The Chicago White Sox got their leadoff man, and the Montreal Expos picked up a proven run producer and one of baseball's top pitchers.
Seven-time all-star Tim Raines was traded from the Expos to the White Sox for outfielder Ivan Calderon and pitcher Barry Jones. The deal was made Sunday and formally announced yesterday.
"Every club that has made it to the World Series in recent years has a solid leadoff man who helped get them there -- Barry Larkin, Rickey Henderson, Steve Sax," said Ron Schueler, General Manager of the White Sox, who finished second in the AL West last season.
"They all had a leadoff player who could get on base, steal a base and get something started."
Raines, 31, was moved from leadoff position and wanted to be traded; he had a career average of .301 with the Expos and averaged 63 steals a season.
"I've always taken pride in being a leadoff man," Raines said, "Now I get my opportunity to get back."
Raines's three-year contract worth $10.5 million makes him the 28th $3 million-a-year player; his average annual salary of $3.5 million ties him with Oakland pitcher Dave Stewart for eighth highest in baseball.