Brewers trade for Graffanino to shore up infield

Updated: July 25, 2006, 10:18 PM ET
Associated Press

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Brewers acquired Tony Graffanino from the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday to shore up their injury-riddled infield.

Third Base
Kansas City Royals

Profile
2006 SEASON STATISTICS
GM HR RBI R OBP AVG
69 5 32 34 .346 .268

The Royals got left-hander Jorge De La Rosa in their third trade in the last two days. Kansas City dealt right-hander Mike MacDougal to the White Sox on Monday and right-hander Elmer Dessens to the Dodgers earlier Tuesday, getting left-hander Odalis Perez, four minor league pitchers and cash considerations in the two deals.

Graffanino, 34, can play all four infield positions and will be in Milwaukee for the Brewers' game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday, general manager Doug Melvin said. He was batting .268 with five home runs and 32 RBI for Kansas City.

"He's someone who can help us as we're getting through this injury bug right now," Melvin said.

Milwaukee started the season with a surplus of infielders but has suffered injuries to three key players. Shortstop J.J. Hardy is out for the season after undergoing ankle surgery, third baseman Corey Koskie has been out since July 6 with a concussion and second baseman Rickie Weeks is day to day with a sore wrist.

The Brewers were nine games behind the Cardinals in the NL Central entering play Tuesday but were 4 games back of the Reds in the wild-card race.

Milwaukee went nearly three months with right-handers Ben Sheets and Tomo Ohka on the disabled list, but both starters returned this month, giving the team optimism that it could compete for the playoffs.

Melvin said the team could make more deals before Monday's trade deadline.

"We'll make a move if we think it helps the club," Melvin said. "We think with the wild card, where we're at, we have a good chance. We do have to play better baseball, but this thing changes from week to week and series to series."

De La Rosa, 25, was 2-2 with an 8.60 ERA in 18 games for Milwaukee. He has been on the disabled list since June 10 with a blister on the middle finger of his left hand but pitched for Triple-A Nashville on Monday night in a rehab assignment. The Brewers needed to reinstate him to their roster by Friday night when his rehab stint was required to end.

Royals general manager Dayton Moore said De La Rosa can start or come out of the bullpen, but no decision has been made on his role with the team.

"We were able to get a quality left-handed arm," Moore said. "He has three plus pitches. He's had command issues. I wouldn't classify him as wild, but more erratic. His pitches have a lot of movement, a lot of electricity."

De La Rosa was one of six players obtained from Arizona in the Dec. 1, 2003, trade that sent Richie Sexson to the Diamondbacks.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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