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Pedro Martinez Is Traded by Dodgers for DeShields : Baseball: The Expos’ second baseman, 24, batted .295 with 43 stolen bases last season. Reed won’t return.

From Associated Press

The Dodgers, seeking to add speed to their lineup, acquired second baseman Delino DeShields from the Montreal Expos in a trade for pitcher Pedro Martinez on Friday.

DeShields, 24, batted .295 with 43 stolen bases last season. In four full seasons in the majors, the left-handed hitter has batted .277 and averaged 47 steals.

Martinez, 22, was 10-5 with a 2.61 ERA in 65 games last season, all but two of them in relief. In his first full year in the majors, he had 119 strikeouts in 107 innings of work.

“I never thought I’d be a Dodger,” DeShields said by telephone from his home in West Palm Beach, Fla. “I’m excited. I’m a little bit surprised, but I’m excited. This is a good opportunity for me. I know a lot of the Dodger players. They have a real good group of guys. I’m looking forward to it.

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“I really felt in the second half (of last season) they were one of the best teams in the league. They have some young players, (Mike) Piazza, (Eric) Karros, (Jose) Offerman. It’s going to be a nice mix with the veterans they have there.”

The Dodgers finished 81-81 last season and in fourth place in the NL West, 23 games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves.

Jody Reed, 31, played second base for them and batted .276 with one stolen base. Reed became a free agent after the World Series and said recently he was hurt that he didn’t believe the Dodgers were making much of an effort to re-sign him.

That’s obviously something that won’t happen now.

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“I have a great deal of respect for Jody Reed,” Dodger General Manager Fred Claire said. “He played hard for us and he played well. As far as the negotiations, we had put forth our offer very early, before Jody really declared free agency. If he had said yes to our offer, we would not have traded for a second baseman.

“The point of all of this (the trade) was simply an opportunity to add a young player who we feel is one of the top young players in baseball.”

The Dodgers also spoke with Robby Thompson, who recently re-signed with the San Francisco Giants.

“We made a run at Robby that would have meant we would have kept Pedro,” Claire said. “The thing with Robby didn’t work out. One door closes and we were prepared to open another one. I am pleased with the way it concluded.

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“I believe that in Delino, we have acquired one of the finest young second basemen in major league baseball. He gives our ballclub great speed, and will help us both offensively and defensively.”

DeShields was Montreal’s leadoff batter last season until suffering a sprained ligament in his left thumb in August and was sidelined for five weeks. He earned $1,537,500 in 1993 and is eligible for salary arbitration.

“We’ve budgeted in Delino,” Claire said. “We had a player at second base last season who made a very good salary. I’m sure we’ll come to an agreement with Delino. We haven’t had a lot of time for contract negotiations, we just acquired the player.

“The biggest thing right now is for Delino to come out, which he will, get to know us. We’ll work out the things that need to be worked out.”

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The Expos intend to make Martinez a starter next year. He could take the place of Dennis Martinez, who is a free agent and not expected to re-sign with the Expos.

“Pedro is one of the top young arms in the National League,” Expo General Manager Dan Duquette said. “His addition will bolster our pitching rotation. Our staff feels he will quickly develop into a front-line starter.”

Martinez earned $114,000 last season. He is not eligible for arbitration until after the 1995 season. His brother, Ramon, is a starter for the Dodgers.


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