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All-Star slugger Lee acquired by Rangers

By TIMES WIRES
Published July 29, 2006


ARLINGTON, Texas - Wanting the big bat now and hoping to keep him longer, the Texas Rangers acquired All-Star slugger Carlos Lee from the Milwaukee Brewers in a six-player deal Friday.

Milwaukee traded Lee after it became apparent that the outfielder wasn't interested in staying there after this season when he can become a free agent.

"Carlos is an impact bat that we need right now," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "He's a middle-of-the-order hitter, a run producer, big makeup, leader, just entering his prime. We feel strongly he can be a big piece for us as we make a run at the pennant."

The Brewers got reliever Francisco Cordero, outfielders Kevin Mench and Laynce Nix and minor-leaguer Julian Cordero - no relation to Francisco. Minor-league outfielder Nelson Cruz went to the Rangers and was added to their major-league roster.

Lee arrived about 35 minutes before Friday night's game against Kansas City and started, batting fourth as the designated hitter. Manager Buck Showalter plans to use Lee primarily as an outfielder.

It was the first major deal completed in the days leading up to Monday's nonwaiver trade deadline. Because of his potential to become a free agent, Lee was considered one of the biggest trade targets.

Brewers general manager Doug Melvin started entertaining offers after Lee and his agent, Adam Katz, on Thursday turned down a four-year extension reportedly worth $48-million.

TWINS: Torii Hunter is scheduled to come off the disabled list for Minnesota on Monday. Hunter hurt his foot in June and played through the pain until a stress fracture was found nearly two weeks ago. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list July 16.

RED SOX: David Wells will return to Boston's rotation Monday and start against the Cleveland Indians. Wells hasn't pitched since sustaining a bruise below his right knee when he was hit by a line drive against Tampa Bay on May 26. But he did well enough in a five-inning simulated game Monday that the team decided not to send him on a minor-league rehab start and use him in the majors instead.

INDIANS: Andy Marte was recalled by Cleveland from Triple-A Buffalo on Friday. To make room for Marte, the Indians optioned infielder Ramon Vazquez to the Bisons.