The St. Louis Cardinals acquired first baseman Andres Galarraga from the Montreal Expos for right-hander Ken Hill on Monday.
The deal comes less than a week after the Cardinals said they would not pursue any of the major free agents. They had been expected to join the bidding for Bobby Bonilla or Wally Joyner.
Galarraga, 30, slumped to a .219 batting average with nine home runs and 33 runs batted in last season, playing only 107 games. However, he averaged 21 home runs and 88 RBIs in four previous seasons. He has a .269 career average.
"We needed to get a little punch in the lineup," Cardinal Manager Joe Torre said. "We didn't want to give up an arm like (Hill's), but you've got to give up quality to get quality."
Hill, who will turn 26 next month, was 11-10 with a 3.57 ERA last season. His career record is 23-32.
"We are obtaining a solid, accomplished major league starter," Montreal general manager Dan Duquette said. "Hill is an emerging talent who ranked with the best in baseball as one of the toughest pitchers to hit last year."
Hill, reached at his home in Lynn, Mass., said he was shocked by the trade.
"I never expected it," Hill said. "But I've been traded before and I guess I'll just have to start over again." Hill, who made $180,000 in 1991, is eligible for salary arbitration.
Galarraga will replace Pedro Guerrero, who became a free agent after the Cardinals expressed no interest in re-signing him. Guerrero batted .272 last season with eight home runs and 70 RBIs, but had only 21 extra-base hits.
Galarraga is signed for 1992 at $2.2 million in the final season of a three-year, $6.85 million contract. The Cardinals have an option for 1993 at $3 million.