Thursday, July 30, 2009
Updated: August 1, 1:34 AM ET
Closer Sherrill traded to Dodgers
ESPN.com news services
BALTIMORE -- Adding a big arm to their bullpen, the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers acquired former All-Star closer George Sherrill from the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday for two minor leaguers.
The rebuilding Orioles receive third baseman Josh Bell and right-hander Steve Johnson, both of whom were at Double-A Chattanooga.
Sherrill has 20 saves for last-place Baltimore and gives the Dodgers, with the best record in the NL, a left-handed complement to All-Star closer Jonathan Broxton.
The Dodgers will pay the approximately $1 million left on Sherrill's salary this year.
"It's a great move for us," Broxton said. "It gives us an extra arm, and he's got some innings under his belt. If some nights I need a night off or whatever, he can pick up big innings for us."
An AL All-Star last season, the 32-year-old Sherrill is 0-1 with a 2.40 ERA. He has limited opponents to a .219 batting average in 2009.
Sherrill set a career high with 31 saves last season, his first with the Orioles. He came to Baltimore from Seattle as part of a five-for-one deal that sent pitcher Erik Bedard to the Mariners.
After the Orioles beat Kansas City 7-3 on Thursday, Sherrill said he appreciated being coveted by a contender as Friday's non-waiver trade deadline drew closer.
"It's flattering to have somebody want you on another team, but it's also flattering to have your own team set the bar high and not just give you away," he said.
The Orioles were most interested in the 22-year-old Bell, who was hitting .296 with 11 home runs and 52 RBIs in 94 games with Chattanooga.
The 21-year-old Johnson was 9-5 with a 3.61 ERA overall in Class-A and Double-A. He is the son of former Orioles pitcher Dave Johnson, now a broadcaster for the team.
"It's a great day for him. It's a great day for me, my family and everybody who knows Steve," Dave Johnson said.
With Sherrill gone, the Orioles will probably use Jim Johnson as their closer. He has been used primarily as a setup man this season.
ESPN.com senior baseball writer Jayson Stark and The Associated Press contributed to this report.