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Archive for Friday, July 27, 2001

Sox send Baldwin to Dodgers

Chicago obtains three minor league players

July 27, 2001

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— Pitcher James Baldwin, on the trading block since signing a one-year contract this winter, was sent from the Chicago White Sox to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday for three minor leaguers.

The Dodgers, desperate for starting pitching, traded left-hander Onan Masaoka, right-hander Gary Majewski and outfielder Jeff Barry for Baldwin and cash.

Baldwin was informed of the deal about three hours before he was scheduled to start against the Cleveland Indians.

"It really hasn't hit me yet," Baldwin said. "It's kind of sad because I've been with the White Sox my whole career. I'll miss everything about Chicago, the fans, the front office, the pizza, everything."

With Darren Dreifort and Andy Ashby out for the season following surgeries and Kevin Brown out until late August with elbow trouble, the Dodgers have had to piece together a starting rotation.

Baldwin will bring them immediate help.

Los Angeles entered Thursday night's game against Colorado trailing first-place Arizona by 11/2 games in the NL West. The Dodgers also lead in the wild card race.

"We are excited to have a veteran pitcher the caliber of James Baldwin join our staff," Dodgers interim general manager Dave Wallace said. "He not only fits well into our starting rotation, but also allows us to keep the depth of our relief corps."

The 30-year-old Baldwin was 7-5 with a 4.61 ERA this season for the White Sox, who signed the right-hander to a one-year contract in January.

He had won five of his last six starts while pitching with his name popping up in all kinds of deals as the July 31 trading deadline approaches.

There were several scouts at Thursday's game, perhaps not aware that Baldwin had already been dealt.

Baldwin, who went 14-7 in 2000, said he knew he wasn't in Chicago's long-term plans when the White Sox only offered him a one-year deal during the offseason.

"It's been kind of tough to go out there and pitch when you don't know if you're going to be here or not," he said. "It's been difficult for me and my family.

"I knew coming into this year that it would be tough for me to stay with all the young arms in this organization. I'm just glad it's all over."

The White Sox say don't be fooled by the trade. They're still intent on defending their AL Central title. Chicago began the night trailing first-place Cleveland by nine games.

"We're not sending up a white flag, we're taking down the flag," said manager Jerry Manuel.

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