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Saturday, August 27, 2005
Updated: August 29, 5:03 PM ET
Phillies deal for Giants outfielder Tucker

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Giants traded outfielder Michael Tucker to the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday for minor league right-hander Kelvin Pichardo.

Tucker, whose playing time has been limited this season after starting in right field for most of 2004, joins a Phillies team in the heart of the playoff chase.

"Right now I don't think a whole lot takes me by surprise," said Tucker, who found out about the deal within minutes of the Giants' 2-1 win over the New York Mets. "It's nice always to be playing for something.

"It's one of those things that comes up and you have no control over it. You do the best you can. They're a good team and it's one of those things you hope they can keep winning."

San Francisco (56-72) wants to evaluate its young players in the final month of the season. Manager Felipe Alou plans to consistently use Todd Linden and Jason Ellison, who will be recalled from Triple-A Fresno on Monday to take Tucker's roster spot.

The 34-year-old Tucker, in his 11th big league season, spent nearly two years with the Giants. He is batting .240 this season with five home runs, 33 RBI and four stolen bases.

He is expected to join the Phillies on Sunday at Arizona.

"He's a veteran bat off the bench," Phillies assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said in Phoenix after his club's 2-0 loss to the Diamondbacks. "He's a guy who can drive the ball, get the ball out of the ball park. It's nice to be able to have a guy who's a professional hitter, a guy who's been around the league and understands that role. We think he's going to help us."

Philadelphia was reluctant to trade Pichardo, a 19-year-old prospect from the Dominican Republic, but the club was more concerned with upgrading its bench for the stretch drive.

Alou planned to call his countryman Saturday. Pichardo has been playing for the Phillies in the Gulf Coast League, going 3-2 with a 4.17 ERA in 10 games and nine starts.

Alou was sad to see Tucker go.

"It had nothing to do with anything or anybody in particular," he said. "It was the club making a move. Tucker, what a gentleman he is in the clubhouse, airplane and everywhere he goes. He's going to a good team."