Giants get Kline for Hawkins

The Giants made their first trade of the winter meetings, swapping relievers with the Orioles.

The San Francisco Giants traded LaTroy Hawkins to the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday for Steve Kline, according to sources.

Kline, a left handed reliever, was a key part of the 2004 NL Champion Cardinals until going down with an injury. He signed as a free agent with the Orioles and had a down year, taking a 4.28 ERA in 67 appearances, which was his first season ERA over 4.00 since his rookie year in 1997. He has a career 3.40 ERA, including a 1.79 ERA in 2004 with the Cardinals. Last year, he uncharacteristically had problems with lefties, giving up a .317 batting average against them compared with a .209 BA against righties. In 2004, he only allowed a .143 batting average against left handed batters.

Hawkins came to the Giants in a midseason trade for Jerome Williams and David Aardsma in 2005. After a couple of failed attempts at closing, the Giants had Hawkins work as a setup man. Although he missed a month after the trade with shoulder problems, Hawkins came back to pitch a 4.10 ERA with the Giants over 45 games, and had a 3.83 ERA overall in 2005. He has a career 4.77 ERA.

Hawkins will make approximately $4.35 million this year, compared to Kline’s $3 million, and the Giants completed the deal with cash to even up the salaries.

"It's no secret that we were looking to add a left-handed reliever to our bullpen, and Steve Kline has a track record that is right up there with the top lefties in the game," Giants general manager Brian Sabean said.

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