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Giants, Houston exchange catchers

The Giants sent Kirt Manwaring and an undisclosed amount of cash to the Astros for Rick Wilkins Friday night, leaving two catchers to seek their old productivity in new places.

"This is a change-of-scenery trade for both players," Houston general manager Gerry Hunsicker said. "Rick fell short of our expectations this year."

Wilkins was batting .213 with six homers and 23 RBI. He hit .303 with 30 home runs with the Cubs in 1993 but had hit just .216 with 20 homers since. Chicago traded him to Houston for another catcher, Scott Servais, and outfielder Luis Gonzalez on June 28, 1995.

Manwaring, in a 5-for-42 slump (.119), was batting .234 with one home run and 14 RBI. He missed four weeks with a broken bone in his left hand after being hit by a Doug Drabek pitch April 9 at Houston. His best season also was 1993: .275 with five homers.

"This is part of the game," Manwaring said. "It's definitely a surprise."

Canseco says his year

almost certainly over

MINNEAPOLIS _ While the Red Sox awaited results of an MRI, Jose Canseco indicated that they need not bother.

"I'm 95 percent sure my season is over," the Boston Globe

quoted Canseco as saying. The designated hitter reinjured his back in batting practice Friday.

"I'm surprised I've been able to play this long with a ruptured disc," Canseco said. "It happened in spring training." He said he was experiencing "excruciating pain" in his leg.

Canseco was on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hip flexor muscle earlier this season.

YANKEES: A monument to Mickey Mantle, the Hall of Fame outfielder and first baseman who died Aug. 13, will be unveiled and dedicated in the Monument Park area of Yankee Stadium Aug. 25. The monument will be the fourth in the area behind the fence in left-center, joining the granite and bronze memorials to Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and manager Miller Huggins, a former Yankees manager.

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