The Chicago Cubs bolstered their bullpen Wednesday, acquiring Matt Karchner from the crosstown Chicago White Sox for minor league pitcher Jon Garland.
It was the first trade between the two Chicago teams since the White Sox sent George Bell to the Cubs for Sammy Sosa and pitcher Ken Patterson on March 30, 1992.
Karchner, 31, who started the season as the White Sox closer, was 2-4 with 11 saves in 15 chances and a 5.15 ERA. He appeared in 32 games, striking out 30.
Karchner had struggled since coming off the disabled list July 9, going 0-2 with one save in four chances. With the Cubs, he'll be used as a set-up man for closer Rod Beck.
"It gives us another arm in the bullpen to help us get to Rod Beck," Cubs manager Jim Riggleman said. "We're hoping that between (Terry) Adams, Karchner and (Terry) Mulholland, we'll be more consistent in getting to Rod Beck."
"We know some guys over there, (Kevin) Tapani and Lance (Johnson)," Karchner said of the Cubs. "It's always sad to say goodbye to your teammates."
Garland, 18, was 4-7 with a 5.03 ERA in 19 starts at Class A Rockford this year.
He struck out 70 while walking 45 over 107 1-3 innings. The Cubs' first-round selection, 10th overall, in the 1997 June draft, Garland will be assigned to the White Sox Class A Hickory team.
"It's tough to give up a kid with that kind of talent but we're trying to win in '98, not 2001," Riggleman said.
Riggleman said Garland was the name that consistently came up in any trade talks.
"Anytime you can get a young arm like this, you make a deal," White Sox general manager Ron Schueler said. "It wasn't easy to get this kid."
Schueler said the White Sox probably weren't finished trading.
"We're not in the wild card race, we're not going to win the division so we have to look at ways to improve the club down the line in a year or two," he said.
With he acquisition of Garland, the White Sox now have seven players from the top 51 of the 1997 draft.
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