Rockies, Brewers Make A Deal

In another rebuilding move, the Colorado Rockies swapped pitchers with Milwaukee on Wednesday, sending right-hander Curtis Leskanic to the Brewers for left-hander Mike Myers.

It was the Rockies' third offseason trade and second in as many days. Since the World Series, the Rockies have acquired seven players.

Only 14 of the 25 players remain from Colorado's 1999 opening-day roster. Third baseman Vinny Castilla, who is being shopped to Los Angeles and Tampa Bay among others, is the only remaining member of the inaugural 1993 team.

Myers, 30, fills one of Colorado's major needs: a left-handed reliever. He has established himself as one of the league's top lefty setup relievers. In 1999, he finished second to Colorado's Jerry Dipoto by allowing just 15.4 percent of his inherited runners to score.

Used primarily to retire left-handed batters, Myers held them to a .188 average, ninth in the NL. Overall, he was 2-1 with a 5.23 ERA while appearing in 71 games.

In 1998, Myers, who pitches with a near submarine delivery, led the league with 23 relief holds, a statistic measuring a setup reliever's effectiveness in save situations.

Leskanic, 31, was a big part of the Rockies' wild-card season in 1995, when he led the majors in appearances (76), recording 10 saves with a 6-3 record and 3.40 ERA.

Last season he went 6-2 with a 5.08 ERA, but he became expendable when the Rockies loaded up on hard-throwing right-handers Manny Aybar and Rick Croushore in a trade Tuesday that sent Darryl Kile to the Cardinals.

Leskanic, an original Rockie who is the only pitcher to see action in each of the team's seven seasons, leaves Colorado as the franchise appearance leader (356) and ranks second on the strikeout list (415).

"We're already starting to look different," general manager Dan O'Dowd said. "We'll continue to march on."

Myers said he enjoyed his previous association in Detroit with the Rockies' new manager, Buddy Bell.

"I know he's going to run me out there a lot, and I'm looking forward to that," Myers said. "And I'm thankful I don't have to face Larry Walker any more. I think it's a good trade for me."

"Coors Field may not be the best place tpitch. It will be another challenge for me. But I do keep the ball on the ground a lot. If I can keep hitters off-balance, I don't think the ballpark will bother me at all."

Myers throws a fastball that acts like a sinker, a sweeping breaking ball and a changeup.

The Rockies, who claimed San Francisco reliever Julian Tavarez off waivers and have five days to negotiate with him, also are said to be interested in free-agent catcher Joe Girardi, a former Rockie; center fielder Tom Goodwin, and right-hander Juan Guzman.

The Dodgers are said to be offering Ismael Valdes for Castilla and the Devil Rays are talking about Rolando Arrojo.

As for Leskanic, Brewers general manager Dean Taylor likes his "arm strength, aggressiveness and approach on the mound."

"We feel he will be able to fill the role of setup man on our staff," Taylor said. "It's always tough to lose lefties, but we have Valerio De Los Santos, Rafael Roque and possibly Bill Pulsipher to help fill that role."

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