Candiotti traded to Blue Jays


CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians, convinced they no longer could afford Tom Candiotti, traded him to the Toronto Blue Jays yesterday.

Candiotti, a 33-year-old knuckleballer, can become a free agent after the season, and he was seeking a four-year contract. The Indians were unwilling to offer more than three years. His salary this season is $2.5 million.

Cleveland sent Candiotti and minor-league outfielder Turner Ward to Toronto for outfielders Mark Whiten and Glenallen Hill, left-handed pitcher Denis Boucher and a player to be named. The teams had been discussing a trade since spring training.

Candiotti (7-6) was leading the Indians in wins, and his 2.24 ERA ranked third in the American League. He had double figures in wins in four of his five full seasons in Cleveland.

Before the season began, Candiotti said he wanted a four-year contract worth more than $10 million, similar to the deal former teammate Bud Black got as a free agent from the San Francisco Giants this season. The Indians, however, would not budge from their three-year offer.

"A counteroffer was made by Candiotti's agent that was too great for the club to consider, and negotiations then ceased," Indians president Hank Peters said. "In recent weeks, Candy indicated that his contract demands would be higher than the ones previously presented, and if something wasn't done by the All-Star Game, he would probably become a free agent."

* ASTROS: Pitcher Mike Scott's chances of recovering from a shoulder injury and returning to the Houston Astros this season are unlikely, Scott says.

Scott, 36, underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right rotator cuff last December. He began the season in the pitching rotation, but went on the disabled list April 14 after two rocky outings. He has not picked up a ball since early May.

* DODGERS: Outfielder Kal Daniels wrenched his knee rounding first base on a sacrifice fly Wednesday night. Daniels came out of the game and was sent to Centinela Hospital for an Magnetic Resonance Imaging exam.

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