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Busy Dodgers obtain Maddux, Lugo

The Los Angeles Dodgers were one of the more active teams at yesterday's busy trade deadline (12 deals in all), acquiring four-time Cy Young Award winner Greg Maddux from the Chicago Cubs for infielder Cesar Izturis, and getting shortstop Julio Lugo from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for two minor leaguers.

Maddux, the 327-game winner who was in his second stint with the Cubs, started the season 5-0 but the 40-year-old has won four games since. He is 9-11 with a 4.69 ERA in 22 starts.

``I am very surprised to be honest with you," Maddux said. ``It came down to the last minute. I'm excited to be going to LA, but at the same time sad about leaving Chicago. I need to try to get right with my new team and try to pitch well for them."

Maddux waived his no-trade clause to go to the Dodgers, who are in last place in the NL West, but just five games out of first. ``I was willing to waive that if the Cubs wanted to try to get better for next year," Maddux said.

``He's not what he was when he was winning Cy Young Awards, but we still think he has the ability to win games," said Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti.

Lugo, who can become a free agent after this season and is a player the Red Sox reportedly were interested in, is hitting .308 with 12 homers, 27 RBIs, and 18 stolen bases in 73 games.

``I'm very excited," Lugo said. ``It's a different atmosphere over there when you're playing for something. Hopefully, we go all the way through October and the World Series." ``Lugo is more of an offensive player, a better runner [than Izturis]," Colletti said. ``We needed the offense, with [Jeff ] Kent and Nomar [ Garciaparra] out."

Tampa Bay received third baseman Joel Guzman and outfielder Sergio Pedroza.

Yankees get Wilson
On the heels of their acquisition Sunday of outfielder Bobby Abreu and pitcher Cory Lidle, the New York Yankees got infielder/outfielder Craig Wilson from the Pittsburgh Pirates for pitcher Shawn Chacon. Wilson was hitting .267 with 13 home runs and 41 RBIs. Chacon was a pleasant surprise for the Yankees last year after they got him in a trade deadline deal with Colorado. After going 1-7 despite a 4.09 ERA for the Rockies, he went 7-3 with a 2.85 ERA down the stretch and helped pitch the Yankees into the postseason. But the 28-year-old righty lost his spot in the rotation this season and pitched sporadically, going 5-3 with a 7.00 ERA in 17 games, 11 starts. ``I think we're better equipped to run the rat race here in the final two months, but the competition is so fierce," Yankees GM Brian Cashman said. ``Obviously, all of us try to put ourselves and our teams in a position to separate ourselves from the pack, but I'm not sure anybody did that." . . . After stellar setup man Duaner Sanchez dislocated his shoulder in a taxi accident Sunday night near the team's hotel in Florida, which may put him out for the season, the New York Mets quickly found some bullpen help by acquiring pitchers Roberto Hernandez and Oliver Perez from the Pirates (who made four deals yesterday) for outfielder Xavier Nady. The 41-year-old Hernandez did a solid job as a setup man for the Mets last season before signing with Pittsburgh in December. He went 0-3 with two saves and a 2.93 ERA in 46 relief appearances with the Pirates. The 24-year-old Perez has fallen off after a big season in 2004. The lefthander went 2-10 with a 6.63 ERA in 15 starts for Pittsburgh this season before being optioned to Triple A June 29. Nady was batting .264 with 14 homers and 40 RBIs in 75 games . . . The Rockies acquired lefthander Jeremy Affeldt and righthander Denny Bautista from the Kansas City Royals for infielder Ryan Shealy, whom the Red Sox also reportedly were interested in, and righthander Scott Dohmann.

Casey to Tigers
The Detroit Tigers acquired first baseman Sean Casey from the Pirates for minor league pitcher Brian Rogers. Casey, a career .304 hitter, gives the AL Central-leaders the lefthanded hitter they have lacked as they try to reach the postseason for the first time since 1987. To make room for Casey, Detroit optioned first baseman Chris Shelton to Triple A. Shelton is hitting .277 with 16 home runs and 45 RBIs. Shelton had nine homers in the Tigers' first 13 games, but has only one homer in July and two since June 19. The 32-year-old Casey is a three-time NL All-Star and was hitting .296 with three homers and 29 RBIs in 59 games. He was out for six weeks with two fractures in his lower back after being hurt April 14 and has not shown much power, with only 18 extra-base hits in 213 at-bats . . . The San Diego Padres acquired Todd Walker from the Cubs to help out at third base, which has been a weak link offensively for the defending NL West champions. The Padres also got $350,000 in the deal and sent minor league righthander Jose Ceda to the Cubs. Mark Bellhorn is still expected to get playing time at third base for the Padres, who released slumping Vinny Castilla July 19. The Padres had been searching for a third baseman since the All-Star break, and Boston's Mike Lowell had been rumored to be headed there in the days before the deadline . . . The Cincinnati Reds acquired lefthander Rheal Cormier from the Philadelphia Phillies and righthander Kyle Lohse from the Minnesota Twins in an attempt by the NL wild-card leader to bolster its pitching staff. Cincinnati sent 23-year-old righthander Justin Germano to the Phillies and 22-year-old righthander Zach Ward to the Twins . . . The Texas Rangers got righthander Kip Wells from the Pirates for minor league righty Jesse Chavez. The Rangers also obtained first baseman-outfielder Matt Stairs from the Royals for minor league pitcher Joselo Diaz.

Soriano stays put
Alfonso Soriano's up-and-down tenure with the Washington Nationals will last at least until the end of this season, with the team deciding to hold on to the slugger. The five-time All-Star was thought to be the most prized player available on the market, but the Nationals decided to keep him rather than swapping him for prospects. ``We felt the best deal we could make is no deal," Nationals GM Jim Bowden said during a conference call with reporters from San Francisco, where Washington is in town for a three-game series. ``I'm happy," said Soriano. ``It will be more easy to focus on playing every time because it passed. I was very excited they wanted to keep me here. I love my teammates, too. I think they were happy to see me walk in here." . . . Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada remained in Baltimore. ``I told them before that I don't want to go anywhere. If I'm going to win, I want to win here," said Tejada, who is signed through 2009 . . . The Atlanta Braves dealt disappointing pitcher Jorge Sosa to the St. Louis Cardinals for a minor leaguer, one day after he was designated for assignment. The Braves acquired righthander Rich Scalamandre from the Cardinals.

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