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Mets trade Seo, Hamulack to Dodgers for relievers

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired right-hander
Jae Seo and left-handed reliever Tim Hamulack from the
New York Mets on Wednesday for right-handed relievers Duaner Sanchez and
Steve Schmoll.

A 28-year-old South Korean, Seo made 14 starts for the Mets last
season, going 8-2 with a 2.59 ERA and 16 walks and 59 strikeouts in
90 1-3 innings. He also was 7-4 with a 4.29 ERA in 19 starts for
Triple-A Norfolk.

"Seo's going to get a chance to start," Dodgers general
manager Ned Colletti said. "He had a real good year with the Mets
and in Triple-A, pitched close to 200 innings. Seo is a no-frills
guy who knows how to pitch."

Seo, who went 5-10 with a 4.90 ERA in 2004, has a 22-24 career
record and 3.85 ERA in 66 starts and five relief appearances, all
with the Mets.

"This gives us a little more depth in the starting rotation,"
Colletti said. "I don't think this will prohibit us from getting
another starter in either free agency or in a trade. One more would
be good. I think we have a rotation now that's capable of throwing
180 innings, 200, 210 through all five starters."

New York general manager Omar Minaya is seeking middle relievers
after signing Billy Wagner to be the Mets' closer, and Sanchez will
work alongside Aaron Heilman and Chad Bradford in the bullpen. It
was unclear whether the Mets were still trying to acquire Danys
Baez from Tampa Bay.

"I pursued other things, but this one was in front of me,"
Minaya said. "The others that were out there never came to
fruition. I had to make a choice: either wait for something else or
get something that we've liked all along."

Seo joins a Los Angeles rotation that includes right-hander
Brett Tomko, who signed last month, and three returnees:
right-handers Brad Penny and Derek Lowe, and left-hander Odalis
Perez.

Jeff Weaver, a 14-game winner last season, is a free agent and
has until Sunday to re-sign. Colletti said he's spoken with Scott
Boras, Weaver's agent on several occasions but called Weaver's
return a long shot.

Colletti said the 29-year-old Hamulack has a good chance to make
the Dodgers' roster. Hamulack made his major league debut last year
after 382 minor league appearances in 10 seasons, making six
appearances and allowing six earned runs in 2 1/3 innings. He was a
combined 5-3 with 12 saves in 49 games for Double-A Binghamton and
Triple-A Norfolk.

The 26-year-old Sanchez was 4-7 with a 3.73 ERA and eight saves
in 79 games last season, tying him for second in the NL in
appearances, and he served as the Dodgers' closer late in the year.
He was a setup man in 2004, going 3-1 with a 3.38 ERA in 67 games.

Sanchez made his big league debut in 2002 with Arizona. He also
pitched for Pittsburgh in 2002-03 before the Dodgers claimed him on
waivers after the 2003 season.

The 25-year-old Schmoll, signed by Los Angeles in May 2003, was
2-2 with a 5.01 ERA and three saves for the Dodgers and 0-3 with a
4.78 ERA in 22 games for Triple-A Las Vegas last season.

"It was tough to trade both of them," Colletti said. "Omar
had a need in the bullpen. I felt I have a need in the rotation."