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Sox trade Sanchez for pitcher Suppan
By Eric Wilbur, Boston.com staff 7/31/03
The Red Sox completed a deal today with the Pittsburgh Pirates prior to the 4 p.m. trading deadline in which they received pitchers Jeff Suppan and Brandon Lyon along with minor league pitcher Anastacio Martinez for infielder Freddy Sanchez and minor league lefthander Mike Gonzalez.
Suppan, 10-7 with a 3.57 ERA for the Pirates this season, was with the Red Sox from 1995-97. He was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the expansion draft prior top the 1998 season. The 28-year-old gives Boston the additional starting pitcher it was looking to get to help them down the stretch this season.
Since July 22, the Red Sox have stocked up on pitching, acquiring Scott Sauerbeck, Scott Williamson, and Suppan, and giving up Sanchez and minor league lefthander Phil Dumatrait, who was the team's top pick in the 2000 draft.
Suppan last pitched Monday against the St. Louis Cardinals and won, 3-0, for his fifth career shutout, giving him five wins in his last five decisions. He allowed seven hits, one walk and struck out five as he matched a career-high with 10 wins. He entered this season with a 49-64 record and 5.03 ERA, but his 10 wins so far this season already match his career high, which he has reached four times.
Lyon had been dealt to the Pirates last week along with Martinez in the deal that brought lefty Scott Sauerbeck and Gonzalez to Boston. Pittsburgh protested the trade when it was discovered Lyon had a frayed elbow ligament.
The Yankees also completed a deal prior to the deadline, acquiring third baseman Aaron Boone from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for minor league lefthanders Brandon Claussen and Charlie Manning, in addition to cash. The Yankees then traded incumbent third baseman Robin Ventura to the Los Angeles Dodgers for outfielder Bubba Crosby and righthander Scott Proctor.
The Baltimore Orioles traded 14-game winner Sidney Ponson, a subject of Boston's desire, to the National League West-leading San Francisco Giants for Kurt Ainsworth, Damian Moss, and a minor leaguer. Ponson is due to be a free agent at the end of the season, and had rejected an Orioles contract proposal recently.
The Red Sox enter tonight's play 2 1/2 games behind New York in the American League East, and 2 1/2 games ahead of the Oakland A's in the wild card race.
Sanchez was widely considered one of Boston's top prospects, batting .341 with Triple-A Pawtucket. He was leading the International League in batting with a .384 average when Boston called him up on May 30. But he hit just .235 in 20 games at the major league level before returning to Pawtucket, where he hit just .208 in 13 games since July 18.
"Boston's the organization I came up with, so it's pretty sad for me right now. They've done everything right for me and always have looked out for my career," Sanchez said. "But they did what they had to do. They had to go out and get a quality starting pitcher."
Lyon was 4-5 with a 3.93 ERA for Boston this season, with nine saves. He had not pitched for Pittsburgh. Gonzalez earned one save in 1 2/3 scoreless innings for Triple-A Pawtucket since his arrival.
In another deal prior to today's deadline, The Tampa Bay Devil Rays dealt righthander Al Levine to the Kansas City Royals for cash considerations.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.