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PaleHoseGeorge
07-26-2001, 06:25 PM
Forwarded by Palos Al. Looks like our vaunted Chicago media was scooped. Now there's a surprise! Too busy covering Sam-me and Barney perhaps?

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Dodgers Pursuing Trade for Pitcher Baldwin
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By Jason Reid

July 26 2001

MILWAUKEE -- The Dodgers, trying to acquire a starter before the trading deadline, are aggressively pursuing Chicago White Sox right-hander James Baldwin, two baseball sources said Wednesday.

Interim General Manager Dave Wallace and White Sox General Manager Ken Williams had several discussions Wednesday about a deal that would send Baldwin to the Dodgers for prospects.

Negotiations stalled because the Dodgers wanted the White Sox to pay part of Baldwin's remaining $5.95-million salary this season. However, the Dodgers apparently are now willing to absorb the contract because the team is only 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League West, leading the wild-card pack and in need of another proven starter.

Andy Ashby and Darren Dreifort underwent season-ending surgery, and Kevin Brown might not pitch again this year because of a torn muscle on his right elbow.

A baseball official said the Dodgers face competition from another team for Baldwin, but the Dodgers have an edge because Dan Evans, interim assistant general manager, spent 19 seasons with the White Sox and is Wallace's point-man in negotiations.

Evans declined comment about the trade talks.

The pitching-rich White Sox plan to trade Baldwin--their No. 1 starter--because he can become a free agent after the season.

In 17 starts, Baldwin is 7-5 with a 4.61 earned-run average, 42 strikeouts and 38 walks in 95 2/3 innings. He has five victories in his last six starts.

Baldwin, 30, is 69-53 with a 5.04 ERA in his career, and has at least 11 victories in each of his previous five full seasons.

The acquisition of Baldwin could be an indication that the Dodgers might not sign Chan Ho Park.

Agent Scott Boras is expected to seek at least $20 million a season for his client, and baseball officials said the club will not pay that price. Baldwin might be a cost-effective alternative.

Shortstop Alex Cora has been the subject of trade speculation because the Dodgers are interested in acquiring a veteran middle infielder.

The Dodgers have had recent discussions with the Kansas City Royals about shortstop Rey Sanchez, baseball sources said.

Cora, platooning with Jeff Reboulet, said he has remained focused with the help of his teammates.

"This clubhouse has helped," Cora said. "When you've got veterans like [Marquis] Grissom, who have been through situations like this, it helps when they talk to you. It gives you confidence."

The Dodgers said the Feb. 25 trade that brought them Grissom from the Brewers for Devon White was their best in many seasons.

"He's unbelievable," Manager Jim Tracy said. "He was on that [1995] World Series championship club in Atlanta and was in the [1997] World Series with the Cleveland Indians, and it's not an accident. The neat thing is, he knows what it takes."

Although his six-game suspension ended Tuesday, Grissom did not start the final two games of a three-game series against the Brewers because McKay Christensen had 10 hits in his first 14 at-bats with the Dodgers.

Adrian Beltre and Eric Gagne were relieved to leave Milwaukee because several veterans convinced them that the team hotel is haunted.

Gagne changed rooms three times, and Beltre said he did not sleep until sunrise because of "ghosts."

"It's the hotel, it's the hotel," Beltre said. "It's a haunted hotel."

Jason Reid

Copyright 2001, Los Angeles Times

Daver
07-26-2001, 06:38 PM
When did Baldwin become our #1 starter,did Buerhle up and die and everyone has concealed it from me or what?