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BIG DEALS: ORIOLES, YANKEES TRADE UP

THE BALTIMORE SUN

THE YANKEES' MOVES

The players: The Yankees traded three minor-league pitchers for David Cone, the 1994 AL Cy Young Award winner, and swapped disgruntled outfielder Danny Tartabull to Oakland for disgruntled Athletics outfielder Ruben Sierra. The Yankees also are expected to activate outfielder Darryl Strawberry in the next few days.

What it means: Cone is a tremendous addition to the Yankees, a veteran star with postseason experience, although some scouts think that he is gradually losing his fastball, becoming more of a breaking-ball pitcher. Tartabull wasn't helping the Yankees at all, and Sierra likewise had lost favor with manager Tony La Russa.

Short-term effect: Cone makes up for the loss of injured left-hander Jimmy Key, and makes the Yankees the power they were in '94.

Long-term effect: Only one of the three minor-leaguers -- Marty Janzen -- is regarded as a top prospect.

THE ORIOLES' MOVE

The players: The Orioles traded minor-league outfielders Alex Ochoa and Damon Buford to the Mets for slugger Bobby Bonilla and a player to be named.

What it means: Orioles manager Phil Regan has the hitter he's been asking for, a power hitter who could improve the team's offense dramatically. Bonilla will probably hit cleanup, behind Rafael Palmeiro, and ahead of Cal Ripken, giving the Orioles a 3-4-5 trio of a left-handed hitter, a switch-hitter, and a right-handed hitter. Harold Baines is pushed down to sixth, Chris Hoiles to seventh, strengthening the entire lineup.

Short-term effect: A major boon for the Orioles. On paper, they and the Yankees look to be far more ready for a pennant drive than first-place Boston.

Long-term effect: The addition of Bonilla's salary could sabotage the Orioles' hopes of going after Roberto Alomar or Ron Gant this off-season, and Ochoa could become a major star.

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