Competing in a tight division race with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Arizona Diamondbacks yesterday countered with a deal of their own for a slugging outfielder, acquiring Adam Dunn from the Cincinnati Reds for a minor league pitcher and two players to be named later.
Dunn, 28, was batting .233 this season for the Reds with 32 homers, tied for tops in the majors.
The trade gives the first-place Diamondbacks, who entered the day with a 1 1/2 -game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West, a boost to an anemic offense. The Diamondbacks rank 20th in the majors in runs scored, and they lost second baseman Orlando Hudson for the season Saturday and are also without outfielder Eric Byrnes.
The Diamondbacks' trade comes less than two weeks after the Dodgers acquired slugger Manny Ramirez from the Boston Red Sox in a three-team deal. With the Dodgers, Ramirez was batting .459 with four home runs and 11 RBIs going into yesterday.
Dunn has a career .247 batting average with 270 career homers and is eligible for free agency at the end of the season. Under contract for $13 million this year, he is owed about $4 million for the rest of the season. The Reds and Diamondbacks will reportedly split the tab.
The Diamondbacks sent right-hander Dallas Buck to the Reds in the trade yesterday.
"This way we at least get more than some unproven draft picks," Baker said.
If another team signed Dunn as a free agent, it would owe the Reds two first-round draft picks. The Reds are last in the NL Central and on a six-game skid.
The Dunn trade comes after a July 31 deal that sent outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. to the Chicago White Sox for relief pitcher Nick Masset and a Triple-A player. On Sunday, the Reds designated veteran catcher David Ross for assignment and called up catcher Ryan Hanigan from Triple-A Louisville.
* Rays Tampa Bay placed rookie All-Star third baseman Evan Longoria on the 15-day disabled list because of a right wrist fracture, the second major blow to the team's surprising first-place run in as many days. Two-time All-Star and four-time American League stolen base champion Carl Crawford went on the DL with a right hand injury Sunday, meaning the Rays must persevere for at least two weeks without two of their best offensive and defensive players.
* White Sox Pitcher Jose Contreras had surgery to repair a ruptured left Achilles tendon and is expected to miss at least nine months. Contreras left his start Saturday against the Red Sox. Activated from the 15-day DL earlier in the day, the right-hander, 36, crumpled to the ground while trying to cover first base in the second inning.
* Blue JaysToronto released outfielder Shannon Stewart, bringing his second stint with the team to a disappointing finish. Signed as a free agent during spring training, Stewart, 34, hit .240 with one homer and 14 RBIs in 52 games this season. He sprained his right ankle when he stumbled over first base while running out a grounder June 7 against the Orioles. He was placed on the 15-day DL the next day and has not played since. He owns a career average of .297 with 115 home runs and 580 RBIs.
* Astros Outfielder Carlos Lee had surgery to repair his broken left pinky, the team announced. Lee suffered multiple fractures in the finger when he was hit by a pitch Saturday at Cincinnati. He was placed on the 15-day DL and is expected to miss six to eight weeks.
* Red Sox Boston placed pitcher Tim Wakefield on the 15-day DL with stiffness in his right shoulder and will replace him with fellow knuckleballer Charlie Zink, whose contract is expected to be purchased from Triple-A Pawtucket. Zink is scheduled to pitch today against Texas. Manager Terry Francona said he's optimistic that Wakefield (7-8, 3.67 ERA) will miss no more than two starts.
* BrewersAll-Star left fielder Ryan Braun missed his second consecutive game with a rib-cage muscle injury. Manager Ned Yost indicated the injury wasn't serious enough to warrant putting Braun on the 15-day DL.
* YankeesPitcher Joba Chamberlain is scheduled to start a throwing program Friday as part of his rehabilitation for his injured shoulder.
* BravesSkip Caray, the voice of the franchise for more than three decades, was honored during a two-hour memorial service in Atlanta for simple contributions like his cries of "Braves won!" during the 1995 World Series. He died Aug. 3.