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Baseball's most wanted

By KEVIN KELLY

© St. Petersburg Times,
published July 22, 2001


FOCUS ON: PEDRO ASTACIO

TEAM: Rockies.

POSITION: RHP.

STATS: 6-11, 5.14 ERA, 118 K.

WHO'S INTERESTED?: Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Mariners, Indians, Diamondbacks, Reds, Phillies, Astros, Cardinals.

THE LOWDOWN: The 31-year-old Astacio, who can be one of the best in the business when he's on, was 12-9 with 5.27 ERA in 32 starts last season and led the Rockies for the third straight season in strikeouts (199). "A lot of guys say they don't like to pitch in Colorado," he said recently. "I don't know what's wrong with them. This is my fourth year (with the Rockies). I like it. I don't think I do too bad there. But I can't worry about anything except every fifth day, doing my job and pitching well." Expect the Rockies to acquire a young starting pitcher and outfielder should they opt to trade Astacio, who has about $2.2-million remaining on a $6.6-million contract.

Other trade rumors

Will A's first baseman Jason Giambi stay in Oakland until the end of the season? The 2000 AL MVP pulled a six-year, $90-million offer off the table recently and is a free agent at the end of the season. The Yankees, Red Sox and Braves all could use him, but the A's may be hesitant to unload Giambi if they remain in the wild-card race. ... The Reds are shopping utilityman Dmitri Young and middle infielder Pokey Reese. ... Padres pitcher Sterling Hitchcock has caught the attention of the Mariners and Twins.

- Compiled by Kevin Kelly.

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