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BASEBALL DAILY REPORT : DODGERS : Banks Acquired, Cedeno Called Up

June 20, 1995|BOB NIGHTENGALE

The Dodgers, losing patience with left fielder Billy Ashley and seeking protection for struggling starter Pedro Astacio, traded for one pitcher and called up their finest prospect.

The Dodgers acquired pitcher Willie Banks from the Chicago Cubs and recalled outfielder Roger Cedeno. The two players are scheduled to join the team today.

Banks, 26, considered the No. 1 pitching prospect in the country when he was drafted third in 1987--ahead of such players as White Sox first baseman Frank Thomas--has a 24-30 record with the Minnesota Twins and Cubs. He was 0-1 with a 15.47 earned-run average when the Cubs designated him for assignment June 13.

The Dodgers traded minor leaguer Dax Winslett for Banks and made room for him on the roster by optioning reliever Todd Williams to triple-A Albuquerque. To make room for Cedeno, the Dodgers placed outfielder Rick Parker on waivers.

The Dodgers insist that the arrival of Banks does not mean that Astacio (1-5, 4.55 ERA) will necessarily be removed from the rotation, but certainly, it provides them options.

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The Dodgers said Monday they wished Darryl Strawberry the best of luck with the New York Yankees. Considering Strawberry's past, Dodger Manager Tom Lasorda wished the best of luck to Yankee Manager Buck Showalter too.

Strawberry, who twice tested positive for cocaine and has been convicted of tax evasion, signed a one-year contract with the Yankees and is eligible to begin playing Sunday.

"I'm very surprised that somebody would sign someone who was just suspended for taking drugs," Lasorda said. "Guys that are breaking the laws and the rules of this country, and breaking the rules of taking drugs, I don't think they should be playing.

"When they caught Pete Rose [for tax evasion], didn't they put him in jail?

"When they caught that lady in New York [Leona Helmsley], did she go to jail?

"Why didn't that guy [Strawberry] go to jail?"

Fred Claire, the Dodger executive vice president who signed Strawberry to a five-year, $20.25 million contract in November, 1990, and released him last May, said he harbors no grudges or bitterness.

"I hope it works out for him," Claire said.

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Cub bench coach Max Oliveras got an autographed baseball from Dodger starter Hideo Nomo before the team left Chicago.

"I can't really read it," Oliveras said, "but then again, I couldn't read Willie Mays' signature, either."

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