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Wednesday, July 2
Updated: July 3, 3:49 PM ET
Royals get Leskanic, cash from Brewers in trade

Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Royals, looking for help in their first pennant chase in 10 years, acquired right-handed reliever Curtis Leskanic from the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday.

The AL Central leaders got Leskanic and cash for right-hander Wes Obermueller and infielder Alejandro Machado.

"It makes us a better ballclub, no question about it,'' said Allard Baird, the Royals' general manager, who had been working on the deal for three weeks.

"And it gives us some added relief to some guys we've had to use a lot to this point. Most notably, Jason Grimsley. As we look to August and September, the bullpen's going to be very important.''

Leskanic throws a slider and a fastball and is in his 10th major league season. He's 4-0 with a 2.70 ERA in 26 games for the Brewers. In 26 2/3 innings, he has allowed eight earned runs and one home run, holding opponents to a .227 average.

Baird said the Royals had carefully checked the health of Leskanic, who sat out all last season following shoulder surgery.

"We have seen him throw numerous times. In fact, I had our trainers talk with their trainers,'' he said. "He is healthy. Is there a risk factor with anybody who's had surgery? Sure there is. I think you have to weigh the risk vs. the reward. In our case, there's no financial investment, which is attractive.

"He keeps the ball in the ballpark and he's got great makeup.''

The bullpen has been a problem for the Royals much of the season, particularly middle relief. Grimsley went into Wednesday night's action tied for the AL lead after appearing in 44 games.

The move comes shortly after the Chicago White Sox, who have been moving up in the AL standings, acquired second baseman Roberto Alomar and outfielder Carl Everett.

"The direction of the ballclub stays the same,'' Baird said. "I think it's very important that this team that's out there battling every day knows we're trying to help. I addressed the team when we made this deal. These guys deserve a little help.''

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