White Sox trade RHP Jon Garland to Angels for SS Cabrera

Updated: November 19, 2007, 8:27 PM ET
Associated Press

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Gold Glove shortstop Orlando Cabrera was traded by the Los Angeles Angels to the Chicago White Sox for pitcher Jon Garland on Monday in a surprising swap of dependable players.

The deal came 12 days after the White Sox re-signed shortstop Juan Uribe to a $4.5 million, one-year contract. Now, he could wind up on the bench or with another team.

"We saw an opportunity to acquire one of the best shortstops in the game and one of the smartest shortstops in the game. Somebody who can fit into the No. 2 spot in our lineup for 155 games," Chicago general manager Ken Williams said, adding the trade frees up money that could help the White Sox pull off another deal.

"We're not done yet. We're still out there trying to land some big fish," he said.

The Angels, too, may have more deals ahead. Los Angeles has talked with Florida about a trade for Marlins third baseman Miguel Cabrera. Los Angeles also is believed to be interested in Baltimore shortstop Miguel Tejada.

"What this means is it gives us opportunities to strengthen our club in other areas," new Angels general manager Tony Reagins said. "It gives us flexibility to look at other things."

The 33-year-old Cabrera batted .301 with eight homers, 86 RBIs and a career-high 101 runs for the AL West champions this season. He also led AL shortstops in fielding percentage (.983) and won his second Gold Glove. The other came in 2001 with the Montreal Expos.

Garland, an 18-game winner in 2005 and 2006, was 10-13 with a 4.23 ERA in 32 starts this year. He joins a solid Angels rotation that includes John Lackey, Kelvim Escobar and Jered Weaver.

"For me it's a great opportunity, growing up in the Southern California area, to come home and show the West what my capabilities are," Garland said. "I'd love to bring a championship back to Southern California and enjoy it back home."

The 28-year-old right-hander is 92-81 with a 4.41 ERA in 246 games, including 223 starts, over eight major league seasons, all with the White Sox. Chicago also receives cash from the Angels as part of the trade.

Garland's salary is $12 million next year, then he can become a free agent. Cabrera's salary is $9 million in 2008, and he also will be eligible for free agency after the season.

Garland pitched a four-hitter to beat Lackey 5-2 in Game 3 of the 2005 AL championship series, giving up a two-run homer to Cabrera.

This isn't the first time Cabrera has been involved in a noteworthy deal. He was shipped from Montreal to Boston at the 2004 trade deadline as part of a four-team swap that included Nomar Garciaparra.

Cabrera helped the Red Sox win the World Series that season, snapping their 86-year title drought, before signing with the Angels. He is a .273 career hitter in 11 big league seasons.

The Angels plan to fill the void at shortstop with Erick Aybar and Maicer Izturis until prospect Brandon Wood is ready to take over.

"Orlando brought a presence on the field," Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said. "We're very confident with what Erick brings not only in the future, but now, and what Maicer brings. You have to give to get, and Orlando was the piece they wanted."

Garland was a key member of the deep rotation that pitched Chicago to the 2005 World Series championship, ending an 88-year title drought. He went 18-10 with a 3.50 ERA and three shutouts that season, earning a trip to the All-Star game. He was 18-7 with a 4.51 ERA in 2006.

"Pitching depth today is at as much a premium as it has been in baseball," Scioscia said.

Garland has been a reliable starter for the White Sox, throwing more than 208 innings each of the last four seasons. But Williams said his club has ample depth in the minors.

Chicago will likely begin next season with a rotation of Mark Buehrle, Javier Vazquez, Jose Contreras, John Danks and Gavin Floyd. The White Sox tumbled to fourth place in the AL Central this year and Williams has vowed to make changes.

"Last year did not sit well with any of us. I'll be damned if we're going to go through that again. We will aggressively pursue a championship," he said.

The White Sox also hope to bolster their bullpen, and they need help in the outfield. Reports said they met with free-agent center fielder Torii Hunter.

"This is just a start," Williams said.

Uribe ranked second among AL shortstops in home runs (20) and fielding percentage (.976) this year, but he batted .234 with a paltry .284 on-base percentage. The White Sox plan to go with youngster Danny Richar at second base next season, so Uribe's role is uncertain. He could wind up as a utility player.

Williams said he tried to leave a message for Uribe, but his mailbox was full.

The Angels appear more in need of offense than pitching. They ranked 12th out of 14 AL teams with 123 homers this season, but finished fifth in ERA at 4.23. Oft-injured ace Bartolo Colon, the 2005 AL Cy Young Award winner, is a free agent.

"Tony's not done. He's going to keep pushing forward," Scioscia said. "I'm certain he's going to look at the offensive end, and every club he talks to is going to be interested in pitching. I know Tony's in a terrific position right now going into the winter meetings with a legitimate six-man rotation."


AP Sports Writer Rick Gano in Chicago contributed to this report.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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