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Dempster to Texas, Victorino to LAD, Pence to SF
The team with the newest owners was the busiest ahead of the trade deadline.
The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Shane Victorino on Tuesday as the trade window closed, adding the outfielder to a roster that includes newly arrived Hanley Ramirez and Brandon League.
“We’re in it to win it,” Dodgers partner Magic Johnson said. “We don’t want to wait till next year. We want to win right now.”
Victorino was obtained from Philadelphia, which also sent Hunter Pence to San Francisco. Ryan Dempster was dealt from the Chicago Cubs to the Texas Rangers and Jonathan Broxton from Kansas City to Cincinnati
Matt Garza, Josh Johnson and Joe Blanton stayed put for now as the window closed for clubs to make trades without having players pass through waivers.
Four days after the AL West rival Los Angeles Angels acquired former Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke, the Rangers obtained Dempster for infielder Christian Villanueva and pitcher Kyle Hendricks. Texas also acquired catcher Geovany Soto from the Cubs for right-hander Jake Brigham.
“It’s a great opportunity over there,” Dempster said. “It’s not going to be easy. There are a lot of teams out there that are really good. I think they have as good a chance as anybody.”
Dempster, who will replace Roy Oswalt in the rotation, had power to block deals and refused to approve a trade to Atlanta last week.
“I just never said no,” he explained. “The last few days, I had to give it a lot more thought to the teams I might possibly be traded to.”
Dempster was 5-5 with a 2.25 ERA in 16 starts for the Cubs and can become a free agent after the season.
“He’s a veteran. He’s been through some wars before,” said Rangers general manager Jon Daniels, whose team has won two straight AL pennants but no World Series.
The faded Phillies, last in the NL East and their run five straight division titles all but over, sent Victorino to the Dodgers for right-handers Josh Lindblom and Ethan Martin and cash. They also shipped Pence to San Francisco for outfielder Nate Schierholtz, catching prospect Tommy Joseph and right-hander Seth Rosin.
“When you’re in last place, you can try any damn thing,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “You don’t have nothing to lose.”
The deals capped a busy two-week period that also saw Ichiro Suzuki, Anibal Sanchez and Francisco Liriano change teams as general managers assessed whether they had a chance to make this year’s expanded 10-team playoffs or whether to focus on rebuilding for 2013.
After winning a franchise-record 102 games last year, the Phillies never recovered from Ryan Howard’s stumble on the last out of last year’s NL division series against St. Louis. Howard, the 2006 NL MVP, tore an Achilles tendon and didn’t come off the disabled list until July 6. All-Star second baseman Chase Utley missed the first 76 games because of a chronic problem in both knees.
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