The San Francisco Giants traded LaTroy Hawkins to the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday for Steve Kline, according to sources.
Kline, a left handed reliever, was a key part of the 2004 NL Champion Cardinals until going down with an injury. He signed as a free agent with the Orioles and had a down year, taking a 4.28 ERA in 67 appearances, which was his first season ERA over 4.00 since his rookie year in 1997. He has a career 3.40 ERA, including a 1.79 ERA in 2004 with the Cardinals. Last year, he uncharacteristically had problems with lefties, giving up a .317 batting average against them compared with a .209 BA against righties. In 2004, he only allowed a .143 batting average against left handed batters.
Hawkins came to the Giants in a midseason trade for Jerome Williams and David Aardsma in 2005. After a couple of failed attempts at closing, the Giants had Hawkins work as a setup man. Although he missed a month after the trade with shoulder problems, Hawkins came back to pitch a 4.10 ERA with the Giants over 45 games, and had a 3.83 ERA overall in 2005. He has a career 4.77 ERA.
Hawkins will make approximately $4.35 million this year, compared to Klines $3 million, and the Giants completed the deal with cash to even up the salaries.
"It's no secret that we were looking to add a left-handed reliever to our bullpen, and Steve Kline has a track record that is right up there with the top lefties in the game," Giants general manager Brian Sabean said.
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