Rangers will obtain minor league pitcher

Updated: February 4, 2004, 7:36 AM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Looking for extra help at third base, the New York Yankees have worked out a trade to get Mike Lamb from the Texas Rangers.

Mike Lamb
Lamb

The deal for minor league pitcher Jose Garcia cannot be finalized until the Yankees clear a spot on their 40-man roster for Lamb, the Rangers said Tuesday night.

Texas designated the lefty-hitting Lamb for assignment on Jan. 29, giving the Rangers 10 days to send him outright to the minors, trade him or ask waivers for the purpose of his unconditional release.

New York's need for a third baseman arose when All-Star Aaron Boone wrecked his left knee in mid-January playing pickup basketball. It is not certain when, or if, Boone will return this season.

The Yankees already had at least four possible candidates to replace Boone. Utilityman Enrique Wilson, rookie Erick Almonte and free agents Miguel Cairo and Tyler Houston all can play the position.

Earlier this week, Drew Henson said he was leaving baseball for the NFL. Once considered the Yankees' third baseman of the future, Henson struggled at the plate and in the field in the minors.

Lamb, 28, was once regarded as a top prospect for Texas. He hit .283 with nine home runs and 33 RBI in 314 at-bats for the Rangers in 2002, getting a chance to play full-time after Hank Blalock had trouble as a rookie.

But Blalock blossomed last year in spring training and beat out Lamb for the job.

Lamb hit only .132 (5-for-38) with two RBI in several short stints with Texas. He batted .288 with nine homers and 46 RBI at Triple-A Oklahoma, and in parts of seven minor league seasons has a career average over .300.

Lamb made his major league debut with Texas in 2000, hitting .278 with six homers and 47 RBI in 138 games. In 2001, he hit .306 with four homers and 35 RBI in 76 games for the Rangers.

Garcia, 22, was a combined 10-8 with a 2.52 ERA while splitting last season with Class A teams Battle Creek and Tampa. The Yankees signed the Venezuelan right-hander as an undrafted free agent in 1999.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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