Farnsworth Traded to Tigers

<B>CHICAGO</B>—Jim Hendry's off season house-cleaning chores took one step closer to being finalized Wednesday when the Cubs traded Kyle Farnsworth and a player to be named to Detroit for pitcher Roberto Novoa, infielder Scott Moore and outfielder Clarence "Bo" Flowers.

Novoa went 1-1 with a 5.57 ERA in 16 relief appearances last season for the Tigers after being called up on July 29 from Double-A Erie of the Eastern League. The 25-year-old right-hander spent most of the season in Double-A, where he went 7-0 with four saves and a 2.96 ERA in 41 appearances.

Selected by Detroit with the eighth overall pick in the 2002 draft, Moore showed success at Class-A Lakeland of the Florida State League with 14 home runs and 56 RBIs last season. The 21-year-old was once named Baseball America's third-best position prospect and second best pure hitter.

Flowers was also selected by Detroit in the 2002 draft. A fifth round selection, he spent the majority of last season with Class-A Oneonta of the short season New York Penn League, hitting .280 in 66 games.

"Novoa and Flowers are decent prospects, but the deal really comes down to Moore," said Paul Wezner, publisher of Citadel Media's TigsTown.com. "He is a power-hitting third baseman that can take a walk and just needs time to figure out how to work out the holes in his swing."

What Hendry's plans are for these prospects remain to be seen, but the Cubs rid themselves of $1.4 million in the deal. That money could be spent in another trade, perhaps one for a closer. Oakland's Octavio Dotel being mentioned as a possibility, but one that would most likely happen closer to the trade deadline.

Regardless, Hendry has only furthered the belief by many that he is doing everything in his power to make the Cubs clubhouse a more positive and less dramatic one in 2005. In recent months, the Cubs' General Manager has traded OF Sammy Sosa to Baltimore, parted ways with OF Moises Alou and LHP Kent Mercker—all who made headlines last season with various feuds with broadcasters, umpires and fans. Longtime television analyst Steve Stone also resigned.

Never one to hide his fiery temper, Farnsworth seldom seemed able to fully control his emotions during his tenure with the Cubs. A trip to the disabled list after kicking a fan in the clubhouse following a six-run performance in a loss to Houston on August 28 was only proof of that, and may have been the final straw. Rumors also circulated that he, too, left Wrigley Field on the last day of the regular season before the Cubs met the Atlanta Braves.

After getting off to a great start last season, Farnsworth struggled down the stretch and finished 4-5 with a 4.73 ERA. Prior to the All-Star break, he was 3-3 with a 3.35 ERA in 45 games.

The Cubs had hoped the tall right-hander would develop into a dominating reliever, but those hopes never materialized. Now, they become that of the Tigers.

Rob Kallick is a staff reporter for Inside The Ivy. Contact Rob at rkallick@tribune.com.

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