Allen denies trade talk involving Griffey

Updated: August 17, 2005, 1:35 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Cincinnati Reds: Reds' chief operating officer John Allen is not happy with all the talk surrounding a possible trade of Ken Griffey Jr.

"There's nothing to it!" Allen told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "There's no trade talk going on! There's no trade! I'm not commenting on it. Where do you guys get this stuff? Who promulgates this story is beyond me."

The Chicago Tribune reported that the Chicago White Sox have offered at least a pair of minor-league hitters for the future Hall of Famer, but the Reds have returned nothing but silence.

Allen said he won't issue a "We're not trading Griffey" statement because the White Sox or another club could make an offer that is impossible to refuse, according to the Enquirer.

"If somebody offers us a No. 1 starter and we make a trade, [the media] is going to say I lied," Allen told the Enquirer.

Freel goes on DL; Holbert contract purchased: The Reds placed Ryan Freel on the 15-day disabled list and said the second baseman will have arthroscopic surgery Thursday to repair torn cartilage in his right knee.

The Reds purchased infielder Aaron Holbert's contract from Triple-A Louisville. He was expected to be in Cincinnati Tuesday night.

Freel left Monday's loss to San Francisco after six innings because of a sore right quadriceps muscle. He was hurt trying to make a leaping catch of a line drive, but it didn't bother him until Tuesday morning. An MRI revealed the tear.

This is Freel's second trip to the DL this season. He missed 21 games in June and July because of inflammation in his left second toe.

Freel is hitting .282 with 29 stolen bases in 77 games. Holbert hit .304 with six home runs and 23 RBI in 68 games for Louisville. He played at least eight games at each of the four infield positions.

Philadelphia Phillies: First baseman Jim Thome had season-ending surgery on his right elbow to repair a frayed tendon.

Thome's arm will be placed in a splint for two weeks followed by a range-of-motion limiting device for an additional two weeks.

The four-time All-Star was placed on the 15-day disabled list July 1, his second stint on the DL this season. He hit .207 with seven homers and 30 RBI in 59 games this year.

Los Angeles Angels: The Angels are toying with the idea of moving Darin Erstad back to the outfield and sliding Casey Kotchman to first base, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Manager Mike Scioscia told the paper: "To move Erstad, it would have to make the whole lineup better. It would be a significant move. You would expect significant results."

The move, however, is likely predicated on how Garret Anderson's sore back holds up.

"A lot of it hinges on how Garret is. If Garret can play the outfield, we can still get Kotchman's bat in the lineup" at designated hitter, Scioscia told the paper.

Pittsburgh Pirates: The Pirates recalled left-handed pitcher Mike Gonzalez from his rehab assignment at Triple-A Indianapolis on Tuesday and optioned pitcher Ian Snell to Indianapolis.

Gonzalez was placed on the DL on June 23 with a sprained ligament in his left knee. He is 0-3 with a 3.21 earned run average this season. Snell was 0-2 in 12 games with the Pirates.

Los Angeles Dodgers: The time for the Dodgers to sign highly-touted draft pick Luke Hochevar is nearing a close, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Hochevar, the 40th overall selection this past June, begins fall classes at Tennessee on Aug. 24. If he is not signed by that time, the Dodgers lose their rights to him.

Hochevar, Baseball America's college pitcher of the year, is said to be seeking $4 million deal similiar to what the Boston Red Sox gave to St. John's pitcher Craig Hansen, the 26th pick.

"There is a certain number we will go to today, tomorrow or several weeks from now," Dodger scouting director Logan White, who is handling the negotiations, told The Times. "We really like Luke and his family and want him to be a Dodger. I think we are being tremendously fair."

Texas Rangers: Justin Thompson is back in the majors, six years and one day after his last appearance with a big-league team.

The Rangers purchased the left-hander's contract from Triple-A Oklahoma. The Rangers also purchased the contract of right-hander Scott Feldman from Double-A Frisco, designated right-hander James Baldwin for assignment and optioned right-hander Kevin Gryboski to Oklahoma.

The 32-year-old Thompson last pitched in the majors for the Detroit Tigers on Aug. 15, 1999. He had the first of four operations on his left shoulder 12 days later and pitched a total of 97 1/3 innings in the minors over the next five years.

"Justin will be in our bullpen," Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. "He's been pitching well and I told him that he's up here because we think he can help us."

Thompson went 2-2 with a 4.29 ERA in 22 games, including one start, for Oklahoma.

Before his injury, Thompson went 36-43 with a 3.98 ERA in 101 starts for Detroit. He was dealt to Texas on Nov. 2, 1999, in the nine-player trade that sent two-time AL Most Valuable Player Juan Gonzalez to the Tigers.

Feldman was 1-2 with a 2.54 ERA and 13 saves in 42 relief outings at Frisco.

Atlanta Braves: Horacio Ramirez's banishment to the bullpen didn't last long.

Ramirez (10-7) will be on the mound Sunday for the Braves when they host the San Diego Padres -- his first start since Aug. 9.

"I'm looking forward to getting back into the rotation," Ramirez said before Tuesday night's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. "I'm really happy about that."

The left-hander was sent to the bullpen when John Thomson and Mike Hampton came off the disabled list, despite ranking second on the team in wins.

Ramirez was roughed up in his first relief appearance of the season. He allowed six hits, five earned runs and two homers in 3 2/3 innings against Arizona last weekend.

Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox activated first baseman John Olerud from the 15-day disabled list after Tuesday night's 10-7 win over Detroit.

Olerud, who is hitting .287 in 49 games, had been on the disabled list since Aug. 1 with a strained left hamstring.

To make room for Olerud, the Red Sox optioned third baseman Kevin Youkilis to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Colorado Rockies: The Rockies activated catcher Todd Greene from the disabled list and optioned reliever Ryan Speier to Triple-A Colorado Springs.

Greene, who started the season as Colorado's backup catcher, had been on the DL since June 6, a day after he strained his hamstring running the bases. He hit .276 with six homers and 19 RBI in 26 games before the injury.

Greene will join J.D. Closser and Danny Ardoin, giving Colorado three catchers.

Speier started the season on Colorado's roster before being sent down on April 28. The right-hander was recalled on Monday and retired 16 straight batters in his final three appearances. Speier was 1-1 with a 5.54 ERA in 13 games.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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