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PIRATES Redman slotted for middle of rotation

Friday, February 25, 2005

He's been traded so often he feels like a nomad.
BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) -- Mark Redman has been traded four times in as many seasons. No trade was bigger than the most recent.
The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired the 31-year-old left-hander in November when they sent three-time All-Star and nine-year veteran catcher Jason Kendall to the Oakland Athletics.
When he reported to spring training with the Pirates, Redman said he had no problem leaving a playoff contender to join a team that is coming off its 12th consecutive losing season.
"I take it as a compliment to myself that they wanted me and had to trade a franchise catcher," Redman said.
The Pirates traded Kendall because he had three years and $34 million remaining on his contract.
Redman is more affordable, making $8.75 million over the next two seasons.
The Pirates also received left-handed reliever Arthur Rhodes in the trade, but they turned around and sent him to the Cleveland Indians for outfielder Matt Lawton, filling an offensive void created by the loss of Kendall.
"You can't win with one person," Redman said.
"You can't win with Jason Kendall, and you can't win with one pitcher. It takes a team. When you're trying to win as a team, sometimes changes are needed."
Redman is used to change. When he arrived in spring training with the Pirates last week, he joined his fifth team since 2001.
He previously pitched for Minnesota, Detroit and Florida before being traded to Oakland before the 2004 season.
"I guess I know how the nomads felt back in the time," Redman said.
Innings and guidance
The Pirates plan to slot Redman in the middle of their rotation, behind left-hander Oliver Perez and right-hander Kip Wells.
With five-plus years of experience, he's the team's most experienced starter.
"We hope he can give us 200 innings, win some games for us and provide some leadership to our young pitchers," manager Lloyd McClendon said.
Redman is 48-51 with a 4.62 ERA in his career. His best season came in 2003 when he pitched for the world champion Marlins and went 14-9 with a 3.59 ERA.
Pirates general manager Dave Littlefield contacted Marlins officials before completing the Redman trade.
"They had a lot of praise for him," Littlefield said.
"But it's like the chicken or the egg. Was he praised on the fact he had a good year, or was he praised and then had a good year?"
Redman didn't fare nearly as well in Oakland, going 11-12 with a 4.71 ERA.
That included a 7.46 ERA on the road, the third-highest road ERA compiled since 1972 for a pitcher throwing at least 75 innings. The Pirates think PNC Park, which has a spacious left-center field alley, will benefit Redman's pitching style.
"We think he's better suited for pitching in the National League," McClendon said. "It should be a nice fit for us."
Perez (left shoulder stiffness) resumed a light throwing program after taking Wednesday off. He is scheduled to play catch again today and is expected to begin pitching off a mound Sunday or Monday.
Non-roster right-hander Kirk Bullinger returned to the mound after missing two throwing sessions with a hamstring injury.
Non-roster right-hander Joe Roa has hurt his chances of competing for the fifth starter's job because of a lower back injury that has kept him off the mound for three turns.