Giants deal Durham to Brewers
SAN FRANCISCO -- Ray Durham wore a Giants uniform for the last time, then packed up his locker and went to join the Milwaukee Brewers on the other side of the ballpark before leaving town with his new team.
San Francisco traded the veteran second baseman to the Brewers for two minor leaguers, with both clubs waiting until after the teams played Sunday to announce the swap. That, in fact, was per Durham's request as he didn't want to suit up for his first game for Milwaukee against the Giants.
"Personally it was out of respect for the guys in this locker room," Durham said, saying his goodbyes in the Giants' clubhouse. "It really was a stipulation I asked for."
An emotional Durham could only stand to be in the Giants' dugout for a few innings during the series finale against Milwaukee, but was prepared to make the switch right afterward and head to St. Louis with the Brewers. The 36-year-old second baseman, in his sixth season with San Francisco and the final year of a two-year contract, had to approve the deal.
"He's a veteran guy that can come in here and help our club," Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin said. "We're trying to add as many good players as we can. We're trying to win this thing."
Giants GM Brian Sabean met with Durham during Saturday's game about the trade, which came together quickly after Sabean spoke by phone with Melvin while both were in New York for the All-Star game.
Milwaukee also receives cash considerations in the deal.
"I was out there for 2½ or three innings and had to come back in. I was caught between a rock and a hard place," Durham said, acknowledging he was watching the NL Central teams' results on the out-of-town scoreboard. "That's all I could really take. It was a weird feeling, being out there actually rooting for both teams."
The Brewers, who won their fourth straight with Sunday's 7-4 victory, are three games back of NL Central-leading Chicago and one behind the Cardinals as they head to St. Louis.
"I think ownership and upper management have shown a commitment to winning and winning now, so it's very exciting to us," Milwaukee left fielder Ryan Braun said.
San Francisco received left-hander Steve Hammond and outfielder Darren Ford in the trade.
Durham was a late arrival to the ballpark, getting to the clubhouse in a rush about 2 hours before the game with a bag on his shoulder. He was held out of San Francisco's starting lineup, but manager Bruce Bochy said he was available for the game. Emmanuel Burriss started at second and Durham never got in the game.
Now, Burriss and Eugenio Velez likely will get the bulk of the playing time at second.
"I understood it," Durham said. "I know this organization, they're trying to go young and they're rebuilding for the future. It didn't shock me."
Brewers manager Ned Yost said initially Durham would play a couple of days a week, with Rickie Weeks remaining the starter at second.
"He brings a guy that is a really, really good offensive player, a switch-hitter who can hit good pitching," Yost said of Durham. "He's a solid offensive player and he's a veteran guy that's really good with younger players. He fits right into what our veterans bring every day into the clubhouse."
Durham is batting .293 with three homers and 32 RBIs. Trading him could be just the start of several moves by the Giants in the coming weeks. Left-hander Jack Taschner's name also has been part of trade talks.
Also Sunday, San Francisco placed right-handed reliever Keiichi Yabu on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right middle finger and purchased the contract of lefty Geno Espineli from Triple-A Fresno. The callup came five days after Espineli was named to the U.S. Olympic baseball team for next month's Beijing Games.
Espineli is now off the roster. Team USA must provide its final roster to the International Olympic Committee by July 26 and spokesman John Blundell of Major League Baseball said Sunday that Espineli would be replaced.
The Giants transferred outfielder Dave Roberts to the 60-day disabled list to clear room on the 40-man roster for Espineli. Roberts is expected back from left knee surgery this coming week.
Yabu said he hurt the finger Friday when he made a couple of pitches and his grip wasn't quite right. It kept getting worse, he said. He will take several days to rest before resuming a throwing program.
"No fun," Yabu said. "I regret not being able to pitch. It's an injury, so there's nothing I can do."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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