Phillies trade Ledee to Giants for Rodriguez
July 30, 2004
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) The Philadelphia Phillies traded outfielder Ricky Ledee and a minor league pitcher to the San Francisco Giants on Friday for right-handed reliever Felix Rodriguez.
Ledee is batting .285 with seven homers and 26 RBIs, and he'll be expected to provide the Giants' outfield with some much-needed pop. With a dearth of good left-handed hitters behind Barry Bonds, San Francisco has struggled against right-handed pitching during an otherwise successful season.
The Phillies added Rodriguez, one of the NL's top setup men, to bolster a bullpen hurt by injuries. A few hours after picking up Rodriguez, the Phillies acquired reliever Todd Jones from the Cincinnati Reds for right-hander Josh Han**** and a swap of minor-leaguers.
Giants general manager Brian Sabean drafted Ledee 14 years ago, when the outfielder was a 16-year-old prospect and Sabean was the New York Yankees' director of scouting. In addition to three seasons with the Yankees, Ledee also has played for Cleveland and Texas.
"I think we all know we need some help in the outfield, (and) we've seen a lot of him in his career," Sabean said. "Quite frankly, we're below .500 against right-handed pitching, so hopefully this will help."
Though Ledee went 3-for-5 with two doubles Friday in the Phillies' loss to the Chicago Cubs, he has mostly been a pinch-hitter for Philadelphia.
Ledee, who can become a free agent at the end of the season, started just 22 games this season for the Phillies. His ability to play all three outfield positions also intrigued the Giants.
Rodriguez is in his sixth season with the Giants, going 3-5 with a 3.43 ERA this season. He is 35-22 in parts of nine major league seasons, also pitching for Los Angeles, Cincinnati and Arizona.
The Phillies are patching holes without closer Billy Wagner, who went on the disabled list for a second time this season on Friday.
Setup man Tim Worrell has been closing in Wagner's place, but that has left Philadelphia short in the seventh and eighth innings. Rodriguez could fill that hole.
When reporters approached Rodriguez in the clubhouse before the Giants' game against St. Louis, Rodriguez angrily ordered them away as he changed out of his uniform.
"You hate to see good friends go," Giants left-hander Kirk Rueter said. "We would not have been anywhere without Felix. He was the best setup man for three years in a row."
The Phillies also sent minor league right-hander Alfredo Simon to the Giants, who are intrigued by his 3.27 ERA with Single-A Clearwater this season.
Sabean still is evaluating several possible deals for relief help in his bullpen. The Giants are known to covet a top-flight closer, but not at the expense of their best prospects.
"We could do a half dozen deals right now," Sabean said. "We're just not prepared to overpay."
The Associated Press News Service
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