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bxny
04-15-00, 07:24 AM
Devil Rays acquire RHP Gooden from Houston

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Ticker) -- Desperate for pitching help, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays today acquired righthander Dwight Gooden from the Houston Astros for cash considerations.

Gooden, a four-time All-Star, was signed by the Astros in January and won a job in the rotation out of spring training. He lasted just four innings in his lone start on Saturday against Philadelphia, allowing four runs and six hits.

With Scott Elarton tenatively expected to return to the Houston rotation next week, Gooden became expendable. Elarton has been on the disabled list after undergoing offseason rotator cuff surgery.

A resident of the Tampa area, Gooden is expected to move into the rotation and start Saturday against the Detroit Tigers. The Devil Rays have allowed at least six runs in all but two games this season.

"He wasn't going to get the starts in Houston and with our woes, he'll get some work here," Devil Rays general manager Chuck LaMar said. "He brings experience and stability and late in his career, what better place for him than here."

The 35-year-old Gooden, who has won just 34 games since 1993, spent the last two seasons with the Cleveland Indians.

The righthander was National League Rookie of the Year in 1984 for the New York Mets. He was the best pitcher in baseball the following season, when he went 24-4 with a 1.53 ERA and 268 strikeouts and at just 20 years old became the youngest pitcher in history to win the Cy Young Award.

With an overpowering fastball and debilitating curve, Gooden spent 10 productive years with the Mets, but was suspended from baseball in 1987 and 1994 due to substance abuse. He missed all of the 1995 season.

Gooden latched on with the crosstown Yankees in 1996 and regained the spotlight for the World Series winners by throwing his first-career no-hitter on May 14 against Seattle.

That was the last significant bright spot for Gooden, who was 20-16 with a 4.91 ERA and no complete games the last three seasons. A four-time All-Star, Gooden owns a 188-107 lifetime record.

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Tampa's a good team for Doc to play for, he'll get his chance to start and find out whether he has anything left....... this will probably be his last shot,I wish him well.



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