CLEVELAND - The Cleveland Indians traded infielder Mark DeRosa to the St. Louis Cardinals last night for reliever Chris Perez and a player to be named later.
DeRosa, who the Indians acquired from the Chicago Cubs in a trade last offseason, was hitting .270 with 13 homers and 50 RBIs.
DeRosa goes from the Indians, who have the worst record in the American League, to the Cardinals, who are tied with Milwaukee for first place in the NL Central.
DeRosa started at second base for Chicago last season, helping the Cubs to the division title. Ironically, he will now be joining the Cubs' bitter rival. DeRosa can play all over the infield, which makes him a perfect fit for the Cardinals. St. Louis has been trying to fill at hole at third base this season because Troy Glaus has been out with an injured shoulder.
Perez, who turns 24, on July 1, has a 4.18 ERA in 29 appearances with a 1-1 record and one save. General manager Mark Shapiro hopes he can help Cleveland's beleagured bullpen, which is a major reason the Indians are 31-45.
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa has also been juggling middle infielders for much of the season.
DeRosa didn't play in the Indians' 7-3 loss to Cincinnati. The trade was announced immediately after the game.
"We felt the time was right to maximize the value Mark had," Indians general manager Mark Shapiro said.
"He throws 93 to 95 (mph)," Shapiro said. "He had back end stuff and the ability to get a strikeout."
Shapiro expects Perez to join the team Monday. Infielder Asdrubal Cabrera will be activated from the disabled list Sunday to take DeRosa's roster spot.
NEW YORK - Yankees captain Derek Jeter and left fielder Johnny Damon were out of last night's starting lineup against the Mets because of flu.
Jeter originally was in the starting lineup for Friday night's Subway Series, then was scratched and missed the game - on his 35th birthday. He and Damon were not in the posted lineup for last night's game, and manager Joe Girardi said they were the latest Yankees to get sick, following Chien-Ming Wang, Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera.
"That's on him, man. I told him I could play. That's all his decision," Jeter said.
Jeter sounded congested, and said he had a headache and a cough, but no longer was feverish. Girardi said a team physician recommended that Jeter not start.
"I know he really wants to play today and he's not happy about being out of the lineup," Girardi said.
"He was really, really sick last night, and Johnny was up all night coughing, and he's got the start of it."
Girardi said that including coaches and support staff, nine people had caught flu. Jeter, he said, had the worst case.
"It's just kind of went around," Girardi said. "It's what happens when you're in a clubhouse and on airplanes together."
Jeter and Damon were available to pinch hit, according to Girardi.
Fill-in leadoff batter Brett Gardner raised his average 22 points to .303 in the Yankees' 9-1 victory Friday with a career-high five hits, including his third homer of the season.
and a triple. Ramiro Pena played shortstop and had two doubles and a single.
Gardner was hitting .265 on June 9 but has hit .429 (15 for 35) since then.
"That's why he's seeing more playing time," Girardi said. "If a guy's really hot, you stick with him and you find days, but that doesn't necessarily mean that one guy's lost his job. We're just riding the hot hand."
Girardi also said the Yankees planned to keep giving Alex Rodriguez days off. After hitting his 564th homer Friday night to pass Reggie Jackson and move into sole possession of 11th place, Rodriguez he had been told down to cut down his practice swings by 75 percent by Dr. Marc Philippon.
"It's not probably clear cut as the Joba rules," Girardi said, referring to restrictions in place on Joba Chamberlain when he first joined the Yankees two years ago.
With Rodriguez's stroke coming back only slowly following hip surgery in March, New York wants to limit to him to five or six games in a row, at least in theory.
"The competitiveness in a player sometimes doesn't allow them to say that I need a day, so it's our job to watch him, and we see or feel that he needs a day, we give him a day," Girardi said.
After he was kept out of the starting lineup for two games at Florida last weekend, Rodriguez went 6 for 18 with two homers and 10 RBIs, raising his average from .212 to .227. He hit only the third opposite-field homer at Citi Field - the first by a right-handed hitter. The others were by Washington's Nick Johnson (April 24) and Adam Dunn (May 26).
"I think my legs are coming back a little bit. I think like I have more springs," Rodriguez said.
NOTES: Girardi said the Yankees had been advised by doctors and trainers not to start Hideki Matsui in the outfield, but that he could see action there as part of a late-inning switch.
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