NASHVILLE, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- Making no secret of their desire to acquire Erubiel Durazo, the Oakland Athletics acquired the Arizona Diamondbacks slugger in a four-team deal Sunday that included the Cincinnati Reds and Toronto Blue Jays.
Oakland General Manager Billy Beane has longed for Durazo, who has battled injuries throughout his career. The 27-year-old first baseman figures to serve as the designated hitter for the American League West champions and adds to an already potent lineup.
"It has almost become comical, in a lot of ways. Erubiel has been my Holy Grail," Beane said. "(Arizona General Manager Joe Garagiola Jr.) can tell you. But he is our type of guy, our type of hitter. But my desire to add him to our team has been a joke."
Durazo is coming off an inury-plagued season in which he batted .261 with 16 homers and 48 RBI in 222 at bats. He is a career .278 hitter over parts of four seasons but has shown glimpses of superstardom only to be slowed by injuries, particularly to his right wrist.
The 30-year-old Dessens was 7-8 in 30 starts but posted an ERA of 3.03, sixth-best in the league. He was 28-27 with a 3.94 ERA in three seasons with Cincinnati but likely got squeezed because he is arbitration eligible.
"We think with Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling, we have a good 1-2 punch," Garagiola said. "We came here looking to add a starter and secure the middle of the rotation. We see Elmer as a solid No. 3 starter and have liked him for a while."
Dessens and Durazo are both natives of Hermosillo, Mexico and have been teammates in winter ball.
In Lopez, Cincinnati receives a talented shortstop who also can play second base. He began 2002 as the Blue Jays' starter at shortstop but hit just .227 with eight homers and 34 RBI in 85 games and lost his job to Chris Woodward.
"We are excited to add a 22-year-old middle infielder like Felipe to the nucleus of young stars we already have, including players like Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns," Reds General Manager Jim Bowden said. "We feel this is another step toward putting a championship-caliber team on the field."
The eighth overall selection in the 1998 draft, Lopez has a career batting average of .240 with 13 homers and 57 RBI in 459 at bats.
Toronto is rumored to have keen interest in Oakland prospects Jason Arnold and John Ford-Griffin.