When Brett Wallace arrived in the Houston clubhouse, there were two players he knew -- Bud Norris and Jason Castro. Norris and Wallace competed against each other in high school in Marin, Calif., while Castro and Wallace played on the same select team. Wallace was acquired by the Astros from Toronto on Thursday and made his Major League debut on Saturday.

"I was excited," Castro told MLB.com. "It was a neat situation. I played with and against him for a while now, so I know what a great addition he will be."

Norris said he called Wallace right after he heard he was traded.

"We've kept in touch over the years," Norris said. "I'm happy to be pitching with him and not against him."

Ramos penciled in as catcher of future: Wilson Ramos, a top catching prospect, is expected to get promoted to the Nationals in September and play alongside Ivan Rodriguez. The Nationals acquired Ramos from the Twins in exchange for Matt Capps.

"We feel like we got ourselves an immediate everyday catcher in the Major Leagues," general manager Mike Rizzo told the The Washington Post. "Those are very hard to come by. To trade a good, solid reliever for a 22-year-old, everyday, Major League-ready catcher, we thought that was a deal that we had to make."

"When I was young, he was my favorite player," Ramos said of Rodriguez.

Happ's wild day ends with a gem: J.A. Happ had a whirlwind day on his way to throwing six scoreless innings in his first start with the Astros on Friday.

"I was definitely hoping to go out there and have a good one to start," Happ told MLB.com. "It's a strange thing to fly out there this morning and meet my teammates and go out and pitch. But it was good."

He became the first Houston pitcher since Roger Clemens in 2004 to throw six or more scoreless innings in his debut.

Kearns glad to be moved into contention: The Yankees wanted Austin Kearns because he gives manager Joe Girardi an extra bat off the bench as well as increased defensive flexibility in the outfield.

"He's another corner outfielder that can give us depth and a right-handed bat that has power," Girardi told MLB.com. "We can use him in a lot of different ways because he's used to playing every day. It just gives us more depth and more experience."

Kearns isn't sure what his role with the Yankees will be, but he doesn't mind since he is going to a team that will likely contend for a World Series title.

"I'll be in the mix, maybe in the outfield," Kearns said. "I don't know; I haven't talked to them. I think when you get the opportunity [to go to a contender], you don't really worry about that kind of thing. You're going to a good team. [There are] bigger and better things than worrying about playing time."

Jordan Brown sees travel plans go awry: For Jordan Brown, the trip to Toronto to make his debut with the Indians on Saturday could have gone a little better than it did.

"Just couldn't be a worse day to travel," Brown told MLB.com. "I missed my connecting flight because the weather in Chicago was so bad. We sat on the tarmac for an hour, I come back, I miss my flight and I get here in the fifth inning.

"Walked in the dugout and said, 'Hey guys, what's up?'"

Westbrook pumped up by playoff prospects: After a long and rewarding career with the Indians, Jake Westbrook is looking forward to a pennant race in St. Louis.

"That is the exciting part," Westbrook told MLB.com. "Pitching in games that actually mean something. You can get out there and competing to make the playoffs is what it is all about, that is why you play the game."

Red-hot Ka'aihue gets the call: After tearing up the Minor Leagues at Triple-A Omaha, Kila Ka'aihue joined the Royals on Sunday.

"It's a great opportunity, and I want to make the most of it," Ka'aihue, who was batting .319 with a .463 on-base percentage, 24 home runs and 78 RBIs in 416 at-bats at Omaha, told the Kansas City Star.

Bowker hopes to see more action with Pirates: Sacramento native John Bowker began the season as the starting right fielder for the Giants. On Saturday he was dealt to the Pirates along with Joe Martinez for Javier Lopez. Bowker hopes the deal leads to more playing time.

"I'm excited," Bowker told the San Jose Mercury News before traveling to join the Pirates' Triple-A club. "Obviously, I wanted to be a Giant. But I also want to get the opportunity to play every day. I think there's going to be more opportunity over here."

Ludwick enhances Padres' lineup: San Diego has been looking for a bat to add to the lineup for the stretch run, and they found one on Saturday after acquiring Ryan Ludwick.

"He fits in the middle of the lineup, anywhere from second to fifth, sixth," manager Bud Black told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "I think his bat plays well here. He has all-field power."

Wells sad to see Lilly leave: You can count Randy Wells among those Cubs who will miss Ted Lilly, who was traded to the Dodgers on Saturday.

"It's no secret he's a great dude, and he's going to be very missed," Wells told MLB.com. "He was a mentor. He was a confidante and somebody I could talk to and know I wasn't going to get the rookie blast throughout the clubhouse. You could talk to him about stuff. Being able to watch him when he competes and talk to him when we're not competing -- a lot of things will be missed about him."

Lilly part of host of moves by Dodgers: The Dodgers were one of the most active teams at the trade deadline, acquiring Ted Lilly, Scott Podsednik, Ryan Theriot and Octavio Dotel.

"We set out to see if we could help out our pitching staff and continue to make the rest of our club better," general manager Ned Colletti told the Los Angeles Daily News. "We feel we've added the starter we've been looking for for a while in Ted, and we were trying to add one more bullpen piece, and at the last minute we were able to get Dotel from Pittsburgh. That came about in the last 40 minutes or so."

-- Red Line Editorial