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Baseball trading is very minimal



Published: Mon, August 1, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The Pirates sent Matt Lawton to the Cubs for former Indian Jody Gerut.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Manny Ramirez, Alfonso Soriano, A.J. Burnett and Mike Cameron all stayed with their teams as baseball's non-waiver trade deadline passed with only five low-level deals involving 11 players.

Outfielder Matt Lawton was the highest-profile player to switch sides Sunday, going to the Chicago Cubs from the Pittsburgh Pirates for outfielder Jody Gerut.

The Cleveland Indians did not make a move.

"As you can see by the strange nature of this year, I think we are all shocked how few deals in the game were made," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said.

The trade that would have made the most news never happened. Boston had discussed a three-team trade with Tampa Bay and New York that would have sent Ramirez to the Mets. New York would have included Cameron and outfielder Lastings Milledge, the 12th overall pick in the 2003 amateur draft. Tampa Bay would have dealt Aubrey Huff, Danys Baez and Julio Lugo.

Manny stays put

"At the end of the day, Boston made the decision that Manny Ramirez was going nowhere," Devil Rays general manager Chuck LaMar said. "The Tampa Bay Devil Rays are the ones that proposed the deal. ... All I know is I wasn't going to give them away, and that's what some of the teams, honestly, with the prospects they were giving back were asking us to do.

Despite saying he had been as active as he had been since becoming Cleveland's general manager, Mark Shapiro did not make any deals.

The Indians were rumored to have discussed trading pitcher Kevin Millwood, but weren't able to make any more moves after acquiring outfielder Jason Dubois from the Chicago Cubs for outfielder Jody Gerut two weeks ago.

"I had more volume of calls with interest in our players than I did targeting specific guys out there we'd like to trade for," Shapiro said.

"We tried to acquire some young guys who could fit the equation now, we weren't able to get those guys with what we thought was a reasonable price. We didn't miss many guys and there weren't that many to go after."

Shapiro, in his fourth season as Cleveland's general manager, thought the Indians had the potential to make another deal, but nothing developed as the deadline approached.

"There were times I was more optimistic than others, maybe later in the week last week," he said.

Balanced races

The Indians are one of a number of teams still with wild-card hopes, entering Sunday's play trailing Oakland by four games. Shapiro thinks the balanced races was the reason there were not many deals throughout baseball.

"There aren't as many teams that feel they're out of it, that's the overriding factor," he said. "I spent a lot of time with a lot of GMs, and there's surprisingly few things going on."

Minnesota, the Mets and the Cubs were said to be interested in obtaining Soriano from Texas.

"The type of deals that were presented to us did not make sense," Texas general manager John Hart said. "We never got close. We countered on a lot of players, discussed a lot of possibilities, but we never got close to what we considered to be a deal that was going to help the Rangers."

2004 deals

Last year, there were eight trades in the hour before the deadline, and Nomar Garciaparra, Steve Finley, Esteban Loaiza and Orlando Cabrera were among the players who switched teams.

With about two-thirds of the 30 teams thinking they have a chance at postseason play, there were far more buyers than sellers this year.

In Sunday's other trades:

UThe Chicago White Sox acquired third baseman Geoff Blum from San Diego for left-hander Ryan Meaux.

UAtlanta Braves obtained reliever Kyle Farnsworth from Detroit for right-handers Roman Colon and Zach Miner.

UArizona got left-hander Buddy Groom from the New York Yankees on Sunday for a player to be named or cash.




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