(Reuters) - A flurry of deals got in under the wire of Friday’s Major League Baseball trade deadline, crowned by the New York Mets acquiring Cuban slugger Yoenis Cespedes from the re-tooling Detroit Tigers.
It has been a tumultuous few days leading up to the deadline with contending teams beefing up, while other teams looked to offload big salaried players and future free agents in favor of collecting promising minor leaguers.
The Mets, armed with a rotation of top-flight young pitchers but struggling to score runs, nabbed the power-hitter they had longed for in the deal with Detroit.
Cespedes, who won the 2013 All-Star Game home run derby at the Mets’ Citi Field, is hitting .293 with 17 home runs and 61 runs batted in.
In return for Cespedes, who can become a free agent after the 2015 MLB season, the Tigers will receive minor league pitchers Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa.
The Mets are three games behind the National League East-leading Washington Nationals and 4-1/2 games out of the second, and final, Wild Card spot.
The Baltimore Orioles joined the trade deadline rush to fortify for a playoff push by swapping a pitching prospect for Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Gerardo Parra.
The 28-year-old Parra is batting .328 in 100 games this season and can be a free agent after the season.
Baltimore, locked in a virtual tie with Toronto two games off the pace for the American League’s second Wild Card, sent Triple A starter Zach Davies to the rebuilding Brewers.
Davies is 5-6 with a 2.84 ERA for Norfolk this season.
The busy Blue Jays, who earlier made a big splash by trading for Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies and Detroit ace David Price, added two more pieces by obtaining reliever Mark Lowe from Seattle and Ben Revere from Philadelphia.
The Chicago Cubs acquired right-hander Dan Haren from the Marlins for two minor leaguers.
Chicago began the day two games out of the second NL Wild Card, and fortified their rotation by adding Haren, who is 7-7 with a 3.42 ERA in 21 starts this season and is a prospective free agent.
The Twins, currently holding the second AL Wild Card, bolstered their bullpen by acquiring reliever Kevin Jepsen from the Rays for two minor leaguers.
The Twins sent pitchers Hu Chih-wei of Taiwan and Alexis Tapia to Tampa Bay.
Jepsen, 31, who sports a 2.81 ERA this season, figures to be the club’s top setup reliever for closer Glen Perkins.
Reporting by Larry Fine; Editing by Frank Pingue