White Sox get reliever for player to be named

Updated: August 22, 2003, 3:15 PM ET
Associated Press

CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox acquired reliever Scott Sullivan and cash from the Cincinnati Reds for a player to be named in a deal Thursday night between teams that have been exceptionally busy in the trade market.

Sullivan was 6-0 with a 3.62 ERA with the Reds in 50 relief appearances this season. The right-hander struck out 43 in 49 2/3 innings.

White Sox manager Jerry Manuel was excited about bolstering his bullpen.

"Obviously, that's an area where we've struggled,'' Manuel said. "We've struggled with the bridge person getting us to the last couple of guys down there.''

"A guy of this experience is huge for us at this time. He's a guy that we've been interested in for a long time,'' he said.

Sullivan left a team that is 14 games under .500 and joined a club in the thick of the AL Central race. His departure left several Reds visibly upset -- pitcher Danny Graves was even crying.

"When I heard what we got for him, I nearly threw up. We've been best friends since 1997, since I've been here. It hurts. I don't know how to think of it right now,'' said Graves, the losing pitcher Thursday night against Arizona.

The White Sox moved into sole possession of first place with Thursday night's 7-3 win over Texas. Chicago is a half-game ahead of Minnesota and one game ahead of Kansas City.

"It will give us a different look and help keep hitters off-balance,'' White Sox general manager Ken Williams said. "We were fortunate today to acquire someone that we think can help us in a grand fashion down in the bullpen.''

The White Sox are still missing closer Billy Koch. He was put on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 12 because of inflammation in his right elbow.

The deal was announced while the Reds were playing at Arizona.

Sullivan was activated from the disabled list on Aug. 7. He'd been out since July 18 because of tendinitis in his right shoulder.

The 32-year-old Sullivan was 37-24 with a 3.91 ERA in 494 appearances in nine seasons with the Reds.

The White Sox acquired second baseman Roberto Alomar from the New York Mets and outfielder Carl Everett from the Texas Rangers in separate deals on July 2. Chicago got left-handed reliever Scott Schoeneweis from Anaheim on July 29.

Since firing general manager Jim Bowden and manager Bob Boone on July 28, the Reds have traded away All-Star third baseman Aaron Boone, outfielder Jose Guillen and relievers Scott Williamson, Gabe White and Kent Mercker.

"I understand you have to get young talent and this and that, but Scott Sullivan came here below market value to remain in Cincinnati because he loved pitching here and he came up through this organization,'' Reds first baseman Sean Casey said.

"It's just a money thing. This one is so frustrating because Sully has led the league and led the world four of the last five years in appearances. They say no guy is irreplaceable, but Scott Sullivan is irreplaceable. The leadership he brought here and the things he brought to this team, for what Scott Sullivan brought, he was cheap. ... It's a sad day here for a lot of guys.''

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press