WASHINGTON - Livan Hernandez was traded by the Washington Nationals to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday for a pair of minor league pitchers.
The 31-year-old Hernandez is 9-8 this season with a career-high 5.34 ERA in 24 starts.
The right-hander has been hampered by a sore knee for most of the season but had the latest in a string of strong outings Sunday, allowing two runs over seven innings at San Diego.
The Nationals received two 23-year-old prospects: right-hander Garrett Mock and left-hander Matt Chico. Both will report to Washington's Double-A affiliate, Harrisburg of the Eastern League.
The trade bolsters an Arizona rotation that, other than All-Star Brandon Webb, has been shaky at best.
The Nationals tried to force Hernandez through waivers so they could make a deal with any team, but Arizona blocked the move.
COMEBACKS: Jim Thome and Nomar Garciaparra were among 12 finalists selected to vie for the comeback player of the year awards in the American League and National League.
Thome, traded by Philadelphia to the Chicago White Sox in the off-season, is joined by Magglio Ordonez of Detroit, Corey Patterson of Baltimore, Curt Schilling of Boston, Frank Thomas of Oakland, and Rafael Soriano of Seattle as AL finalists.
Garciaparra, now with the Los Angeles Dodgers after a short stay with the Chicago Cubs, was nominated on the NL side along with New York's Carlos Beltran, Florida closer Joe Borowski, Johnny Estrada of Arizona, Edgar Renteria of Atlanta, and Scott Rolen of St. Louis.
YANKEES: Left fielder Hideki Matsui will have his injured left wrist re- examined Friday, at which time he could be cleared to intensify his workouts.
Matsui is currently hitting off a tee with a minibat, one-handed with his right arm. He is also throwing in the outfield, but is having someone catch the return throws.
Matsui will be examined in Tampa, Fla., where he is rehabbing the wrist he broke while diving for a fly ball hit by Boston's Mark Loretta on May 11.
REDS: Cincinnati shuffled its bullpen again by acquiring right-hander Ryan Franklin from Philadelphia for cash and a player to be named.
Franklin, 33, was 1-5 with Philadelphia with a 4.58 ERA in 46 relief appearances.
In other pitching moves, Gary Majewski (inflammation in his right shoulder) and Jason Standridge (back spasms) went on the disabled list, and Matt Belisle was sent to Triple-A Louisville on a rehab assignment. Kent Mercker was reinstated from the DL.
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