The Yankees agreed last night to acquire RHP Shawn Chacon from the Rockies for a pair of minor leaguers, filling the opening in their injury-ravaged rotation.

In exchange for Chacon, 27, the Rockies get Ramon Ramirez and Eduardo Sierra, two baseball team officials with knowledge of the trade said on the condition of anonymity.

New York and Colorado were in the process of finalizing the trade and planned to announce it later last night, the officials said.

Meanwhile, Kevin Brown went on the disabled list for the 14th time in his career, and the Yankees pitcher will go to California to be examined by back expert Robert Watkins.

Brown has a lumbar strain, according to the Yankees. Watkins operated on Brown in June 2002 to repair a disc in the nerve canal of the pitcher's lower back, and the Yankees are unsure whether Brown will be sidelined for the rest of the season. The trade for Chacon was expedited with Brown sidelined and Carl Pavano, Jaret Wright and Chien-Ming Wang, all out with shoulder injuries. New York already had brought up Aaron Small and acquired Al Leiter to join Randy Johnson and Mike Mussina in the rotation.

* RAMIREZ A TOUGH SELL: Manny Ramirez's trade request will be difficult to honor because of his contract, Red Sox President Larry Lucchino said.

Lucchino also said he didn't know the left fielder's motivation for refusing Manager Terry Francona's request to play Wednesday at Tampa Bay after another outfielder, Trot Nixon, was sidelined with a strained muscle in his side. Before the injury, Francona told Ramirez he could have the day off.

"It's hard to know if the events of the last couple of days are the result of sort of psychological and physical needs for a sustained period of rest or it's some calculation or some move to encourage us to trade him," Lucchino told WEEI radio on his regularly scheduled segment.

Lucchino and Ramirez's agent, Scott Parker, did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment. Team owner John Henry and GM Theo Epstein did not respond to e-mails, and the Red Sox' clubhouse was locked on their day off yesterday. On Tuesday, Sports Illustrated reported on its Web site that Ramirez, for at least the third time in four seasons, had asked to be traded. The report said he told club officials he was unhappy in Boston, especially with an off-field lack of privacy.

The Red Sox will explore trading him before Sunday's deadline, Lucchino said.

-- From News Services

Shawn Chacon will jump immediately into a Yankees rotation with only two healthy regulars, Mike Mussina and Randy Johnson.