Dodgers acquire Baez, Carter from Devil Rays
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired All-Star relievers Danys Baez and Lance Carter from Tampa Bay for two pitching prospects Saturday, strengthening their bullpen as they wait for closer Eric Gagne to return from elbow surgery.
The Dodgers sent right-hander Edwin Jackson and minor league lefty Chuck Tiffany to the Devil Rays in the deal. Los Angeles also gets a minor league player to be named.
Baez went 5-4 with a 2.86 ERA and a career-best 41 saves last season, earning a spot on the AL All-Star team. He has 96 saves over the past three seasons.
Gagne, one of baseball's best closers, underwent season-ending surgery on his pitching elbow in June. He is expected back sometime this year, but now the Dodgers have a proven closer to call on until he returns.
"The opportunity to add two relievers of this caliber to our bullpen fills a big need for us," Los Angeles general manager Ned Colletti said.
Carter was an AL All-Star in 2003, when he had a career-high 26 saves in 62 appearances. Last season, he appeared in 39 games, going 1-2 with a 4.89 ERA in 57 innings.
Jackson, once considered a top prospect, appeared in 19 games for the Dodgers over the past three seasons, going 6-4 with a 5.50 ERA. Last season, he was a combined 9-11 with a 5.91 ERA for Double-A Jacksonville and Triple-A Las Vegas before going 2-2 with a 6.28 ERA for the Dodgers.
"The stuff that made him rated that high is still there," Tampa Bay executive vice president Andrew Friedman said during a conference call. "He still possesses that dominant stuff and we're excited to get him in the organization."
Tiffany went 11-7 with a 3.93 ERA and 134 strikeouts for Class-A Vero Beach last season, and the Devil Rays view him as a starter. In three pro seasons, he is 16-9 with a 3.90 ERA and 279 strikeouts.
"We didn't seek this out, but after an in-depth exploration it makes sense for us," Friedman said. "We think these guys have a real chance to be part of our future."
Baez's contract calls for a $4 million salary this year. The Devil Rays picked up his option after last season rather than give him a $1 million buyout.
Carter agreed to a $550,000, one-year deal last month.
The Devil Rays will have a revamped bullpen next season and closer is a big question mark. They recently signed right-hander Dan Miceli and Japanese reliever Shinji Mori.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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