Giants send Sweeney to rival Dodgers

SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Giants dealt pinch hitter
deluxe Mark Sweeney to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday, the
first trade between the rivals in more than 20 years.

Sweeney had a pinch-hit single in the sixth inning of San
Francisco's 3-1 loss to Washington on Thursday, his major
league-leading 16th of the season and 155th of his career. Sweeney
trails only Lenny Harris with 212 on the career list.

"To be frank, we're not a good enough team to have somebody
like Mark on it as a premium pinch-hitter," Giants general manager
Brian Sabean said. "He was playing sparingly and we do need to
look at some of these other guys."

The last time the Giants and Dodgers made a trade, San Francisco
sent catcher Alex Trevino to Los Angeles in December 1985 for
outfielder Candy Maldonado.

The Dodgers, who trail Arizona by five games in the NL West,
sent the last-place Giants a player to be named.

"Baseball wise it's a better opportunity for me," Sweeney
said. "Being with a contender and doing the utility job, it's a
lot more important and has more relevance with what you do when the
team is winning, rather than building."

Sweeney said he would miss his teammates and the staff in San
Francisco. He also told Barry Bonds that he was happy the deal came
after the slugger broke Hank Aaron's career home run record with
No. 756 on Tuesday night.

Sweeney is 16-for-49 (.327) as a pinch-hitter this season and
has 11 hits in his last 23 times up in the pinch. The Dodgers have
struggled in that situation this season with their pinch-hitters
batting just .235 (36-for-153).

"He's been around this game for a long time," Giants manager
Bruce Bochy said. "You've got a club that is contending that wants
one of the best pinch-hitters in the game. He should be

Sweeney can also play first base and outfield for the Dodgers,
who have struggled offensively. Los Angeles snapped a 28-inning
scoreless streak earlier Thursday in a 5-4, 11-inning win over

"Mark provides us with another experienced bat off the bench
and from time to time he may be called on in a starting role,"
Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said. "He has tremendous
makeup and will bring a lot to this club."

Sweeney's tenure in San Francisco will be remembered most for a
link to a reported failed amphetamines test by Barry Bonds. The New
York Daily News reported in January that Bonds failed an
amphetamines test last season and initially attributed it to a
substance he took from Sweeney's locker. Bonds later said he never
got amphetamines from Sweeney.

Sweeney is in the final year of a $1.8 million, two-year
contract. He is the second veteran player the Giants have traded in
the past two weeks, following the deal of starter Matt Morris to
Pittsburgh. With the Giants in last place in the NL West, more
deals could be coming before the Aug. 31 trade deadline.

"You kind of had a feeling that when they traded Matt Morris
that that was the first sign this might start happening,"
outfielder Randy Winn said.

The Giants will call up outfielder Dan Ortmeier from Triple-A
Fresno to take Sweeney's spot on the roster.

The team will need to make at least one additional roster move
Friday when Russ Ortiz is activated from the disabled list to start
against Pittsburgh.

Also, outfielder Dave Roberts underwent an MRI exam after
bruising his right knee in Thursday's game. Sabean did not have
results of the test yet and did not know whether Roberts would need
to be disabled.