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AROUND THE MAJORS

Yankees Get Hitchcock; Reed Is Traded to Twins

July 31, 2001|From Associated Press

The New York Yankees boosted their starting rotation Monday, acquiring pitcher Sterling Hitchcock from the San Diego Padres for two minor leaguers.

Hitchcock, who spent parts of four seasons with the Yankees, is coming back to New York for minor league pitcher Brett Jodie and outfielder Darren Blakely.

The Yankees made the trade one day before the deadline to make deals without having to put players on waivers first.

Hitchcock, 30, has made only three starts this season in his comeback from reconstructive elbow surgery. He is 2-1 with a 3.32 earned-run average in 19 innings.

With Orlando Hernandez out probably until September and Roger Clemens fighting an injured groin, the Yankees were looking for a starting pitcher.

The Yankees felt uncomfortable going down the stretch with rookies Ted Lilly and Randy Keisler in the rotation. Manager Joe Torre had grown increasingly frustrated with Keisler's inconsistency.

Hitchcock was traded from the Yankees to the Seattle Mariners after the 1995 season in the deal for Tino Martinez and Jeff Nelson. Hitchcock won 13 games in his only season with the Mariners before being sent to San Diego.

He went 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA for the Padres in the 1998 playoffs, being selected the National League championship series most valuable player.

Hitchcock is making $5 million in the final season of a $15.5-million, three-year contract and is eligible for free agency at the end of the season.

Jodie, 24, was 10-4 with a 2.87 ERA at triple-A Columbus. Blakely, 24, was hitting .258 with 12 homers and 41 runs batted in for Class-A Tampa and double-A Norwich.

The Minnesota Twins acquired all-star pitcher Rick Reed from the New York Mets for outfielder Matt Lawton.

Minnesota trails the Cleveland Indians by a half-game, mostly on the strength of a strong starting rotation. The Twins are sixth in the American League in ERA, led by Joe Mays (12-7, 3.25), Brad Radke (10-8, 3.90) and Eric Milton (9-4, 4.34).

Reed adds a veteran presence for the young team down the stretch. Reed, who turns 36 Aug. 16, was 8-6 with a 3.48 ERA this season.

Met General Manager Steve Phillips has been desperate to add a bat in the outfield. Lawton was hitting .293 with 10 homers and 51 RBIs.

Reed, a two-time all-star, signed a $21.75-million, three-year contract in the off-season and will be the second-highest paid player on the Twins.

Radke makes $7.75 million a year.

Lawton, 30, makes $3.9 million this season and is eligible for free agency after next season.

The Pittsburgh Pirates traded right-handed pitcher Jason Schmidt and outfielder John Vander Wal to the San Francisco Giants for outfielder Armando Rios and minor league prospect Ryan Vogelsong.

The Giants (57-49) are four games behind the division-leading Dodgers (61-45) and third in the National League West.

Schmidt, 28, is 6-6 with a 4.61 ERA in 14 starts and is eligible for free agency after the season. In his last four starts, Schmidt had 30 strikeouts in 30 innings and he had a 2.66 ERA over his last six starts.

Vander Wal, 35, was acquired by the Pirates from the Padres before the 2000 season and hit .290 with 35 homers and 144 RBIs in 1 1/2 seasons with Pittsburgh. He is batting .278 this year with 11 homers and 50 RBIs.

With no chance of making a run at the playoffs, the Pirates were expected to trim their payroll. Schmidt is making $3.2 million this year, and Vander Wal gets $1.55 million in both 2001 and 2002.

Rios, who makes $310,000, hit .259 with 14 homers and 49 RBIs in 93 games this year. Vogelsong, 24, has a 5.65 ERA in 13 relief appearances with the Giants and went 3-3 with a 2.79 ERA in 10 starts with triple-A Fresno.

The Chicago Cubs acquired right-handed reliever David Weathers from the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Cubs, leading the NL Central, also got minor league pitcher Roberto Miniel in exchange for minor league pitcher Ruben Quevedo and minor league outfielder Peter Zoccolillo.

The Dodgers also pursued Weathers, 31, who has appeared in 52 games for the Brewers this season and is 3-4 with a 2.03 ERA. He is scheduled to join the Cubs today in San Diego. He makes $1.15 million and is eligible to become a free agent after the season.

Quevedo, 22, was 9-5 with a 2.99 ERA at triple-A Iowa. Zoccolillo, 24, was the Cubs' 23rd-round selection in the 1999 draft.

Bryce Florie's comeback from a serious eye injury ended with the Boston Red Sox. The team put him on unconditional release waivers after he refused to accept a minor league assignment.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

Trade Winds

A look at the deals made Monday, the day before today's trade deadline:

* The San Diego Padres traded LHP Sterling Hitchcock (2-1, 3.32 ERA) to the New York Yankees for minor league RHP Brett Jodie and minor league OF Darren Blakely.

* The New York Mets traded RHP Rick Reed (8-6, 3.48 ERA) to the Minnesota Twins for OF Matt Lawton (.293, 10 HRs, 51 RBIs).

* The Pittsburgh Pirates traded RHP Jason Schmidt (6-6, 4.61) and OF John Vander Wal (.278, 50) to the San Francisco Giants for OF Armando Rios (.259, 14, 49) and minor league RHP Ryan Vogelsong.

* The Milwaukee Brewers traded RHP David Weathers (3-4, 2.03, 4 saves) and minor league RHP Roberto Miniel to the Chicago Cubs for minor league RHP Ruben Quevedo and minor league OF Peter Zoccolillo.

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