MLB trade deadline sapped by 'inertia' 

click to enlarge Bud Norris
  • Bob Levey/Getty Images file photo
  • North Bay native Bud Norris was traded from the Astros to the Orioles, one of a few moves made at the trading deadline.

The Major League Baseball trade deadline is typically one of the most frenzied days on the sports calendar, with a flurry of juicy rumors and usually a handful of playoff-impacting trades.

Not the case this year.

The A's didn't follow up their acquisition of Alberto Callaspo on Tuesday with any other moves. The struggling Giants stood pat despite plenty of rumors about their willingness to part with outfielder Hunter Pence, right-hander Tim Lincecum or left-handed reliever Javier Lopez.

The closest thing to a jaw-dropping trade was made Tuesday night when former Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy was the headliner in a three-team trade between the Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers.

"There was just a whole lot of inertia," said one American League general manager, who asked not to be identified for competitive reasons. "Everybody thinks they are still in the [pennant] race, even teams that really have no chance of going to the postseason."

The three trades that were consummated Wednesday aren't likely to cause a seismic shift in any of the pennant races.

The Baltimore Orioles acquired right-hander Bud Norris from the Houston Astros for outfielder prospect L.J. Hoes, another minor-leaguer and a competitive balance draft pick.

The Arizona Diamondbacks made what seemed on the surface to be a strange trade for a team that entered the day in second place in the National League West, 3½ games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers, as they shipped right-hander Ian Kennedy to the San Diego Padres for left-handed reliever Joe Thatcher, a minor-leaguer and a competitive balance-round draft pick.

The third deal was a minor one with the Kansas City Royals getting outfielder Jason Maxwell from the Astros for a minor-leaguer. However, the 29-year-old Maxwell has long been a scout's dream because of his raw talent and he hit 19 home runs last season for Houston.

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