DETROIT - Todd Jones figured the Detroit Tigers would trade him after he lost his closer's job this year. But there was one thing he wasn't counting on.
“I'm mad I wasn't able to bring the Tigers a little more in a trade,” Jones said yesterday after being dealt to the Minnesota Twins for left-handed pitcher Mark Redman. “That's my fault.”
“It was an honor to be a Tiger, and to have thrown the last pitch at Tiger Stadium. This team and this city have touched my heart, but the time has come to move on.”
Jones, acquired from the Houston Astros in 1997, was 4-5 with a 4.62 ERA this season in 42 games. He had 142 saves in his Tigers career - 13 shy of passing all-time leader Mike Henneman. A year ago, Jones won the Rolaids Relief Man Award with 42 saves.
“I'm 33 years old,” said Jones, who was in the last year of his contract. “Going to the Minnesota Twins is a great compliment because I might have a chance to pitch in the playoffs.”
Redman, 27, was a first-round draft pick in 1995 from Oklahoma, the 12th pick overall. A year ago, he finished 12-9 for the Twins, ranking first among American League rookies in winning percentage (.571) and strikeouts (117). He was second in games started (24) and innings pitched (1511/3).
Redman started nine games this season and was 2-4 with a 4.22 ERA before being sidelined with a strained left tricep. His is currently rehabbing in Florida. The Tigers hope to have him in their rotation within two-to-three weeks.
“Mark is a young lefty that has experienced a good deal of success and has a nice feel for pitching,” Smith said. “He has progressed well, improving through the second half of last year and begin- ning this season strong. Mark is a good fit for our team and ballpark.”
The Tigers will bring up pitcher Kevin Tolar from Toledo.
- RON MUSSELMAN