07/31/12 10:12 PM ET
D-backs land Albers, Podsednik from Red Sox
General manager Towers happy with club's moves leading up to Trade Deadline
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
A little more than 48 hours after acquiring third baseman Chris Johnson from the Astros, the D-backs picked up reliever Matt Albers and outfielder Scott Podsednik from the Red Sox in exchange for reliever Craig Breslow.
Albers is a hard-throwing right-hander who will provide manager Kirk Gibson with another late-inning option out of the bullpen. General manager Kevin Towers' special assistant Mike Berger had scouted Albers recently and was impressed with what he saw. Albers joins a back end of the bullpen that includes closer J.J. Putz and setup men David Hernandez, Takashi Saito and Brad Ziegler.
"We think in the Johnson deal we acquired a need at third base with power and controllability, and we wanted another power arm to the back of the 'pen to go with Saito, Hernandez and Ziegler," Towers said. "We feel good about what we've accomplished. It was a good process."
Right-hander Josh Collmenter will move back to the bullpen to take Breslow's spot, and the team called up lefty Patrick Corbin, who will join the rotation and start Wednesday against the Dodgers in place of Collmenter.
The D-backs liked the fact that Albers has experience pitching late in games, and that he has done so in the rough-and-tumble American League East.
"He's very similar to David Hernandez -- a guy with a power arm, heavy ball, quality secondary pitches and throws strikes and can dominate good teams' middle of the order," Towers said. "You can't have enough of those guys. It's nice to have other options late in the game in high-leverage situations and go to people who have experience and can help you get the job done."
Gibson said a decision had not been made as to whether Podsednik would go to Triple-A Reno or join the big league team.
"We don't have to make that decision until Thursday," Gibson said.
In somewhat of a surprise, the D-backs did not wind up dealing shortstop Stephen Drew. And while Justin Upton's name appeared in rumors, it does not appear the right fielder was close to getting traded.
While there were some starting pitchers the D-backs considered notable upgrades -- a number of reports had them pursuing the Cubs' Matt Garza -- in the end they could not get a deal done for a pitcher they thought was better than what they had in prospects Tyler Skaggs, Corbin and Trevor Bauer.
"Well, it takes two to tango," said Towers, who said he was aggressive in pursuing a deal. "I don't know how close a deal is from the other side -- only the people in that room know if things were close or not."
The D-backs' two competitors for the National League West each made pickups that figure to help.
Over the last week, the Dodgers added Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino, Brandon League and Randy Choate.
Meanwhile, the Giants got some much-needed offensive help in landing outfielder Hunter Pence.
Those moves did not increase the D-backs' sense of urgency. Arizona entered play Tuesday 3 1/2 games behind the Giants and Dodgers.
"I never let that affect me," Towers said. "I only worry about ourselves. You certainly watch what's going on with others, but I don't think you should do a knee-jerk reaction counterpunch just because they've done something. Sometimes you can do too much. We still feel even with all the moves that the other clubs made in this division, we feel like we're right there, we're right in the rearview mirror and we feel like we've got a chance to compete with them."