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Giants acquire Arocha to complete trade with Cardinals

February 13, 1997

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Pitcher Rene Arocha was sent from St. Louis to the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday, completing a trade in December that moved catcher Tom Lampkin to the Cardinals.

Arocha, 31 later this month, missed the entire 1996 season after having reconstructive surgery on his right elbow. He was originally sidelined by the injury in July 1995.

Arocha pitched in the Venezuelan winter league during the off-season, going 1-0 with a 3.21 ERA in eight games.

``Rene is a quality, veteran major league pitcher who should add depth to our pitching staff,″ Giants general manager Brian Sabean said. ``We’ve had our people follow Rene’s progress. We’re satisfied he’s healthy and ready to compete for a spot on our roster.″

Arocha was assigned to Triple-A Phoenix, but was invited to spring training.

Arocha defected from the Cuban national team and signed with the Cardinals after the 1991 season. He was MVP of the Triple-A American Association in 1992 and was 11-8 with a 3.78 ERA for St. Louis in 1993.

In three years with the Cardinals, he was 18-17 with a 3.87 ERA in 118 games, 36 of them starts.

Arocha will be reunited with fellow countryman Osvaldo Fernandez on the Giants. After Arocha defected, his spot on the Cuban team was taken by Fernandez in late 1991.

Lampkin hit .232 with six homers with 29 RBIs in 177 at-bats last season. The Giants sent him to St. Louis on Dec. 19.

The Cardinals signed Lampkin to a one-year, $400,000 contract in January. A left-handed hitter, he’s expected to compete for a backup job behind Tom Pagnozzi. The Cardinals also have Danny Sheaffer, who also can back up at third base, first base and the outfield.

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