The Boston Red Sox traded All-Star third baseman Shea Hillenbrand to Arizona for Byung-Hyun Kim on Thursday, cashing in their most tradable player for a former reliever who will join their rotation.
Kim reluctantly filled the closer’s role after Matt Mantei injured an elbow in 2001 and holds the Diamondback record with 70 saves, including 36 last season, when he was 8-3 with a 2.04 earned-run average and 92 strikeouts in 84 innings.
But he never hid his desire to be a starter, and he was given a chance this year. He is 1-5 but has been hurt by a lack of run support; his ERA is 3.56.
Although Boston’s plan to employ a closer by committee has been undermined by the shaky performance of its relievers, Kim fills a more immediate need for someone to start while ace Pedro Martinez is on the disabled list.
“After some discussion and inquiry on their part as to [Kim’s] preference, Theo assured us that [he] would slot into their rotation,” Kim’s agent, Jeff Moorad, said after speaking with Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein.
Former Phillie reliever Tug McGraw returned to the Philadelphia clubhouse for the first time since he was diagnosed with brain cancer in March.
His thoughts slowed because of medication, McGraw reeled off one-liners in typical style as he talked about his condition for the first time.
“They told me I had three weeks to live,” said McGraw, 58. “I’m still alive, so the three-week thing didn’t work.”
McGraw is still undergoing chemotherapy one week a month.
“The prognosis is very good,” said McGraw, who lost his long hair because of the therapy.
The Florida Marlins were fined by Commissioner Bud Selig for not interviewing minority candidates before hiring Jack McKeon to replace manager Jeff Torborg. The penalty was confirmed by a baseball official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The official would not discuss the amount.... The Houston Astros put outfielder Richard Hidalgo on the 15-day disabled list because of a virus and plan to purchase the contract of outfielder Colin Porter from triple-A New Orleans before today’s game with Chicago.... The Cardinals’ Jim Edmonds will have an MRI exam today to determine if he has torn rib cartilage.