops with the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday, acquiring Troy Tulowitzki while shipping Jose Reyes to Colorado in a blockbuster, multi-player exchange.
In another high-profile move on Tuesday ahead of Friday’s non-waiver deadline, six-time All-Star closer Jonathan Papelbon was traded by the Philadelphia Phillies to the Washington Nationals for pitching prospect Nick Pivetta.
Papelbon, 34, who won a World Series with the Phillies in 2007, will upgrade an erratic Nationals bullpen where Drew Storen will switch from ninth-inning duties to a set-up role.
Papelbon is 2-1 with 17 saves and a 1.59 ERA this season for the Phillies, and has recorded 342 saves during his 11-year career in the majors.
Five-time All-Star Tulowitzki and veteran reliever LaTroy Hawkins went to the Blue Jays in exchange for Reyes and minor league pitchers Miguel Castro, Jeff Hoffman and Jesus Tinoco.
Tulowitzki, 30, had spent all 10 of his Major League seasons with Colorado, earning Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards in 2010 and 2011. He is a .299 career batter with a .371 on-base percentage, a .513 slugging percentage.
“This is a long-term acquisition,” Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said during a news conference. “We would have taken Troy Tulowitzki in the offseason, (but) we just couldn’t get the deal done.
“This wasn’t a July move, this happened to be the time we could get him. I just think we got better, for the short and for the long term.”
The Blue Jays, who have not reached the playoffs since they won the 1993 World Series, are tied for second place in the American League East, seven games behind the New York Yankees.
Reyes, a four-time All-Star, is two years older than Tulowitzki and will give the Rockies a boost in offense though his defense has waned in recent years.
This season, he is batting .285 with a .322 on-base percentage, four homers, 34 RBIs and 16 stolen bases.
In other moves Tuesday, the Kansas City Royals beefed up their roster with the acquisition of twice All-Star utility player Ben Zobrist from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for right-handed pitcher Aaron Brooks and minor leaguer Sean Manaea.
Zobrist, 34, is hitting .268 this season with a .354 on-base percentage, six home runs and 33 RBIs in 67 games and joins a Royals team that traded for All-Star pitcher Johnny Cueto from the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday.
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Gene Cherry/Andrew Both