Archive for Wednesday, September 4, 2002

Giants reacquire Mueller

September 4, 2002

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— The San Francisco Giants reacquired infielder Bill Mueller from the Chicago Cubs for minor league pitcher Jeff Verplancke on Tuesday night.

The Giants announced the trade after the fourth inning of their game against the Colorado Rockies. The fans at Pacific Bell Park gave Mueller a standing ovation.

"It's an opportunity to be back in San Francisco where it's familiar to me," Mueller said. "I just want to do whatever comes my way to help these guys."

Mueller began the season on the disabled list following knee surgery in March. He is batting .266 with seven homers and 37 RBIs in 103 games.

He is hitting .319 in his last 28 games.

Mueller won't be eligible for the playoffs if the Giants advance since he wasn't with the team before Sept. 1.

"It's unfortunate that I can't stay with them if and when they make the playoffs, but I'm going to do whatever I can to help," Mueller said.

He can become a free agent after this season, and expressed interest in returning to Chicago.

"I don't know my future, but the door is definitely open that I may swing back this way. I'm going to miss playing here the last three weeks."

Mueller, who made his major league debut with San Francisco in 1996, will be used in a backup role, Giants general manager Brian Sabean said. San Francisco also gets cash considerations in the deal.

The 31-year-old Mueller has played the past two seasons with the Cubs. He was a 15th-round draft pick by the Giants in 1993.

"When you're trying to win every game like we are, a guy like this coming off the bench is a godsend," Sabean said.

Mueller played for San Francisco from 1996-2000. A strong defensive third baseman, he batted .268 with 10 homers and 55 RBIs as the Giants won the NL West in 2000. He hit .294 two years earlier.

The Cubs contacted the Giants on Monday with the idea, Sabean said.

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