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Hammond Time Ends in NY


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Yanks, A's near deal on Hammond

By Mark Feinsand / MLB.com


Chris Hammond went 3-2 with one save and a 2.86 ERA in 62 games last season. (Dave Sandford/Getty Images)


NEW YORK -- Chris Hammond is close to becoming a member of the Oakland A's, as the New York Yankees are set to deal the left-handed reliever.

MLB.com has learned that the Yankees will send Hammond to Oakland, along with cash considerations, in exchange for a pair of minor-league prospects. The two minor-leaguers are believed to be shortstop J.T. Stotts and pitcher Edwardo Sierra.


One Yankees official said that the trade will likely be completed by the weekend. General manager Brian Cashman said Wednesday that a deal had not been completed, but recently acknowledged that the A's had expressed interest in Hammond.


"It's always disappointing to be traded," Hammond said. "But that's baseball."


Hammond signed a two-year deal with the Yankees worth $4.8 million before the 2003 season, replacing Mike Stanton as the Yankees' left-handed setup man. The deal has a $3 million team option for 2005, which can be bought out for $200,000. He said Wednesday that he had not heard anything official about a trade, though he has certainly heard the rumors over the past week or two.



In 62 games last season, Hammond went 3-2 with one save and a 2.86 ERA. Hammond had a solid first half, but a bad game in Boston in July prompted manager Joe Torre to lose some trust in the lefty, as Hammond appeared in just 22 games after the All-Star break.


The Alabama native has never played on the West Coast, choosing to remain closer to home instead. While Oakland would not be his first choice of destinations, Hammond said that he got to know A's pitcher Tim Hudson at his golf tournament, adding that their wives hit it off as well. The fact that the A's are coming off of four consecutive playoff appearances makes the move a little easier to swallow.


"I've always told myself I would never play out west If I could help it," Hammond said. "But then again I said I would never play in New York, either."


Stotts, a California native, will be 24 in January. In three minor-league seasons, Stotts has a .281 average with four home runs and 132 RBIs, mostly at Single-A ball. Last season, Stotts split time in the Single-A California League and the Double-A Texas League, batting .293 with two homers, 51 RBIs and 15 stolen bases.


Sierra, who turns 22 in April, has been pitching in the Oakland organization since 1999. In five minor-league seasons, Sierra is 14-17 with a 3.36 ERA in Single-A and Rookie-league ball. Last season, Sierra went 3-5 with 17 saves and a 2.09 ERA for Single-A Kane County in the Midwest League.


Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.





We paid down some of Hammond's contract and got nothing in return, just minor league throw aways. I expected this to happen, but I am not happy.


Hammond should help oakland very much so. His bat would be one of their best (jk) and he will help solidify their bullpen. Bradford will probably close and Hammond set up.


Go to hell cashman.

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