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Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012

Players swap teams before deadline

AP

NEW YORK — Baseball's haves picked up more players from the have-nots at Tuesday's trade deadline, when Ryan Dempster was dealt from the Chicago Cubs to the Texas Rangers and Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence and Jonathan Broxton all wound up on new teams.

News photo
Bound for the Bay: The Philadelphia Phillies traded outfielder Hunter Pence to the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday for three players in one of several trades before the deadline. AP

Matt Garza, Josh Johnson and Joe Blanton stayed put for now as the window closed for clubs to make trades without having players pass through waivers.

Four days after the AL West rival Los Angeles Angels acquired former Cy Young Award winner Zack Geinke, the Rangers obtained Dempster for infielder Christian Villanueva and pitcher Kyle Hendricks. Texas also acquired catcher Geovany Soto from the Cubs for right-hander Jake Brigham.

"It's a great opportunity over there," Dempster said. "It's not going to be easy. There are a lot of teams out there that are really good. I think they have as good a chance as anybody."

Dempster, who will replace Roy Oswalt in the rotation, had power to block deals and refused to approve a trade to Atlanta last week. Dempster was 5-5 with a 2.25 ERA in 16 starts for the Cubs and can become a free agent after the season.

"He's a veteran. He's been through some wars before," said Rangers general manager Jon Daniels. The faded Philadelphia Phillies, last in the NL East and their run five straight division titles all but over, sent Victorino to the Los Angeles Dodgers for right-handers Josh Lindblom and Ethan Martin and cash. They also shipped Pence to San Francisco for outfielder Nate Schierholtz, catching prospect Tommy Joseph and right-hander Seth Rosin.

Cincinnati received Broxton from Kansas City, another cellar dweller.

"I'm going somewhere where I'm picking up 20-25 games," Broxton said, noting the standings. "I enjoyed my time here, but this is part of baseball. So go over there and, hopefully we can win a division over there."

"When you're in last place, you can try any damn thing," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "You don't have nothing to lose."

The deals capped a busy two-week period that also saw Ichiro Suzuki, Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez and Francisco Liriano change teams.

Pence is batting .271 with 17 homers and 59 RBIs this season. He fills a major need for the Giants, giving them a right-handed hitter with power.

"I don't think anyone really anticipated the season that's gone on," Pence said in Washington after the trade. "It was the perfect storm of injuries and things didn't go right for us, so that's the way the business of the game is and you have to understand that. Everything is understood. The Phillies are going in a different direction. We had a great run at it. Now I'm going a different way."



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