The San Francisco Giants Wednesday night traded star outfielder Jeffrey Leonard to the Milwaukee Brewers for infielder Ernest Riles.
Leonard, the Most Valuable Player in last season's National League playoffs, has been beset by injuries. He has only two homers and 20 RBI in 44 games this season with a .256 average.Al Rosen, the Giants president and general manager, said he made the trade to open a spot for Mike Aldrete in left field. The move also gives the Giants infield insurance. The wife of Jose Uribe died after giving birth last week and the shortstop was placed on the 15-day disabled list.
"I did not think at this stage of his career it was fair to ask Jeffrey to be a part-time player and split the job with Mike," Rosen said. "As for Aldrete, he has made the transition from first base to the outfield and we want him to get four at-bats every day. We think he has a chance to become an outstanding hitter with power."
Leonard, 32, becomes a free agent after this season.
"Things like this usually happen," he said. "It was a numbers deal. The outfield situation was bad, but it was good, too, you know. They wanted to go with younger players, I guess. Candy (Maldonado) and Aldrete have to play every day."