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Jerry_Manuel
07-24-2001, 07:08 PM
Rangers trade Galarraga to Giants for three minor leaguers
By STEPHEN HAWKINS
AP Sports Writer
July 24, 2001


ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- First baseman Andres Galarraga was traded Tuesday from the Texas Rangers to the San Francisco Giants for three minor leaguers.

Galarraga played in the National League for 15 seasons before signing with the Rangers as a free agent in December.

Even with the addition of Galarraga, Alex Rodriguez and former NL MVP Ken Caminiti, the Rangers were in last place again after the first month of the season. The team went into a rebuilding mode before the All-Star break.

Galarraga, 40, hit .235 in 72 games for the Rangers with 10 homers and 34 RBIs. In recent weeks, he platooned with Ruben Sierra as the designated hitter and occasionally gave Rafael Palmeiro a break at first.

``To be platooning with a team that is in last place was really uncomfortable for me and also for the organization,'' Galarraga said. ``I think the best thing happened. I'm happy to be traded, especially to a team in the race for the playoffs.''

The Giants went into Tuesday night's game at Colorado 5 1/2 games behind NL West-leading Arizona.

In return, the Rangers got left-hander Erasmo Ramirez (2-0, 2.16 ERA in 22 relief appearances) and infielder Chris Magruder (.280, 10 homers and 30 RBIs in 54 games), who were at Triple-A Fresno, and right-hander Todd Ozias (3-3, 3.73 ERA in 30 games), who was at Double-A Shreveport.

Galarraga went to the NL playoffs with Atlanta in 1998 and 2000, sitting out 1999 while being treated for lymphoma.

''(It) helps a lot to come back to the National League,'' Galarraga said. ``I know the pitchers. I know the other teams.''

Galarraga played in Colorado from 1993-97, then signed with the Braves as a free agent. Before that, he was with Montreal (1985-91) and St. Louis (1992).

Galarraga was scheduled to be in uniform for the Giants on Wednesday, when they complete a three-game series in Coors Field, where Galarraga's career was resurrected.

He won the NL batting title with the Rockies in 1993, hitting .370, and in five seasons with Colorado he had 172 homers and 579 RBIs.

``Andres gives us two quality defensive first basemen,'' Giants manager Dusty Baker said in Denver. ``We'll probably use him against most left-handers and J.T. Snow -- as soon as he gets well -- against most right-handers.

``He's been especially tough this year against left-handed pitching, which has been our nemesis. He's been a run producer for a long time. He's a real threat off the bench, too.

``When you're leading the league in left-on-base, you have to do something. He is a Gold Glover and a great communicator, especially to young Latin players, which is what we have here.''

Baker said the Giants bolstered their offense without giving up two of their best young pitchers in exchange.

``Everybody else we talked to, they all wanted our top pitching prospects, Ryan Vogelsong and Kurt Ainsworth -- guys we couldn't part with,'' Baker said.

Snow called the trade ``a good move to help the team. It gives us an extra bat. He can help us.''

Caminiti, 38, requested and received his release from the Rangers earlier this month and signed with Atlanta.

``I'm not really surprised. I've been waiting for the news since after Caminiti got released,'' Galarraga said.

Texas had signed Galarraga to a one-year contract with a base salary of $6 million and the chance to earn $1 million more in performance bonuses. San Francisco inherits a club option for 2002.

Ramirez is 25 years old, while Magruder and Ozias are both 24. All were selected by the Giants in the 1998 draft.

Texas planned to make a roster move after Tuesday night's game against Baltimore to fill Galarraga's spot.