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Pirates trade Bay to Red Sox

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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Jason Bay almost stayed with the Pirates.

In the final minutes before today's 4 p.m. non-waiver trading deadline, the Pirates sent their standout left fielder to the Boston Red Sox as part of a blockbuster, three-team deal.

As part of the deal, temperamental outfielder Manny Ramirez goes to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Pirates get four players -- third baseman Andy LaRoche, outfielder Brandon Moss and right-handed pitchers Craig Hansen and Bryan Morris.

LaRoche is the younger brother of Pirates first baseman Adam LaRoche. Moss and Hansen is from the Red Sox system.

LaRoche, Moss and Hansen will join the team Friday in Chicago, where the Pirates open a three-game series against the Cubs. Morris will be sent to Class A Hickory.

The deal came after talks among the Pirates, Red Sox and Florida Marlins collapsed. In the final hour, the Pirates were unable to come to terms with the Tampa Bay Rays on a Bay-for-prospects exchange.

Yesterday's trade is the second major move by Pirates first-year general manager Neal Huntington. Last week, the Pirates dealt Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte to the New York Yankees for outfielder Jose Tabata and three minor league pitchers.

LaRoche, 24, was batting .203 with two homers and six RBI in just 27 games and 59 at-bats with the Dodgers, who optioned him to the minors earlier in the week. LaRoche already was being squeezed for playing time by Blake DeWitt, and that was before the Dodgers acquired third baseman Casey Blake from Cleveland earlier in the week.

Hansen, 24, was 1-3 with a 5.58 ERA and two saves in 32 games with the Red Sox this season. He was a first-round draft pick (26th selection overall) in the 2005 draft. He made his major-league debut later that year, becoming the first player in Red Sox history to reach the majors in the year he was drafted.

Moss, 24, had three stints with the Red Sox this year and appeared in 34 games. He was batting .295 with two homers and 11 RBI in 78 at-bats. He was sent to the minors when David Ortiz was activated from the disabled list last weekend. In 43 games at Triple-A Pawtucket, he batted .282 with eight homers and 30 RBI.

Morris, 21, was 2-4 with a 3.20 ERA in 17 starts for Class A Great Lakes this season. He was a first-round draft pick (26th selection overall) in the 2006 draft. Last season, he was considered the Dodgers' 12th-best prospect by Baseball America, and he missed the entire 2007 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his pitching arm.

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