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A's also get cash or player later

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Oakland Athletics traded left-hander Ted Lilly to the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday for outfielder Bobby Kielty.

The A's also will get $100,000 or a minor league player to be named in the latest
moneysaving shuffle of their small-market roster.

Lilly went 12-10 with a 4.34 ERA and 147 strikeouts as the
Athletics' fourth starter last season.

Lilly was 6-1 with a 2.06 ERA in his final seven starts of the
regular season while emerging as the most consistent starter in
Oakland's powerful rotation during the team's drive to the AL West
title.

"It's not a painless trade, because Ted was a major part of
this club," A's general manager Billy Beane said. "He's going to
be a difficult guy to replace, but just like everything we do here,
we have to sort of mix and match."

Though Lilly was surprised by the trade, he looked forward to
being a key member of the Blue Jays' revamped rotation behind Cy
Young winner Roy Halladay. Earlier Tuesday, Toronto signed
right-hander Pat Hentgen.

"You never know in this game. I've come to realize that,"
Lilly said. "It's part of the business of baseball. I don't
believe they didn't like me. Each club thought they could improve.
Oakland thought they would improve their club by adding Kielty.
It's certainly something you learn not to take personal."

Kielty hit .244 with 13 homers and 57 RBI last season with
Toronto and Minnesota. The Twins traded him to the Blue Jays on
July 16 for Shannon Stewart.

Kielty has 27 home runs, 117 RBI and a .367 on-base percentage
in three major league seasons, and he's the type of
disciplined hitter favored by the A's.

"I feel like this is my opportunity," Kielty said from his
offseason home in Canyon Lake, Calif. "I didn't feel like I had a
really huge opportunity with the Twins. This offseason, I've felt
motivated that this is my chance to have an everyday job.

"I am very patient at the plate and I do draw a lot of walks. I
make the pitchers work. It just seemed like Minnesota didn't really
care too much for that. They're more of a free-swinging club. I
feel like I mold a lot better with a club that values what I try to
do."

Meanwhile, the A's and San Diego agreed to a deal Tuesday that would send
All-Star catcher Ramon Hernandez and disgruntled outfielder
Terrence Long to the Padres for outfielder Mark Kotsay, ESPN's Peter Gammons reported.

Kielty has long been a favorite of Beane,
who swung the deal with Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi, his close
friend and former assistant. Kielty also isn't eligible for arbitration, which will
keep his salary down to Oakland-friendly levels.

Kielty could provide pop to one of baseball's weakest-hitting
outfields. Though they've made the playoffs four straight times,
the Athletics' run production has declined in each of the last
three seasons.

"We felt like we needed some help in the outfield," Beane
said. "It's been written where we had the least-productive
outfield in the major leagues, or close to it. Like many players,
he has shown a propensity to get on base at a high rate when he
plays."

Kielty was thrilled by the prospect of having an everyday job.
That job could be at any of the three outfield spots: Incumbent
right fielder Jermaine Dye and center fielder Eric Byrnes will
jockey for playing time with Kielty, who's mostly been a right
fielder in the majors, and possibly Kotsay, a longtime center
fielder.

Beane expects right-hander Rich Harden to step into Lilly's spot
in the rotation. Harden went 5-4 with a 4.46 ERA and 67 strikeouts
in just 74 2/3 innings after joining the A's following the All-Star
break.

If the season started this week, Oakland's fifth starter would
be Justin Duchscherer, the PCL's pitcher of the year with Triple-A
Sacramento. But Beane said the A's might sign a free agent starter.