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Article:Ray Durham Sent to Millwaukee

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We're a little less than 2 weeks before the July 31st trade deadline and the Giants have made their first of what hopes to be a string of moves in order to rid their roster of their veteran players. Ray Durham had been scouted by the Brewers for the last 2+ weeks and on Sunday night after they finished their 3 game series, the Giants and Brewers agreed on a deal that sent Durham to the Brew Crew for a couple of minor leaguers. The guys the Giants got in exchange for Durham aren't 4 or 5 star prospects, but I am at least little bit intrigued by 22 year-old Darren Ford who was playing for the Brewers high-A affiliate. Before the year, Ford was ranked as the best defensive outfielder and base runner in a Brewers' system that features/featured some big time talent. He is only hitting .237, but has 48 stolen bases which ranks second in all of minor league baseball. He also has scored 57 runs isn't bad, and earned FSL all-star honors. Ford's bat looks like it has the potential to improve. Last season, he hit .335 with 5 home runs, 33 rbi, 31 steals and 48 runs in only 51 games at the low-A level. At worst, the Giants have themselves another Rajai Davis clone. At best, Ford could turn out to be a Dave Roberts or Juan Pierre-type player which could definitely find a role somewhere on the team.

The other guy the Giants acquired in the trade is 25 year-old lefty, Steve Hammond. I'm not too intrigued with Hammond outside of the fact that he's left handed. He was a former 6th round pick, so he's got ability, but he's never really done much since being drafted. He has an era in the 7's with the Brewers AAA affiliate, but he was throwing well in AA earlier in the year. I don't expect to ever see Hammond dawn a Giants uniform, but I still have no complaints at all about his deal. Ray Durham was a solid Giant, and outside of his huge fall off last season, and a few too many trips to the disabled list, he has been one of the Giants most consistent offensive performers during his tenure here. However, he's 36, a free agent after the year and there's no way the Giants were bringing him back. Now they open the door at second for the likes of Eugenio Velez, Travis Denker and Emmanuel Burris to soak up at-bats and see if any of these guys can claim that spot heading into next season. I have to say, job well done by Sabean on this deal, but I would still like to see Omar Vizquel, Rich Aurilia and Randy Winn moved before the 31st.

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