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Marlins Trade Leiter To Mets

In yet another move to dismantle the World Series champions, the Florida Marlins traded pitcher Al Leiter to the New York Mets.

The Marlins, who have gotten rid of 12 players from the 25-man championship roster in a salary purge, acquired three minor league prospects for Leiter and infielder Ralph Milliard.

Leiter, 32, was 11-9 with a 4.34 ERA in 27 starts last year.

Florida gets pitchers Jesus Sanchez and A.J. Burnett and outfielder Robert Stratton from New York.

“We’re excited about the young players we are getting,” Marlins general manager Dave Dombrowski said. “Al did a lot for this organization and we wish him well.”

Leiter grew up in New Jersey and said he was glad to be heading to the Mets.

“My history of following the Mets goes back to the ‘69 Mets, to following them in the upstairs of my house in Toms River, N.J.,” he said. “I see them as definitely one of the teams that can challenge the Braves.”

The Mets signed reliever Turk Wendell to a one-year contract, avoiding salary arbitration.

The team also signed pitchers Derek Wallace and Jason Isringhausen to one-year contract extensions. Terms of the contracts weren’t disclosed.

Yankees get their man

After completing months of negotiations and getting final approval from major league officials, the Minnesota Twins finally traded All-Star second baseman Chuck Knoblauch to the New York Yankees, shedding their last big-name player.

The Twins have one player left from their World Series championship team of 1991: pitcher Rick Aguilera.

Minnesota gets $3 million of Yankees owner George Steinbrenner’s money and four minor league prospects.

Knoblauch, 29, hit .291 last season with 117 runs, a career-high 62 steals, 10 triples, nine homers and 58 RBIs. He also won his first Gold Glove award.

More signings

Pitchers Darren Oliver and Aaron Sele agreed to one-year contracts with the Texas Rangers and avoided arbitration. Oliver signed for $3.05 million and Sele agreed to $2,815,000.

Outfielder Troy O’Leary and the Boston Red Sox agreed to a $14.8 million, four-year contract.

The Colorado Rockies signed right-handed pitcher Mike DeJean and outfielder Curtis Goodwin to one-year contracts. Goodwin will make $208,000; DeJean $215,000.

Hector Carrasco, acquired by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the expansion draft, agreed to a $685,000, one-year contract.

The Toronto Blue Jays and outfielder Shawn Green agreed to terms on a two-year contract. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.