Orioles send 36-year-old Trachsel back to Cubs

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs turned to their past to bolster
their current push for the playoffs, acquiring right-hander Steve Trachsel from the Baltimore Orioles on Friday.

The 36-year-old Trachsel, who was drafted by the Cubs in 1991
and pitched for them from 1993-99, will give the NL Central leaders
another veteran starter.

The deal was made by Cubs general manager Jim Hendry and his
former boss, Orioles president of baseball operations Andy
MacPhail, who resigned as Chicago's CEO after the final game last

Hendry said he envisioned Trachsel being a starter in the final
month -- he's made only one relief appearance in 406 major league
games -- but would let manager Lou Piniella and pitching coach Larry
Rothschild make the final decision on how to use him.

The Cubs already have a five-man rotation of Carlos Zambrano,
Ted Lilly, Jason Marquis, Rich Hill and Sean Marshall. But they
will need another starter at least once with a doubleheader in St.
Louis on Sept. 15.

Piniella said after Friday's 6-1 loss to the Astros that
Trachsel will pitch in a modified six-man rotation and probably get
his first start against the Dodgers next week at Wrigley Field.

"We'll pitch him against a few teams. ... It gives us a lot of
protection just in case something goes wrong here, there's an
injury,'' Piniella said. "Plus, he's been pitching very well.''

Hendry said he was trying to be prepared for any situation down
the stretch.

"We wanted to try and augment the pitching. We have extra games
coming and we're at the time of year where you don't want to be
caught short," Hendry said.

"All the guys are throwing well. It was not made in any way to
replace somebody in the rotation. But you're one hamstring away
from having a need for two starters. ... I didn't want to get in a
spot where you're in the thick of it on the 20-something of
September and you have to start a young man who doesn't have the

Trachsel has plenty of experience and a long history with the

He pitched 6 1/3 innings of no-hit ball in a one-game playoff
for the NL wild card in 1998 when the Cubs beat the San Francisco Giants to make the postseason. Earlier that season he gave up Mark McGwire's historic 62nd homer in St. Louis.

During the 1990s, Trachsel led the Cubs in wins, starts, innings
pitched and strikeouts. He pitched a one-hitter against the Reds in

During his first stint with Chicago, he went 60-69 with a 4.35
ERA and was up-and-down each season. He broke in during the 1993
season when he went 0-2. He was 9-7 in 1994, 7-13 in 1995, 13-9 in
1996, 8-12 in 1997, 15-8 in 1998 and 8-18 in 1999.

The Cubs sent pitcher Rocky Cherry and infielder Scott Moore to
Baltimore for Trachsel.

"He seemed real happy about getting in the race," Hendry said
of Trachsel. "And obviously everyone who's played here before
really welcomes a chance to come back here, especially when they're
in it."

Players must be with a team by Friday to be eligible for the
postseason. The Aug. 31 deadline often produces a late flurry of

"I've been talking to Andy for seven to 10 days about it,"
Hendry said. "He had a lot of action on him. He was one of the
real significant guys that cleared waivers. He was a hot ticket the
last few days. We're lucky to get him."

Hendry said he and MacPhail have a great relationship.

Trachsel was 6-8 with a 4.48 ERA in 25 starts for the
floundering Orioles this season. He pitched well this month, going
1-1 with a 2.37 ERA in six starts.

Trachsel has also pitched for Tampa Bay, Toronto, the New York Mets and Baltimore. He is 140-151 with a 4.29 ERA lifetime and was
an All-Star in 1996 with the Cubs.

The Cubs, whose lead before playing Houston on Friday was 2½ games, made their second deal of the month. Earlier, they got
outfielder Craig Monroe from Detroit.

Cherry, 28, made his major league debut with the Cubs this
season and was 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 12 relief appearances. He
spent most of the season with Triple-A Iowa.

Moore, 23, appeared in 18 games with the Cubs over the past two
seasons and was hitless in five at-bats in two games this year. He
had 19 homers and 69 RBIs in 103 games with Iowa.