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Question of the Day
TORONTO (AP) - The NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals were the prime players in a three-team trade Saturday, getting pitcher Jake Westbrook from Cleveland and sending outfielder Ryan Ludwick to NL West-leading San Diego.
“I’m excited to go to a club that’s contending for a playoff spot and pitch in some meaningful ballgames,” Westbrook said. “That’s why you play the game, to get a chance to play in the playoffs and I look forward to doing that.”
Westbrook was scratched from his start in Toronto and headed for a flight to St. Louis. He said he was sad to leave Cleveland, his major league home since 2001.
“It’s tough because this is all I’ve known other than about a week in the big leagues with the Yankees,” he said.
The deal was announced about three hours before the non-waiver trading deadline.
“Anytime you’re trading a veteran guy at this point in the year it’s a difficult thing to do,” Indians assistant general manager Chris Antonetti said. “With Jake it’s even more difficult because his contributions on the field for almost a decade or longer. This guy epitomizes professionalism. I’m not sure there’s a classier act anywhere in baseball.”
“He worked with us to be able to make it work,” Antonetti said.
“I was just hanging out, waiting to hear the final word,” Westbrook said.
A 2004 All-Star, the 32-year-old righty was 6-7 with a 4.65 ERA in 21 starts this year. He is 69-71 overall in 10 major league seasons.
The 32-year-old Ludwick broke into the majors with Texas in 2002, and became an everyday player when he joined the Cardinals. He’s a career .272 hitter whose best season came in 2008, when he hit 37 homers and had 113 RBIs and was an All-Star.
Ludwick has better offensive numbers than any of San Diego’s current outfielders. He has played the bulk of his career in right and center. He’s expected to report on Sunday.
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