The Kansas City Royals made another big addition for the season's stretch run Tuesday, acquiring the versatile Ben Zobrist and nearly $2.6 million from the Oakland Athletics for righthander Aaron Brooks and minor league lefthander Sean Manaea.
The 34-year-old Zobrist, an infielder and outfielder, batted .268 with six home runs and 33 RBI in 67 games for the A's, who are in last place in the AL West and dealt away a third player in six days.
Zobrist joins a Royals team that has an eye on winning the World Series after losing in seven games to the San Francisco Giants last October. It's the second big move in three days by the Royals, who acquired ace Johnny Cueto from Cincinnati on Sunday.
"I'm super excited about it," Zobrist said.
During a conference call with reporters, Zobrist recalled an amusing encounter with his new manager, Ned Yost. In 2003-04, he was college roommates with Ned Yost Jr., and after coming home with his girlfriend, Zobrist found the younger Yost and his father, then the manager of the Milwaukee Brewers, sitting on the couch "watching NASCAR or something."
Zobrist said he wanted to cook dinner for his soon-to-be wife. "I kind of booted him out of our apartment," he said. "I kind of joked with him about that a little earlier. We're a long time from that, but it's kind of a funny story. I knew him way back when."
• Cueto joined his new teammates for the first time Tuesday in Cleveland and said he's excited about being a part of the AL's best team.
"I'm very happy and very proud to be here," Cueto said through Royals catching coach Pedro Grifol, who served as his translator.
Papelbon to Nationals
Philadelphia traded All-Star closer Jonathan Papelbon to Washington for Class AA Nick Pivetta.
As part of the trade, Papelbon's $13 million option for 2016 becomes a guaranteed $11 million salary.
Papelbon, 34, has 342 career saves: 123 with the Phillies and 219 with the Red Sox. He's the career saves leader for both teams.
Drew Storen is 29-for-31 in save opportunities for the NL East-leading Nationals. He is likely moving to a setup role because Papelbon made it clear he wouldn't accept a trade unless he was going to remain a closer.
Mejia suspended again
Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia was suspended 162 games without pay for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug for the second time.
Mejia tested positive for Stanozolol and Boldenone, and he was suspended for 80 games earlier this year after testing positive for Stanozolol. Mejia only returned to the Mets earlier this month.
• The Angels acquired two more veteran outfielders, getting David DeJesus from Tampa Bay and David Murphy from Cleveland for minor leaguers. They traded for Shane Victorino from Boston on Monday.
• All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon was activated from the disabled list by Miami, the same day the Marlins announced that pitcher Henderson Alvarez had season-ending shoulder surgery.
• Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner went to an emergency room after a pimple on his leg turned into an infection, the team said.