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AROUND THE MAJORS

Cubs Acquire Ramirez and Lofton in Trade

July 23, 2003|From Associated Press

The Chicago Cubs got a boost for the National League Central stretch drive, acquiring center fielder Kenny Lofton and third baseman Aramis Ramirez from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday for shortstop Jose Hernandez and two other players.

The trade, announced minutes after the Pirates' 2-0 loss to NL Central leader Houston, reunites Lofton with Dusty Baker, his manager in San Francisco last season.

The Cubs also get an effective power hitter in Ramirez, who led the Pirates with 67 runs batted in, without significantly denting their starting lineup.

The Pirates also get minor league pitcher Matt Bruback and a player to be named. Pittsburgh also gave up a small amount of cash.

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The Boston Red Sox acquired left-hander Scott Sauerbeck and triple-A lefty Mike Gonzalez from the Pirates for right-handed reliever Brandon Lyon and double-A right-hander Anastacio Martinez.

"We've wanted another really good left-hander in the pen for some time," Boston General Manager Theo Epstein said. "This was the top left-hander available, one of the top left-handers in the game in the bullpen."

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The New York Yankees acquired 46-year-old left-hander Jesse Orosco in a trade with the San Diego Padres for a player to be named.

The AL East-leading Yankees were looking for a second left-hander to join Chris Hammond in the bullpen. They found their man in the oldest player in the majors, getting a pitcher still popular in New York for throwing his glove high in the air after clinching the 1986 World Series for the Mets.

Mananger Joe Torre is plenty familiar with the new arrival. When Orosco made his major league debut in 1979, his manager on the Mets was Torre.

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The St. Louis Cardinals put right-hander Matt Morris on the 15-day disabled list because of a broken right index finger.... Tampa Bay Devil Ray designated hitter Ben Grieve will miss the rest of the season because of surgery to remove a rib.

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