Phillies deal for Giants outfielder Tucker

SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Giants traded outfielder
Michael Tucker to the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday for minor
league right-hander Kelvin Pichardo.
Tucker, whose playing time has been limited this season after
starting in right field for most of 2004, joins a Phillies team in
the heart of the playoff chase.
"Right now I don't think a whole lot takes me by surprise,"
said Tucker, who found out about the deal within minutes of the
Giants' 2-1 win over the New York Mets. "It's nice always to be
playing for something.
"It's one of those things that comes up and you have no control
over it. You do the best you can. They're a good team and it's one
of those things you hope they can keep winning."
San Francisco (56-72) wants to evaluate its young players in the
final month of the season. Manager Felipe Alou plans to
consistently use Todd Linden and Jason Ellison, who will be
recalled from Triple-A Fresno on Monday to take Tucker's roster
The 34-year-old Tucker, in his 11th big league season, spent
nearly two years with the Giants. He is batting .240 this season
with five home runs, 33 RBI and four stolen bases.
He is expected to join the Phillies on Sunday at Arizona.
"He's a veteran bat off the bench," Phillies assistant general
manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said in Phoenix after his club's 2-0 loss
to the Diamondbacks. "He's a guy who can drive the ball, get the
ball out of the ball park. It's nice to be able to have a guy who's
a professional hitter, a guy who's been around the league and
understands that role. We think he's going to help us."
Philadelphia was reluctant to trade Pichardo, a 19-year-old
prospect from the Dominican Republic, but the club was more
concerned with upgrading its bench for the stretch drive.
Alou planned to call his countryman Saturday. Pichardo has been
playing for the Phillies in the Gulf Coast League, going 3-2 with a
4.17 ERA in 10 games and nine starts.
Alou was sad to see Tucker go.
"It had nothing to do with anything or anybody in particular,"
he said. "It was the club making a move. Tucker, what a gentleman
he is in the clubhouse, airplane and everywhere he goes. He's going
to a good team."