Yanks Acquire Neagle From Reds
C I N C I N N A T I, July 13 -- The New York Yankees wanted Denny Neagle andthey got him, giving up highly ranked prospects to fill in the gapin their rotation.
The Yankees traded minor league third baseman Drew Henson,outfielder Jackson Melian, right-hander Brian Reith and left-handerEd Yarnall on Wednesday to the Cincinnati Reds for Neagle and minorleague outfielder Mike Frank.
“We like these guys, but we’ve made the decision to go forit,” general manager Brian Cashman said.
Tale of Two Teams
The trade represented a turning point for two franchises headedin different directions as the season resumes after the All-Starbreak.
The two-time defending World Series champions are trying topatch holes in the roster that have left them in a three-waycontest for the AL East. By contrast, the Reds have gone back torebuilding only a few months after winning 96 games, trading forKen Griffey Jr. and becoming a favorite to win the NL Central.
The Neagle deal is similar to the one the Reds made in 1998,trading top starter Dave Burba to Cleveland on the eve of theseason opener, and similar to a move the Chicago White Sox made inJuly 1997.
The White Sox traded for prospects that year even though theywere 3½ games out of first, a move that has paid off in the ALCentral lead this year. Cincinnati trails St. Louis by eight gamesin the NL Central.
“I know this deal’s going to be unpopular for the present,”general manager Jim Bowden said. “The White Sox took a lot ofgrief when they made a similar trade a few years ago. But in theend, that’s how you win.”
The Yankees knew they needed another run producer and anotherstarting pitcher to elbow their way into the playoffs again. Theytried to get Juan Gonzalez—he was too expensive—and missed outon Sammy Sosa—the Cubs’ trade demands were too steep—beforegetting David Justice from Cleveland two weeks ago.
When it came time to address the rotation, they reached for thetop shelf. Neagle, a free agent after this season, is 14-2 with a3.14 ERA since last August.
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