The Anaheim Angels on Tuesday boosted their starting rotation for a possible playoff run, obtaining right-hander Ken Hill from the Texas Rangers for catcher Jim Leyritz and a player to be named.
The Angels trail first-place Seattle by 1-1/2 games in the A.L. West. Anaheim also is just 1-1/2 games behind the New York Yankees in the wildcard race.
“We needed a front-line pitcher, and Ken Hill is a front-line pitcher,” Anaheim manager Terry Collins said in Cleveland before the Angels game against the Indians. “Ken Hill eats up innings for us. I put him in the same class as Chuck (Finley) and (Jason) Dickson.
Hill is 5-8 with a 5.19 ERA.
By obtaining Leyritz, the Rangers can now deal All-Star catcher Ivan Rodriguez, who is eligible for free agency after this season. Thursday is the trading deadline.
Leyritz is batting .276 with 11 homers and 50 RBIs in 84 games.
Duncan traded to Blue Jays
Mariano Duncan finally got his wish Tuesday when the New York Yankees traded the 34-year-old infielder to the Toronto Blue Jays for a minor league outfielder and cash.
Duncan, who batted .340 as the regular second baseman when the Yankees won the World Series last year, lost his job this season when he fell into disfavor with Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.
Earlier this month Duncan was included in a five-player swap with San Diego. But the deal fell through when Padres outfielder Greg Vaughn failed his physical.
Toronto took Duncan off the Yankees’ hands, along with the cash considerations, in exchange for Angel Ramirez, 24.
Baines back in Baltimore
The Baltimore Orioles got a known commodity and a familiar face, obtaining designated hitter Harold Baines from the Chicago White Sox for a player to be named.
Baines played with the Orioles from 1993 to 1995.
Cards still working on McGwire deal
St. Louis Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty was asked Tuesday if the deal with the Oakland A’s for Mark McGwire was 90 percent complete.
“It keeps changing every day,” he told KMOX in St. Louis. “It’s more 50-50 than 90 percent. I have to talk to them again today.”
McGwire will become a free agent at the end of the season.
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