The first big move of Trade Deadline Day has happened. Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Houston Astros have traded Justin Maxwell to the Kansas City Royals. Terms of the deal were not immediately known.
Maxwell is hitting .241/.311/.387 this season with two home runs and four steals in 151 plate appearances. Maxwell was the Opening Day starting center fielder this year, but has missed significant time with injuries and never really got into a groove at the plate.
Last year, Maxwell hit 18 home runs to lead the club. He also stole nine bases and struck out 32 percent of the time while hitting .229/.304/.460. The Royals will be Maxwell's fourth organization, after being drafted by the Nationals and ending time with both the Yankees and Astros.
Houston selected Maxwell off waivers from the Yankees in the last days of spring training last season. His combination of raw power and defense in the outfield make him an intriguing combination, but the emergence of Brandon Barnes on Houston's roster this year may have made him expendable.
Still working on other moves, but this is a good opening shot to the trade deadline. More to come.
UPDATE: Just found out who the prospect is. Right-hander Kyle Smith, who is currently High A for KC is headed to Houston for Maxwell. Smith has a 2.85 ERA and 3.46 FIP in 104 innings for the Royals over 19 starts.
#Royals acquire OF Justin Maxwell from Houston for minor-league pitcher Kyle Smith.— Bob Dutton (@Royals_Report) July 31, 2013