The Houston Astros acquired closer Francisco Cordero and outfielder Ben Francisco as part of a 10-player trade Friday with Toronto.
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 will receive pitchers Brandon Lyon, J.A. Happ and David Carpenter from Houston.
“This is a very good deal for us,” Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said. “Once again, we are adding depth to our minor league system with quality young players.”
Cordero has 329 career saves, second among active players to the New York Yankees’ Mariano Rivera (608). He is 3-5 with two saves in 41 appearances for Toronto this season.
Francisco is hitting .244 in 23 games for Toronto in 2012. He has a .259 career average with 45 home runs in 483 career games with Cleveland, Philadelphia and Toronto.
Lyon signed a three-year, $15 million contract with the Astros in December 2009. He struggled with tendinitis in his right biceps in 2011 and appeared in only 15 games. He’s 0-2 with a 3.25 ERA in 37 appearances this season.
The left-throwing Happ is 7-9 with a 4.83 ERA in 18 starts this season, his third in Houston.
The Astros are 34-59, the worst record in the majors, and are committed to rebuilding through their minor league system under Luhnow, hired in December by new owner Jim Crane. They will join the American League West next season.
Three days after designating pitcher Jonathan Sanchez for assignment, the Royals unloaded the 29-year-old left-hander.
Kansas City sent Sanchez to Colorado for pitcher Jeremy Guthrie, a 2002 first-round pick of the Cleveland Indians. He was the Orioles’ opening day starter 2008-10 and surpassed the 200-inning mark in each of the past three seasons.
Guthrie is scheduled to make his first Royals’ start Sunday against the Twins.
SO LONG, SAMMY
Jim Thome hit his 610th home run to pass Sammy Sosa and move into seventh place on the all-time list.
Thome led off the fourth inning for Baltimore and connected off Cleveland’s Derek Lowe. It was the 41-year-old’s first homer since being acquired by the Orioles from the Phillies on July 1, and sixth of the season overall.
Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster’s 33-inning scoreless streak ended when he allowed three runs in the first inning against the Cardinals. Dempster’s streak was the majors’ longest since the Phillies’ Cliff Lee had a 34-inning run last year. It was the Cubs’ longest since Ken Holtzman also had a 33-inning streak in 1969. … Marlins third baseman Hanley Ramirez was held out of Friday’s game against the Pirates due to an infection in his right hand. … The Orioles acquired utility infielder Omar Quintanilla from the Mets for cash considerations. … The Athletics placed shortstop Cliff Pennington on the 15-day disabled list with left-elbow tendinitis and called up infielder Eric Sogard from Triple-A Sacramento. … Angels right-hander Dan Haren is expected to return from the DL on Sunday after his latest bullpen sessions went well. … The Diamondbacks released third baseman Geoff Blum and called up third baseman Ryan Wheeler from Triple-A Reno. Blum, 39, hit .143 in 17 games for Arizona after being sidelined most of the season with a strained left oblique.