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Mets Get Busy At Trading Post

Snubbed until now, the New York Mets persisted Friday and found teams and players willing to deal with them, and quickly filled holes at shortstop and in the bullpen.

The Mets got All-Star shortstop Mike Bordick from the Baltimore Orioles and hours later, acquired reliever Rick White and outfielder Bubba Trammell from Tampa Bay.

"This is the time for us to make our move," Mets general manager Steve Phillips said.

In the last week, Phillips just missed on two deals. Cincinnati shortstop Barry Larkin blocked a trade to the Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies turned down several offers for Curt Schilling.

Last December, Ken Griffey Jr. vetoed a deal that would have sent him from Seattle to the Mets.

Baseball's deadline for trades without waivers is 4 p.m. EDT Monday, and Phillips said he may not be done. The Mets began the day five games behind Atlanta in the NL East and in the middle of the wild-card race.

For Bordick, the Mets gave up Melvin Mora, who had been filling in at shortstop after Rey Ordonez was lost for the season with a broken left arm, minor league pitchers Lesli Brea and Pat Gorman and catcher-outfielder Mike Kinkade.

Phillips said he had talked to the Orioles about Bordick earlier but would not part with the package Baltimore proposed.

"I was ready to walk away from the deal," Phillips said.

Then Orioles GM Syd Thrift called Thursday night and the parts began to fall into place. The deal was completed Friday morning.

"We're ecstatic to acquire a player of Bordick's ability," Phillips said. "We look to him to add tremendous stability to the left side of our infield. His offensive production will be a boost as well."

Bordick, who turned 35 last week, is hitting .297 with a career-high 16 home runs and 59 RBIs. Earlier this month, the steady fielder made his first All-Star appearance.

Bordick is a career .262 hitter in 11 big league seasons with Oakland and Baltimore.

Both Bordick, eligible for free agency after this season, and Mora will join their new teams Saturday.

"I'm very excited with the opportunity to be in a playoff race," Bordick said. "The Orioles are struggling this year and to be thrust into a playoff race is great.">

Mora, who emerged as a postseason star for the Mets last year, was hitting .260. He made seven errors at shortstop in 167 chances over 44 games; Bordick has nine errors for the whole season.

Mora has played every position except catcher and first base this season and was told by the Orioles that he would play shortstop for the remainder of the season and might move to the outfield next year.

"I was surprised," Mora said. "I know a lot of people were talking about Bordick."

"I feel really sad," he said. "It's difficult. We know some day something's going to happen. It happened to me. It can happen to other guys. You have a relationship with a team. It's tough."

The Mets sent outfielder Jason Tyner and pitcher Paul Wilson to Tampa Bay for White and Trammell.

White, 31, is 3-6 with a 3.41 ERA in 44 games. He moves into a bullpen which had four relievers on a pace to pitch in 80 games this season.

"White was near the top of our list," Phillips said. "We had a number of alternatives. As we weighed them, the level of players and the price of others was pretty significant."

Trammell, 28, is hitting .275 with seven home runs and 33 RBIs in 66 games for the Devil Rays.

"Trammell is a right-handed power hitter," Phillips said. "We were able to do a deal that helps us in the short term."

Tyner had spent three weeks with the Mets in June and batted .195. He was hitting .321 at Triple-A Norfolk.

Wilson, coming back from arm surgery, was 5-5 with a 4.23 ERA in 15 games at Norfolk. He had given 85 hits in 80 innings.

Also, the Mets recalled first baseman-outfielder Jorge Toca from Norfolk.

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