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Yankees Trade Leyritz to Dodgers

June 21, 2000

HOUSTON (AP) _ The New York Yankees finally made a trade, just not the one everyone expected.

The World Series champions picked up defensive insurance for struggling second baseman Chuck Knoblauch, acquiring infielder Jose Vizcaino from the Los Angeles Dodgers for Jim Leyritz.

Vizcaino, a switch-hitter who plays second, third and shortstop, was hitting .204 with four RBIs, including a go-ahead pinch-hit single in Los Angeles’ 9-6, 10-inning win over Houston on Tuesday night.

More importantly, Vizcaino has only two errors in 34 games, giving Yankees manager Joe Torre a late-inning defensive replacement option for Knoblauch, who has 13 errors in 48 games.

Torre said he would use a defensive replacement for the 1997 Gold Glove winner for the immediate future. Knoblauch made three throwing errors last Thursday, forcing Torre to send him home early, and hit a fan in the stands with a throw on Saturday.

Leyritz was hitting .218 with one homer and four RBIs in limited playing time with the Yankees.

After losing four straight games to the Chicago White Sox over the weekend, there was speculation New York was close to making a trade. Detroit’s Juan Gonzalez and Sammy Sosa of the Cubs have been the most prominent names mentioned for the Yankees.

New York also received an undisclosed amount of cash from the Dodgers in the deal.

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