The Pittsburgh Pirates, swapping outfielders at a rapid rate for the second successive season, sent starting left fielder Nyjer Morgan to the Washington Nationals in a four-player deal involving outfielder Lastings Milledge and also shipped backup Eric Hinske to the Yankees on Tuesday.
The Pirates, who have pushed to restock a thin farm system by making numerous trades over the last year, get Milledge and reliever Joel Hanrahan from the Nationals for the fleet Morgan and left-hander Sean Burnett, a former first-round draft pick.
Earlier, they sent 2002 A.L. Rookie of the Year Hinske to the Yankees for minor-league right-hander Casey Erickson and outfielder Eric Fryer.
Just as they did last season by dealing Jason Bay and Xavier Nady, the Pirates have traded two of their three starting outfielders before Aug. 1. They sent former center fielder Nate McLouth to the Braves on June 4 for pitcher Charlie Morton and two other prospects.
Youkilis out front
Boston’s Kevin Youkilis has moved back in front of the Yankees’ Mark Teixeira with two days left in A.L. balloting for starters for the All-Star game in St. Louis on July 14.
Youkilis had 1,915,303 votes to Teixeira’s 1,875,256. Last week, Teixeira was ahead by 35,632 ballots.
Texas second baseman Ian Kinsler’s lead over Boston’s Dustin Pedroia was cut to 6,830.
Maintaining their leads were Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter (3,046,813), Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria (2,988,363), Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer (2,851,819) and outfielders Jason Bay of Boston (2,609,913), Ichiro Suzuki of Seattle (1,802,826) and Josh Hamilton of Texas (1,635,781).
Clearing the bases
Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran’s second examination on his ailing right knee also indicates surgery is not required. Beltran likely will be out through the All-Star break. … Josh Hamilton expects to be back in the Texas Rangers lineup this weekend. Hamilton had surgery three weeks ago to repair a slight abdominal tear. … The Philadelphia Phillies have placed left-hander Antonio Bastardo on the 15-day DL with a strained shoulder.
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