Ford, Hammond dealt to Brewers for Durham

GM Melvin unavailable for comment; trade may set up platoon

By Adam McCalvy / | July 20, 2008 3:27 PM ET

SAN FRANCISCO -- Brewers manager Ned Yost made it abundantly clear Sunday that Rickie Weeks is his leadoff man and second baseman, but Weeks will have some company for the rest of the season.

The Brewers on Sunday finalized a trade with the Giants for veteran switch-hitting second baseman Ray Durham, who did not play in any of the three games between the teams at AT&T Park this weekend. The Giants said he had the flu.

Headed to San Francisco in the trade were fleet-footed outfielder Darren Ford from Class Advanced A Brevard County and Triple-A Nashville left-hander Steve Hammond.

Giants left-hander Jack Taschner, a Milwaukee-area native who had been linked to the Brewers in trade rumors, was not involved in the final deal.

Ford was pulled from the Brevard County lineup Saturday in anticipation of the trade and is hitting .230 this year but had 48 stolen bases in 59 attempts. The Brewers selected him in the 18th round of the 2004 Draft.

Hammond is a soft-tosser who started the season at Double-A Huntsville and has struggled since a promotion to Triple-A. He is 0-4 with a 7.41 ERA in four starts since the move and 7-8 with a 4.09 ERA in 19 starts at both levels this season.

To make room on the active roster for Durham, the Brewers probably will option utility man Joe Dillon back to Triple-A Nashville. Dillon was hitting .227 entering Sunday's game but had not started since July 1 and was just 5-for-30 (.167) as a pinch-hitter. Durham was not on the field with the Giants when they stretched at about 10:30 a.m. PT on Sunday but arrived shortly thereafter. He declined comment to The Associated Press, which reported that a Brewers athletic trainer was seen leaving the Giants clubhouse. That likely was head trainer Roger Caplinger, who was not on the field with the Brewers during their batting-practice time slot.

The 36-year-old Durham is hitting .293 this season with a .385 on-base percentage and could be insurance for Weeks, who hit a go-ahead two-run single in Saturday's Brewers win but entered Sunday's series finale hitting .218 with a .322 on-base percentage.

Durham is the final season of a two-year, $14.5 million contract that will pay roughly $3 million for the remainder of 2008. He had the right to veto the trade because he has 10 years of Major League service including at least the last five years with the same team.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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