Yankees give up Claussen, cash for third baseman

Updated: August 1, 2003, 8:59 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

CINCINNATI -- The New York Yankees added a big bat and yet another reliever, getting All-Star third baseman Aaron Boone and relief pitcher Gabe White on Thursday in a pair of trades by the payroll-slashing Cincinnati Reds.


Boone
Boone
With 18 homers and 15 steals, and eligibility at second base, shortstop and third base, Boone is extremely underrated. In New York's lineup he'll likely bat sixth or seventh, where he should remain a decent run producer and probably find the time to steal a few bases as well. For those in NL only leagues, sorry, but it's going to be hard to replace Boone. Expect the Reds to use Russell Branyan there, and probably recall Brandon Larson again. Branyan does have legit power, but he can't hit for average. Larson murders minor league pitching; he hit his 18th homer and knocked in five in Triple-A Wednesday, but hit an incredibly poor .103 (6-for-58) in two stints with the Reds already this season. Don't count on either guy.
Here's all the fantasy spins from Thursday in one place.
--Eric Karabell

The Yankees sent minor league left-handers Brandon Claussen and Charlie Manning and cash to Cincinnati for Boone. New York then turned around and traded third baseman Robin Ventura to Los Angeles for two minor leaguers.

The Yankees sent a player to be named to the struggling Reds for the left-handed White.

All the deals were announced in the final half-hour before the 4 p.m. ET non-waiver trading deadline.

Also Thursday, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays traded right-handed reliever Al Levine to the Kansas City Royals for cash.

New York and the Boston Red Sox have been locked in an arms race as they fight for the AL East title. While the first-place Yankees have recently added relievers Armando Benitez, Jesse Orosco and White, the Red Sox have traded for pitchers Scott Williamson, Byung-Hyun Kim, Scott Sauerbeck and Jeff Suppan.

Boone, 30, was hitting .273 with 18 home runs and 65 RBI this season. He also led the Reds with 15 stolen bases.

Ventura was stuck in a prolonged slump and was hitting only .231 with no homers in July. Still a smooth fielder, he is batting .251 with nine home runs and 42 RBI this season.

"Robin is an established veteran leader who knows what it's like to play in a pennant race and in the postseason," Dodgers general manager Dan Evans. "He's a Gold Glove-caliber infielder whose offensive production should add a boost to our lineup."

Adrian Beltre has been playing third base for the Dodgers. He is batting .224 with eight homers and 40 RBI -- he hit .257 with 21 home runs and 75 RBI last season.

Boone's father, Bob, was fired as the Reds' manager on Monday. General manager Jim Bowden and coaches Tom Robson and Tim Foli were dismissed the same day.

On Tuesday, the Reds sent their closer, Williamson, to the Red Sox for a minor league pitcher and a player to be named. The next day, Cincinnati sent its top hitter, outfielder Jose Guillen, to Oakland for three young pitchers.

White, 31, was 3-0 with 3.93 ERA in 34 relief appearances. He has been on the disabled list since June 25 because of a strained left groin.

Claussen, 24, was considered the Yankees' top minor league prospect. He appeared in one game for New York this year, earning the victory against the New York Mets in his major league debut on June 28.

"I'm just glad I'm really getting a chance to play the game that I love," Claussen said in an interview on The Dan Patrick Show on ESPN Radio. "I would love to play for the New York Yankees, but in the same token, I'm glad that the Reds are showing this interest in me."

With Triple-A Columbus this year, Claussen was 2-1 with a 2.75 ERA in 11 starts. He began the season at Class A Tampa, going 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA.

Manning, 24, split time this season with Class A Tampa and Double-A Trenton. He was 2-6 overall.

For Ventura, the Yankees got outfielder Bubba Crosby and right-handed pitcher Scott Proctor.

Crosby, 26, was batting a Pacific Coast-leading .361 with 12 homers and 57 RBIs for Triple-A Las Vegas.

Proctor, 28, was 5-4 with a 2.58 ERA in 41 relief appearances with Double-A Jacksonville and Las Vegas.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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