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Yankees get 27-year-old right-hander from Rockies

NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees acquired pitcher Shawn Chacon from the Colorado Rockies for a pair of minor-leaguers on Thursday night, filling the opening in their injury-ravaged rotation.

In exchange for Chacon, a 27-year-old right-hander, the Rockies
get Ramon Ramirez and Edwardo Sierra.

"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 ERA.

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. His last outing was
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."

The Yankees were in desperate need of pitching help after Kevin Brown went on the disabled list
for the 14th time in his career. The pitcher
will go to California to be examined by back expert Dr. Robert
Watkins.

Brown has a lumbar strain, according to the Yankees. Watkins
operated on Brown in June 2002 to repair a disc in the nerve canal
of the pitcher's lower back, and the Yankees are unsure whether
Brown will be sidelined for the rest of the season.
"Hopefully in the next 24, 48 hours we'll have more of a clue
to that," Yankees manager Joe Torre said before New York beat
Minnesota 6-3. "Hopefully that's not the case because I know
that's certainly not what he wants, and it's certainly not what we
want or need. But, as I say, his physical well being is No. 1 here.
I really -- I don't know what the answer is. I have to really get
the doctors to tell me."
Brown, 40, is 4-7 with a 6.50 ERA in 13 starts this season. The
five-time All-Star was on the DL from April 3-17 and June 18-July
18 with a strained back, then returned this month without a rehab
start and allowed 13 runs in 7 2/3 innings during starts at Texas
and the Los Angeles Angels. He was examined by Dr. Yechiel Kleen in
Colorado, who spoke this week with Yankees physician Dr. Stuart
Hershon.
"He's bothered by this whole thing because first off, he
obviously wants to help here," Torre said. "But secondly, he's
not well at this point in time."
Brown has been on the DL 10 times since December 1998, when he
was given a $105 million, seven-year contract with the Los Angeles
Dodgers, who traded him to the Yankees in December 2002. He was
41-19 in his first three years after signing the first $100 million
deal in baseball history but has gone 31-26 since.
New York made the roster move retroactive to July 24, the day
after Brown's last appearance. The Yankees did not immediately fill
the roster spot, debating whether to bring up a pitcher or a
position player.
Pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre said if New York doesn't acquire
a starter, a string of relievers could be used Saturday against the
Angels.
"We'll probably, if we have to, we'll treat it like a spring
training game," he said. "You try to pitch two or three guys two
or three innings each unless something happens by Saturday."
With Brown sidelined along with Carl Pavano, Jaret Wright and
Chien-Ming Wang, who all have shoulder injuries, New York has
brought up Aaron Small and acquired Al Leiter to join Randy Johnson
and Mike Mussina in the rotation. Hideo Nomo, signed to a minor-league contract this week, needs work and won't be available this
weekend, Torre said.
Pavano made his first injury rehabilitation start Wednesday and
will make at least one more.
"He wants to get back here like everybody does when they go to
Tampa for a period of time and have to deal 95, 100 [degrees] every
day," Torre said.
Wright, out since April, is scheduled to make his first rehab
start Saturday. Outfielder Ruben Sierra, who has a strained left
hamstring, is likely to start a rehab assignment this weekend. The
earliest he could be activated is Wednesday.