ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers completed their six-player
trade Wednesday with the San Diego Padres to acquire right-hander
Adam Eaton, another piece of Texas' completely overhauled starting
Eaton won 11 games in each of the past two seasons, going 11-5
with a 4.27 ERA last year when he had two stints on the disabled
list because of a strained middle finger that limited him to 22
starts. He didn't pitch in the postseason for the NL West champion
Padres -- even after rejoining the rotation for the final month of
the regular season.
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Eaton's finger problem
isn't a concern.
"It's something our medical staff has assured us is not
normally a recurring issue," Daniels said. "We don't see any
Padres manager Bruce Bochy went with Woody Williams over Eaton
for Game 3 of the NL division series against St. Louis. The
Cardinals won that game to sweep the series.
"That was definitely frustrating, rushing back and trying to
help the team any way I can," Eaton said. "I look forward to San
Diego and facing them, show them what they missed."
The Rangers host San Diego for a three-game interleague series
The deal was reached before Christmas but wasn't completed until
after physicals and a delay in getting the medical records of
Otsuka, who has spent the offseason at home in Japan.
When the deal was made last month, Eaton was a potential No. 1
starter. But the Rangers have since signed Kevin Millwood, the
American League ERA champion, to a $60 million, five-year contract.
Former All-Star pitcher Vicente Padilla came to Texas last month
from Philadelphia for pitcher Ricardo Rodriguez. The only returners
in the Texas rotation are Kameron Loe and Juan Dominguez, rookies
who didn't begin last season as starters.
Eaton had won eight straight decisions, improving to 9-1 before
he was injured during a start at Detroit on June 15.
"Barring injury, like I had, I was definitely well on my way to
a great year," he said. "I was able to do what I know I'm capable
of doing every time out. ... I know what it takes, how to do that.
I look forward to a full season."
Eaton has already resumed throwing, and said he feels good, only
having the "normal soreness in the shoulder of getting it back
Eaton was 47-41 in six seasons with the Padres. He is coming off
a $5.3 million, two-year contract and is eligible for salary
arbitration. He could become a free agent after next season.
The hard-throwing Otsuka was 2-8 with a 3.59 ERA and one save in
66 appearances last season, after going 7-2 with a 1.75 ERA in 73
games as a rookie in 2004. The right-hander, due to make $1.75
million in 2006, could become a primary setup man for closer
"The acquisition potentially that I think a lot of people
aren't spending enough time on is Otsuka," manager Buck Showalter
said. "That was something that we didn't have as much as a
Young, at 6-foot-10 the tallest pitcher in Rangers history and a
Dallas-area native, was 12-7 with a 4.26 ERA in 31 starts last
Gonzalez is a San Diego-area native who was the No. 1 overall
draft pick by the Florida Marlins in 2000. He was traded to Texas
in July 2003, but played just 59 games the last two seasons with
All-Star first baseman Mark Teixeira in the Rangers' lineup.
Sledge came to Texas in the December trade that sent All-Star
second baseman Alfonso Soriano to Washington. He played in just 20
games last year before tearing his right hamstring off the bone
chasing a flyball.
"In Gonzalez, Sledge and Young, we've acquired some talented
young players who have had success at the major league level,"
Padres general manager Kevin Towers said. "Despite giving up some
arms in Eaton and Otsuka, we feel that this is a deal that will not
only benefit us in the long run, but will also make us a better
ballclub in 2006."