Rangers trade Nevin to Cubs
Published: Thursday, June 1, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, June 1, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
ARLINGTON, Texas - Struggling designated hitter Phil Nevin was traded Wednesday by the Texas Rangers to the Chicago Cubs, who are desperately seeking a bopper to help replace injured slugger Derrek Lee.
The Rangers got utility player Jerry Hairston Jr. from the Cubs and will pay most of the remaining difference between Nevin's $10 million salary and the $2.3 million Hairston is making this season.
"We're just looking for somebody who has the ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark," Chicago general manager Jim Hendry said. "We explored every possibility the last month to add a bat."
Nevin was hitting .216 with nine homers and 31 RBIs in 46 games for Texas. He split time in the lineup with Jason Botts since the rookie was called up May 23. Nevin had only two hits his last 32 at-bats, both of them homers.
"I'm more of a National League player. The designated hitter deal is not something I like doing every day," Nevin said. "My first reaction was the tradition of Wrigley Field - it's probably one of my favorite places to visit."
Before going to Texas last July 30 in a trade for pitcher Chan Ho Park, Nevin spent 6 1/2 seasons with San Diego. He hit .284 with 156 homers in 824 National League games, and played 218 games at first base from 2004 until he was traded.
Boston's Wily Mo Pena will have surgery on his left wrist today and manager Terry Francona said the outfielder could miss about two months.
Boston also placed left-hander David Wells on the disabled list for the third time this season and called up right-hander David Pauley to pitch in his place Wednesday night at Toronto.
Pena underwent an examination and tests Tuesday that showed an injury to the hamate bone, a small bone in the wrist. He bats and throws right-handed, so he can continue his conditioning while he recovers, team medical director Dr. Thomas Gill said.
Francona said doctors removed the bone, which doesn't serve much of a purpose.
Outfielder Gary Sheffield traveled to New York early Wednesday for further evaluation of his sore left wrist.
Manager Joe Torre said Sheffield left Detroit after trainer Gene Monahan was able to schedule an appointment with hand specialist Dr. Charles Malone, the same doctor who examined the slugger earlier this season.
"We don't know much of anything right now," Torre said. "We're hoping we get some information before the end of the game tonight."
Sheffield, who went 1-for-4 on Monday against the Tigers, is hitting .309 with four home runs and 19 RBIs.
Jim Edmonds missed his fifth straight start Wednesday with an abdominal injury and St. Louis manager Tony La Russa expects to be without the outfielder for a while.
A specialist diagnosed Edmonds' injury as a mild to moderate abdominal wall strain, and the team said he would be re-evaluated on Friday. Spokesman Brian Bartow said Edmonds was day to day and that the team would wait until Friday, after a day off on Thursday, to consider placing him on the 15-day disabled list.
Team doctors had struggled to pin down a diagnosis.
"I just don't know what to expect with Jimmy, but I know that he's sore, and if he's sore we're better off backing him away and getting him right," La Russa said. "It's not going to do him any good.
"So I'd be surprised if he's on the active list come Friday."
If Edmonds goes on the disabled list, La Russa said a combination of So Taguchi, Larry Bigbie and Juan Encarnacion, who made his first start of the season in center field on Wednesday, could fill in defensively.
Team physician Dr. George Paletta said without a specific diagnosis it was difficult to try to treat Edmonds, who was hitting .241 with five homers and 29 RBIs in 43 games. The team had suspected a sports hernia, and a few days ago swollen lymph nodes had been considered as a possible source of Edmonds' discomfort.
With a sports hernia, Paletta said treatment varies depending on the severity. He said it was possible to nurse a player through the season with a milder injury, although a more severe case would require surgery.
"One of the mysteries of this whole sports hernia issue is the anatomy of that area is extremely complex, and there are a variety of things that can be involved," Paletta said. "The repairs are not the same as a simple knee scope.
"So often times you can't lay out what the definitive recovery is until after surgery."
Paletta said if surgery was required, recovery could take anywhere from six weeks to six months.
The Cardinals were two players short in their 4-3, 11-inning victory over Houston on Wednesday because utilityman Scott Spiezio remained home for the second straight day due to illness that has swept through the team in the last week or so.
Edmonds was not in uniform.
"If he's unavailable, we can't keep playing short," La Russa said. "We're dodging some bullets, but that's not smart."
La Russa said he was "100 percent comfortable" with the outfield candidates presently on his roster. Last year the Cardinals made do after Reggie Sanders broke his leg, electing not to make a major move.
"I'm confident we can be competitive with the outfielders we have," La Russa said. "It's an opportunity for somebody to step forward.
"That's how we always take it and I think that's one reason we cope with it."
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