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Wednesday, June 21
Vizcaino gives Yanks defensive insurance

HOUSTON -- The New York Yankees finally made a trade, just not the one everyone expected.

The World Series champions picked up defensive insurance for struggling second baseman Chuck Knoblauch, acquiring infielder Jose Vizcaino from the Los Angeles Dodgers for Jim Leyritz.

Jim Leyritz

Jose Vizcaino

"I'll have a lot of chances to win over there," Vizcaino said. "I think I'll have more playing time over there."

Vizcaino, a switch-hitter who plays second, third and shortstop, was hitting .204 with four RBI, including a go-ahead pinch-hit single in Los Angeles' 9-6 10-inning victory over Houston on Tuesday night.

More importantly, Vizcaino has only two errors in 34 games, giving Yankees manager Joe Torre a late-inning defensive replacement option for Knoblauch, who has 13 errors in 48 games.

Torre said he would use a defensive replacement for the 1997 Gold Glove winner for the immediate future. Knoblauch made three throwing errors last Thursday, forcing Torre to send him home early, and hit a fan in the stands with a throw Saturday.

Lance Parrish's son
signs with Yankees
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan catcher David Parrish has signed a contract with the Yankees that includes a $1.4 million signing bonus, said his father, Detroit Tigers coach and ex-All-Star catcher Lance Parrish.

The Yankees selected Parrish in the first round, the 28th pick overall, in the amateur draft two weeks ago.

"David is very, very excited," said his father, who negotiated his son's signing bonus.

Parrish, 21, will start with the Yankees' Staten Island club in the Class A New York-Penn League. In his junior season at Michigan this year, he was the Wolverines' MVP, leading the team in batting average (.356), home runs (11), RBIs (41) and slugging percentage (.621).

He was the first Michigan player drafted in the first round since pitcher Jim Abbott was chosen by the California Angels in 1988.

Leyritz was hitting .218 with one homer and four RBI in limited playing time with the Yankees.

"We've been talking about it for a week," Dodgers general manager Kevin Malone said. "It came to fruition tonight. I think it will help us both. Leyritz has been on championship clubs before and knows how to win."

With starting catcher Todd Hundley on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his right side, Leyritz will get a chance to catch and be a pinch hitter.

"I can catch him occasionally but basically he is a threat from the right side," manager Davey Johnson said. "He'll strengthen our bench."

After losing four straight games to the Chicago White Sox over the weekend, there was speculation New York was close to making a trade. Detroit's Juan Gonzalez and the Cubs' Sammy Sosa have been the most prominent names mentioned for the Yankees.

New York also received an undisclosed amount of cash from the Dodgers in the deal. Vizcaino makes $3.5 million this season; Leyritz makes $1 million.

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