D-Rays trade Baez, Carter for two Dodgers prospects


Published: Sunday, January 15, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 15, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired All-Star relievers Danys Baez and Lance Carter from Tampa Bay for two pitching prospects Saturday, strengthening their bullpen as they wait for closer Eric Gagne to return from elbow surgery.
The Dodgers sent right-hander Edwin Jackson and minor league lefty Chuck Tiffany to the Devil Rays in the deal. Los Angeles also gets a minor league player to be named.
Baez went 5-4 with a 2.86 ERA and a career-best 41 saves last season, earning a spot on the AL All-Star team. He has 96 saves over the past three seasons.
Gagne, one of baseball's best closers, underwent season-ending surgery on his pitching elbow in June. He is expected back sometime this year, but now the Dodgers have a proven closer to call on until he returns.
"The opportunity to add two relievers of this caliber to our bullpen fills a big need for us," Los Angeles general manager Ned Colletti said.
Carter was an AL All-Star in 2003, when he had a career-high 26 saves in 62 appearances. Last season, he appeared in 39 games, going 1-2 with a 4.89 ERA in 57 innings.
Jackson, once considered a top prospect, appeared in 19 games for the Dodgers over the past three seasons, going 6-4 with a 5.50 ERA. Last season, he was a combined 9-11 with a 5.91 ERA for Double-A Jacksonville and Triple-A Las Vegas before going 2-2 with a 6.28 ERA for the Dodgers.
"The stuff that made him rated that high is still there," Tampa Bay executive vice president Andrew Friedman said during a conference call. "He still possesses that dominant stuff and we're excited to get him in the organization."
Tiffany went 11-7 with a 3.93 ERA and 134 strikeouts for Class-A Vero Beach last season, and the Devil Rays view him as a starter. In three pro seasons, he is 16-9 with a 3.90 ERA and 279 strikeouts.
"We didn't seek this out, but after an in-depth exploration it makes sense for us," Friedman said. "We think these guys have a real chance to be part of our future."
n D-BACKS: The team and catcher Johnny Estrada agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract.
The deal was reached hours after Estrada filed for arbitration, general manager Josh Byrnes said.
An All-Star in 2004, Estrada was acquired from the Atlanta Braves on Dec. 7 for relievers Lance Cormier and Oscar Villarreal.
Estrada was limited to 105 games last season because of a June 6 collision at home plate with Darin Erstad of the Los Angeles Angels.
Estrada, who made $460,000 last season, hit .261 with four home runs and 39 RBIs.
In 2004, he made the NL All-Star team, batting .314 with nine homers and 76 RBIs.
Four other Arizona players filed for arbitration: second baseman Orlando Hudson, shortstop Alex Cintron and pitchers Brandon Lyon and Claudio Vargas.
n PIRATES: Outfielder-first baseman Craig Wilson chose not to go to salary arbitration and agreed to a one-year contract with the team worth about $3.5 million.
The deal leaves the Pirates with two arbitration-eligible players, right-hander Kip Wells and left-hander Oliver Perez.
The 29-year-old Wilson made $3 million last season, when he missed 103 games because of two left hand injuries. He hit .264 with five homers and 22 RBIs. He had a team-leading 29 homers in 2004.
Wilson's role for this coming season has not been defined. Since the end of last season, the Pirates have traded for first baseman Sean Casey and outfielder Jeromy Burnitz, who is expected to start in right field.
  • TEAM CANADA: Jason Bay, Justin Morneau and Corey Koskie were among 23 players named to Canada's 30-man roster for the inaugural World Baseball Classic.
    The initial group was missing star closer Eric Gagne and starting pitcher Rich Harden, who are coming off injuries. Larry Walker, who retired after last season, confirmed he would not play for Canada but planned to be with the team in some coaching capacity.
    Other notable players on the roster included starting pitchers Erik Bedard and Jeff Francis, relievers Rheal Cormier and Paul Quantrill, and first baseman-outfielder Matt Stairs.
    Pitcher Ryan Dempster told team officials he will not participate because he does not want to put too much strain on his arm nearly three years after ligament replacement surgery on his elbow.
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