New York The New York Yankees acquired pitcher Shawn Chacon from the Colorado Rockies for a pair of minor-league pitchers on Thursday night, filling the remaining opening in their injury-ravaged rotation.
New York sent Ramon Ramirez and Eduardo Sierra to Colorado for the 27-year-old right-hander, who will pitch this weekend against the Los Angeles Angels.
"Saturday we have a starter now. It's as simple as that," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. "Our team is working hard on the field. We're working hard in the front office to be in a position to improve the club. It seems like we've been plugging holes on the run the last few weeks at an unusual pace."
Chacon was an All-Star for the Rockies in 2003, when he had 11 wins at the All-Star break. But he didn't get another victory and finished 11-8 with a 4.60 earned-run average.
Colorado moved him to the bullpen the following year and while he had 35 saves, he also had nine blown saves to go along with a 1-9 record and a 7.11 ERA. He is 1-7 with a 4.09 ERA this year in 12 starts and one relief appearance.
"I pitched one inning in Yankee Stadium last year and it was an unbelievable experience as a visitor," Chacon said at Coors Field in Denver. "I can only imagine what it's like to have that as your home park.
"The atmosphere there is a little different from here. That brings up everybody's level of play. All that history, the electricity in the crowd, and I think everybody there tries to live up to that. You put on that uniform and it is all about winning."
Chacon has not won since beating the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 23 in his third start of the season. He strained a hamstring running the bases May 26 and was on the disabled list from June 3 to July 6 because of the injury.
"He told me he feels physically fine," Cashman said. "We don't think there's any issue."
Chacon, who was born in Alaska, makes $2.35 million and is eligible for free agency after the 2006 season. He has a 24-45 career record with a 5.20 ERA, all with the Rockies, and made his last appearance for Colorado on Sunday at Pittsburgh.
"It's frustrating, losing. The record is frustrating for me, but when I look back and think about it, I know that I did my job and that was to keep us in ballgames," he said. "This is an opportunity for me, I just have to go out and grab it. I am not going to have a better chance at this point in my career to go to the playoffs and be in a World Series. So I really have a chance to do something special."
Chacon joins a rotation that includes Randy Johnson and Mike Mussina along with newcomers Al Leiter and Aaron Small. New York hopes to get Carl Pavano and Jaret Wright back from shoulder injuries in the next few weeks.
With Byung-Hyun Kim starting and Aaron Cook due back this weekend from blood clots in his lungs, Chacon became expendable.
"I think if you talk to Shawn, he would say that it was time to move on, also," Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd said. "We are a home-grown team, but I think Shawn was at the end of that."
Colorado traded outfielder Preston Wilson to Washington on July 13 for right-hander Zach Day, outfielder J.J. Davis and a player to be named later or cash. The Rockies also dealt left-hander Joe Kennedy and right-handed reliever Jay Witasick to Oakland for outfielder Eric Byrnes and minor-league prospect Omar Quintanilla.
"There are a lot of young players ready to come up and we just added two good young arms to our system, as well as Zach Day," O'Dowd said. "We have put Zach in a spot so that he can make one start in Triple-A and he will start for us in Chacon's spot next time around."