Braves Acquire Drew, Marrero

The Braves pulled off the first big trade of the 2003 Winter Meetings, sending <B>Jason Marquis</B>, <B>Ray King</B>, and <B>Adam Wainright</B> to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for <B>J.D Drew</B> and <B>Eli Marrero</B>.

NEW ORLEANS -- The Atlanta Braves today acquired outfielder J. D. Drew and outfielder-catcher Eli Marrero from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for pitchers Jason Marquis, Ray King and Adam Wainwright.

Bobby Cox speaks during the Press Conference.
"Drew is the perfect answer to our right field situation," Braves Executive Vice President and General Manager John Schuerholz said. "We couldn't be happier with his acquisition. Marrero's versatility helps us in the reconstruction of our roster. We lost one fine Georgia player (Wainwright), but gained another one (Drew)."

Drew is from Harira, Georgia, while Wainwright, Atlanta's first choice in the 2000 draft, is from Brunswick.

Drew, 28, hit .289, including .338 with runners in scoring position, with 15 home runs and 42 RBI in 100 games for the Cardinals last season. A first-round pick of the Cardinals in the 1998 June draft, he's batted .282 with 96 homers and 280 RBI in 597 games in his five-year major league career.

J.D Drew: 2002-2003 Statistics

Year

Team

AB

Hits

Average

2B

HR

RBI

Runs

SB

2002

St. Louis

424

107

.252

19

18

56

61

8

2003

St. Louis

.287

83

.289

13

15

42

60

2



Marrero hit .224 in 2003 before injuring his ankle.(Photo/Getty)
Marrero, 30, hit .224 with 2 homers and 20 RBI in 41 games, missing much of the season with an ankle injury. Selected by St. Louis in the third round of the 1993 June draft, he's hit .238 with 43 homers and 187 RBI in 525 games in his five-year major league career.

Marrero had his best season as a Major League by far in 2002 when he hit 18 home runs, three times more than his previous high. As his confidence grew, he also improved as a clutch hitter, batting nearly .300 with runners in scoring position.

Another of Marrero's assets always has been speed that is exceptional for a catcher.

"He's capable of stealing 30 bases," Braves Manager Bobby Cox said. "I think he'll see a lot of playing time. He's not just a throw-in, we want him."

Marquis, a 25-year-old right-hander, was Atlanta's top pick in the 1996 amateur draft and Wainwright was the Braves' first choice in 2000. He was 0-0 with a 5.53 ERA in two starts and 19 relief appearances last season.

Wainwright, a 22-year-old righty, was 10-8 with a 3.37 ERA in 27 starts for Double-A Greenville last season and probably will start next season at Triple-A.

King, a 29-year-old left-hander, was 3-4 with a 3.51 ERA in 80 relief appearances last season.

Stay tuned to BravesCenter.Com over the next couple of days for special analysis on this trade from Braves expert Bill Shanks and Senior Columnist Andrew Bare.

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