Mets, Rockies busy at trade deadline

By United Press International   |   July 31, 2002 at 9:42 PM   |   0 comments

The New York Mets and Boston Red Sox tried to shore up some areas of weakness. The Colorado Rockies, meanwhile, opened the floodgates as Wednesday's non-waiver trade deadline passed without much fanfare.

The Mets bolstered their rotation with the acquisition of righthander John Thomson from the Colorado Rockies and improved their bullpen with the addition of veteran righthander Steve Reed from the San Diego Padres.

"John Thomson is a power arm that we don't have on our staff," New York manager Bobby valentine said.

The Red Sox, who made one of the biggest splashes of the last month with Tuesday's acquisition of Cliff Floyd from Montreal, bettered their relief corps by getting veteran setup man Bobby Howry from the Chicago White Sox.

But the busiest team prior to the 4 p.m. EDT deadline was the Rockies, who made a pair of trades involving four players on the roster.

Colorado sent Thomson and reserve outfielder Mark Little to the Mets for center fielder Jay Payton, reliever Mark Corey and minor league outfielder Robert Stratton. The Rockies also sent outfielder Todd Hollandsworth and reliever Dennys Reyes to the Texas Rangers for outfielders Gabe Kapler and Jason Romano.

"We feel this is a deal that will help us," Rangers general manager John Hart said. "Reyes is a 25-year-old lefthanded reliever and we still have five bullpen arms on the disabled list.

"Todd Hollandsworth is a former Rookie of the Year, plays all three outfield positions and is having a very nice year. This trade should give Gabe Kapler a chance for more playing time in Colorado."

"You have to look at many kinds of considerations," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "We have some financial considerations to look forward to in the future. Thomson was arbitration eligible and Hollandsworth had a larger contract. This gives us some flexibility, gives us some outfield combinations that will help, makes us stronger against lefthanders."

To get Reed and minor league pitcher Jason Middlebrook, the Mets shipped lefthanded reliever Bobby Jones, minor league righthander Josh Reynolds and Class A outfielder Jason Bay.

"Obviously, we traded some good players, but the key for us was the Bay kid," Padres general manager Kevin Towers said. "We feel he has tremendous upside. He was heavily scouted by us. We feel he's going to be a great player."

The Anaheim Angels, in the thick of the American League West and wild card races, also made a move, acquiring outfielder Alex Ochoa and catcher Sal Fasano from the Milwaukee Brewers for catcher Jorge Fabregas and two players to be named.

To get Howry, the Red Sox sent minor league pitchers Byeong Hak An and Frankie Francisco to the White Sox. Howry bolsters a thin bullpen and gives Boston a reliable righthander to set up closer Ugueth Urbina.

The Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates swapped backup outfielders with the Cubs getting 24-year-old former first-round draft pick Chad Hermanson for 34-year-old defensive specialist Darren Lewis.

As expected, there were not many big moves made Wednesday, with a series of trades made over the last week. Wednesday's deadline was the non-waiver cutoff, but teams still are expected to be able to make significant moves in August as many high-salaried players will pass through waivers.

© 2002 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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