Thursday, November 24 2022

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Baltimore Orioles designated hitter Trey Mancini watches his home run inside the park against Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Shawn Armstrong in the eighth inning of a baseball game on Thursday July 28, 2022, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Terrance Williams)

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The Houston Astros acquired first baseman Trey Mancini from the Baltimore Orioles in a three-team trade on Monday, then added wide receiver Christian Vázquez as part of a deal with the Boston Red Sox.

Houston traded fast outfielder Jose Siri to the Tampa Bay Rays in the trade that tagged Mancini.

The AL West-leading Astros were on the hunt for a first baseman with Yuli Gurriel struggling this season. Gurriel, 38, hit .319 to win the 2021 American League batting title but only hit .243 with seven home runs and 28 RBIs this year.

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said Mancini would be difficult to replace on and off the field and the trade conversation was difficult.

“Trey has been such a big part of our lives here last time, since I’ve been here, and a big part of Baltimore and a big part of this community,” Hyde said. “And you know it’s hard to see someone like him go, just a close friend to so many people.

“It wasn’t fun, but happy for him and the opportunity he’s going to have, but it’s hard to say goodbye.”

The Astros also needed depth at receiver with Jason Castro, Martín Maldonado’s backup, out with a knee injury and rookie Korey Lee. this season, making Vázquez a significant improvement offensively.

Vázquez, 31, is hitting .282 with eight home runs and 42 RBIs this season. During an eight-year career with the Red Sox, he batted .262 with 54 home runs and 266 RBIs.

Vázquez was in the Red Sox lineup Monday in Houston before being pulled minutes before the game. Now he will move to the other Minute Maid Park clubhouse where he will try to help the Astros make another playoff push.

The Astros sent minor league infielder Enmanuel Valdez and outfielder Wilyer Abreu to the Red Sox in the trade.

Mancini, who has been on the designated hitter roster 51 times this season, could also fill that role for Houston with Michael Brantley out indefinitely with a shoulder injury.

Mancini, 30, is hitting .268 with 10 home runs and 41 RBIs in 92 games this season. He broke into the majors with Baltimore in 2016 and hit .270 with 117 homers and 350 RBIs in 701 games for the Orioles.

“I always said I wanted to see the rebuilding finished and I feel like in many ways I did,” Mancini told reporters in Arlington, Texas, where the Orioles faced off. the Rangers on Monday night. “I think things will only get better here, plus when I play against them I’m always going to cheer for these guys here.”

Mancini missed all of 2020 after being diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in March. He returned in 2021 and hit .255 with 21 homers, 71 RBIs and a .758 OPS in 147 games.

Houston also received minor league right-hander Jayden Murray from Tampa Bay. The Astros sent Siri to the Rays and minor league right-hander Chayce McDermott to the Orioles.

Siri, 27, made her league debut last year. He hit .178 with three home runs and 10 RBIs in 48 games with Houston this season.

Mancini has a salary of $7.5 million this season under a contract that includes a $10 million mutual option for 2023 with a $250,000 buyout.

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AP Baseball writers Ron Blum and Stephen Hawkins contributed to this report.

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