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Blitzburgh55
07-31-2005, 09:28 PM
ATLANTA -- In a deal completed just prior to the 4 p.m. ET trading deadline on Sunday, the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired outfielder Jody Gerut from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for outfielder Matt Lawton and cash considerations.
Gerut, 27, was named the Sporting News American League Rookie of the Year with the Indians in 2003 after batting .279 with 22 homers and 75 RBIs. Gerut spent the first six weeks of the 2005 season rehabbing from surgery to repair an ACL tear in his right knee. The left-handed hitter batted .275 with one home run and 12 RBIs in 44 games with the Indians before being traded to the Cubs on July 19. In 11 games with Chicago, he went 1-for-14.

"Gerut has been a productive guy both with home runs and getting on base," said Pirates GM Dave Littlefield. "We think that he'll be a piece of our outfield for the next couple of years."

Lawton, 33, batted .273 with 10 home runs and 44 RBIs in 101 games as Pittsburgh's primary leadoff hitter and right fielder. Lawton was acquired from Cleveland in exchange for reliever Arthur Rhodes on Dec. 11, 2004. He will be eligible for free agency following the season.

While several contenders contacted the Pirates about Lawton, Littlefield would not accept any deal that did not include a Major League player coming to the Pirates in return.

"We had been talking to a variety of clubs and Lawton had drawn some interest from different people," said Littlefield. "We said all along that we wanted to get a Major League player back."

The Pirates will reportedly pick up slightly more than $1 million of the $2.5 million that is owed to Lawton over the final two months of the season.

Gerut, who is earning $356,200 this season, will be considered a "super two" player this winter. This means he will be arbitration-eligible for the next four years.

"[Gerut] is a guy that we think makes sense in exchange for Lawton because he'll be a part of the club for the next few years and productive in a couple of different ways," said Littlefield.

Gerut will likely split time in right field with seldom-used right-handed slugger Michael Restovich.

"It seems like right field is his best position," said Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon. "We have an opportunity to play him some out there, maybe give Restovich a little more time as well."

Gerut, who grew up outside of Chicago, admitted that it would be tough for him to leave his hometown after a brief stay in the Windy City.

"Two weeks here made me realize this would've been a great place to play," said Gerut.

Lawton developed a great rapport with his Pirates teammates and, as one of the few veterans position players on the roster, took on a leadership role in the Pirates' clubhouse.

"I hate to see him leave," said McClendon. "In my opinion, I thought he was the best leadoff hitter in the National League. He did a tremendous job for us, never wavered in how he went about his business. I told him I was extremely proud of way he reached out to the young players."

Lawton had a mutual admiration for his Pirates manager and teammates.

"Lloyd has been by far the best manager I have ever played for," said Lawton. "He asks for one thing: for guys to play hard and go about your business the right way. That's what everyone does in this clubhouse.




complete coverage >"It's been a fun time. It was a great match for me. It was a learning experience and I got to know a lot of great guys. It's kind of weird. You'd think guys would be happy to leave a team going to a contender. But I was kind of excited that I hadn't heard anything. I wouldn't [have] minded staying."

Although Sunday's non-waiver deadline has come and gone, the Pirates will continue to be active in negotiations for the next month. Littlefield has been contacted by contending teams in regard to the availability of starter Mark Redman, first baseman Daryle Ward and relievers Jose Mesa and Rick White. However, those players must first clear waivers in order for a trade to occur.

"We've got to continue to try to get better," said Littlefield. "We know we need some more players, particularly position players. How ever we can help the organization we're going to be open minded."

Littlefield stressed that any further deals this season would not be motivated by finances alone.

"We want to do something that's going to make sense," said Littlefield. "We don't have any financial issues to deal with. We've worked hard the last couple of years to be in a position to control these guys and make the decisions based on whether we want to keep them or not. At this point in time, [the offers] just didn't make sense."

The trade Sunday was the second made by the Pirates in a span of four days. On Thursday, Pittsburgh acquired Minor League infielder J.J. Furmaniak from the San Diego Padres in exchange for Minor League catcher David Ross.

Ed Eagle is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

ironcitychef
07-31-2005, 11:17 PM
my only reply is again we dump salary, finish below .500, and still can't buy anyone better? Can VanBen and others stay healthy for a change to give us a rotation of Perez, Snell, VanB, and other young guys just to see if they could do any worse? Admire Redman for pitching well but money was not worth it.

Da Boot
08-01-2005, 09:00 PM
Well at least they got somebody with some kind of potential. I am surprised they didnt dump Redman either. I doubt they will be able to keep him, so you might as well get something for him.

Stlrs4Life
08-16-2005, 10:56 AM
Good, he stunk anyway.

Suitanim
09-06-2005, 07:34 PM
Lawton was let go by the Indians because his arm is shot...