SAN DIEGO (AP) _ Quilvio Veras, who led the major leagues with 56 stolen bases in 1995, was acquired Thursday by the San Diego Padres from the Florida Marlins for reliever Dustin Hermanson.

Veras, 25, is expected to battle Jody Reed for the starting job at second base. Reed struggled at the plate last year with a career-low .244 average.

Veras ``helps address a couple of the ballclub's needs,'' general manager Kevin Towers said. ``He's a great athlete with the ability to get on base and then make things happen with his speed. He should provide us with some more offense from the middle infield.''

Veras hit .253 with four homers, 14 RBIs and only eight stolen bases in 73 games last year. The switch-hitter was on the disabled list from May 10 to June 21 with a strained left hamstring, and was sent down to Class AAA Charlotte in August after the Marlins decided to start rookie Luis Castillo at second.

Hermanson was the Padres' first-round draft pick in 1994. He split the last two seasons between San Diego and Triple-A Las Vegas. He was 1-0 with an 8.56 ERA in eight relief appearances during two stints with the Padres in 1996.