Betting on Jake Peavy

5. Yankees: Alfonso Soriano was the only run-producing hitter who was traded, and he went to a team badly needing pop. Even better, the Cubs are paying $13 million of his 2014 salary, which is a huge help for the Yankees' payroll tax considerations.

Honorable mention — A's: Alberto Callaspo is hitting only .252 but has more walks than strikeouts for his career. He joins Jed Lowrie and Coco Crisp to give manager Bob Melvin a nice collection of switch hitters.

Swing and a miss: Here are the top five losers from the July trading period.

1. Rangers: Maybe Jon Daniels can find a bat in the August waiver period. But he paid heavily to get Matt Garza from the Cubs and then failed to improve a lineup that is ninth in the AL in scoring and facing a Nelson Cruz suspension. He tried unsuccessfully to get Giancarlo Stanton and wouldn't deal Jurickson Profar to get Garcia from the Tigers.

2. Mariners: There's no real payoff from a .500 season but GM Jack Zduriencik is desperate to continue showing progress after cutting the total of losses from 101 to 95 and 87 the last two years. So he held onto movable parts like Joe Saunders, Raul Ibanez, Mike Morse, Kendrys Morales, Brendan Ryan and Oliver Perez.

3. Brewers: Only unloaded Rodriguez to the Orioles for 21-year-old third baseman Nick Delmonico. He's a good prospect but injuries and performance issues left GM Doug Melvin unable to deal Yovani Gallardo, Corey Hart and Aramis Ramirez, which could have gone a long way in restocking.

4. Pirates: They're a balanced team with few glaring holes. But Jason Grilli's health argued for another arm in the bullpen, and right field could have been upgraded.

5. Indians: Would GM Chris Antonetti have been more aggressive if Progressive Field attendance was better? The Indians needed a guy like Garza or Peavy more than the teams that got front-line pitching.

Here they come: At the All-Star break, the Royals were 43-49 and in eighth place in the wild-card race, 91/2 games behind the Rangers for the second spot. They entered the weekend having won nine in a row and gained five games in those standings, trailing the Indians by 41/2 for the second spot.

Miguel Tejada compares them to A's playoff teams he was on, including the "Moneyball'' club in 2002 that came together after the break.

"I didn't think, early in the season, that we had everything together," Tejada said. "But I remember when I was with the A's, the first two months, we couldn't get the chemistry together. That's like this team. You can see the difference now. We know how great our pitching is. Now, our hitting (is coming along), and we're playing good defense. We're starting to get big hits in big situations."

Despite the nod to scoring, the Royals' resurgence has been about Santana, James Shields, Jeremy Guthrie and run-prevention. GM Dayton Moore is looking smart for not trading Santana, who will be a free agent after the year. Instead he made a fine-tuning addition, trading for Astros outfielder Justin Maxwell, and continues to search for a second baseman.

progers@tribune.com

Twitter @ChiTribRogers

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