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Rangers aquire Freedy Guzman from padres


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Rangers get Guzman from Padres

Sinisi, Hudgins head to San Diego in four-player swap


ARLINGTON -- The Rangers' quest to add speed to their organization led them to acquire outfielder Freddy Guzman and pitcher Cesar Rojas from the San Diego Padres on Thursday.

First baseman/outfielder Vincent Sinisi and pitcher John Hudgins will head to the San Diego organization.


Guzman is a 25-year-old switch-hitter who was hitting .274 with a .348 on-base percentage, 15 runs scored and 11 stolen bases in 30 games for Triple-A Portland.


He missed all of last year due to Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery, but at one time was a major prospect for the Padres with high stolen base totals.


He played 66 games at Triple-A in 2004, hitting .292 with 48 runs scored and 48 stolen bases, earning a promotion to the Padres. But he hit just .211 in 20 games.


Guzman was originally signed out of the Dominican Republic on March 21, 2000, and has 264 stolen bases in 399 Minor League games. He had 90 steals in 118 games with Class A Lake Elsinore, Double-A Mobile and Portland in 2003. He is expected to be assigned to Triple-A Oklahoma.


"He gives us a dynamic that we currently don't have," assistant GM Thad Levine said. "In Freddy Guzman we have acquired a speed-type catalyst who has explosive speed, a feel for stealing bases and a track record for doing so. He also brings what our scouts feel is plus defense in center field."


Rojas is a 19-year-old right-hander who was 2-4 with a 6.75 ERA for the Padres' Arizona Rookie League team. In 49 1/3 innings, he gave up 48 hits and 32 walks while striking out 33. He is currently in extended Spring Training.


Sinisi was the Rangers' second-round pick in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft, an All-American out of Rice University whose career was set back by a severely broken arm suffered while playing at Class A Advanced Stockton in 2004. He batted .271 in 32 games between Double-A Frisco and Oklahoma with no home runs and 16 RBIs.


The Rangers signed him for $2 million. He was projected as a No. 1 pick in 2003 but was dropped because he is represented by Scott Boras and was viewed as a signing risk. The Rangers took him, trying to compensate for not having picks in the second through fifth rounds of the 2002 draft.


The Rangers hoped he would be a top offensive prospect, but he hit just 10 home runs and drove in just 51 runs in 383 combined at-bats between Class A Advanced Bakersfield and Frisco last year.


Hudgins was a third-round pick in the 2003 draft out of Stanford and is 1-1 with a 6.38 ERA at Oklahoma. He was the 2003 Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year and the Most Outstanding Player of the 2003 College World Series.


But he was 3-7 with a 5.87 ERA at Oklahoma in 19 starts last season and had fallen behind many of the Rangers' other top Minor League pitching prospects, most notably Edinson Volquez, John Danks, Thomas Diamond and Josh Rupe.


In other news, the Rangers are re-assigning Oklahoma RedHawks manager Tim Ireland. He will be replaced by hitting coach Mike Boulanger.


The Padres also announced they have agreed to terms with right-hander Jim Brower on a Minor League contract. Brower was designated for assignment by the Orioles last Wednesday after appearing in 12 games for Baltimore. The 34-year-old is 0-1 with a 13.86 ERA in 2006 and will report to the Eugene Emeralds of the Northwest League.



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