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RED SOX ADD GAGNE TO STRONG PEN

Eric Gagne, pitching like his old self after two elbow operations and back surgery, was acquired by the Red Sox from the Rangers on Tuesday.

Once one of baseball's premier closers, Gagne waived the no-trade clause in his contract to join a bullpen that already had two All-Stars: closer Jonathan Papelbon and setup man Hideki Okajima. Gagne was by far the best reliever available at the nonwaiver trade deadline.

He will serve as Papelbon's primary setup man and will close on days Papelbon needs rest.

"We actually love our bullpen," manager Terry Francona said. "I think it just got a lot better."

The Yankees also pursued Gagne, but GM Brian Cashman said the price was too high. The Rangers wanted CF Melky Cabrera or RHP Ian Kennedy as a centerpiece of a deal. "It was a huge get for Boston, I can't deny that," Cashman said. "With what I had to do to make the deal happen for us, it made it an easy decision for me."

In other Red Sox news, reliever Brendan Donnelly will have season-ending surgery on his right elbow.

The Rangers got LHP Kason Gabbard and minor-league OFs David Murphy and Engel Beltre, and also completed a deal that sent slugger Mark Teixeira and LHP Ron Mahay to the Braves for C Jarrod Saltalamacchia - Atlanta's top prospect - and four minor-leaguers.

Rangers owner Tom Hicks said Teixeira rejected a $140-million, eight-year extension that the team offered two weeks ago.

Teixeira may replace Andruw Jones, hitting .216, at cleanup. He makes $9-million this year, is eligible for salary arbitration after the season and can become a free agent after next season.

"That's what it took," Braves GM John Schuerholz said. "I'll think about next year next year."

Teixeira was activated for Tuesday's Braves game but did not arrive until the seventh inning. He waved to fans from the dugout, enjoying an ovation.

BETEMIT TO YANKEES: New York traded reliever Scott Proctor to the Dodgers for INF Wilson Betemit. Manager Joe Torre has complained about a significant dropoff offensively from his starters to reserves. Betemit, 25, hit .231 with 10 homers and 26 RBIs with Los Angeles. He played mostly third there and can also play second and shortstop. Proctor was sorry to go. "That's exciting going there, but I hate leaving here," he said.

PADRES MAKE THREE DEALS: San Diego obtained Astros INF Morgan Ensberg, White Sox OF/INF Rob Mackowiak and Braves reliever Wilfredo Ledezma. Houston gets a player to be named or cash, Chicago gets pitcher Jon Link and Atlanta gets reliever Royce Ring. The Braves also obtained Royals reliever Octavio Dotel for pitcher Kyle Davies. Ensberg, an All-Star in 2005, has not been the same since tearing a tendon in his right shoulder last season. Ledezma was ineffective with the Braves. Also, Padres hitting coach Merv Rettenmund was replaced by Wally Joyner.

MORRIS TO PIRATES: Pittsburgh obtained Giants RHP Matt Morris, who turns 33 next week, for rookie OF Rajai Davis and a player to be named. The Pirates' top starters, Ian Snell and Tom Gorzelanny, have struggled since the All-Star break.

OTHER DEALS: The Phillies acquired Mariners RH reliever Julio Mateo, who hasn't pitched in the major leagues since early May. Seattle got Double-A INF Jesus Merchan. Mateo was suspended by the Mariners after a May 5 arrest on a third-degree assault charge. Seattle GM Bill Bavasi said the Mariners decided long ago that Mateo would never pitch for them again. ... The Cardinals acquired RHP Joel Pineiro, optioned to the minors last week by the Red Sox, and cash for a minor-league player to be named. Pineiro, 28, was a 16-game winner in 2003.

CUBS: RHP Kerry Wood went 12/3 hitless innings in Double A in his eighth rehab assignment and appears near a return. "I feel great," said Wood, who has been on the DL with a right shoulder injury. Wood would likely be activated Thursday or Friday, GM Jim Hendry said.

MARLINS: Florida, with the lowest payroll in the NL and a rotation ravaged by injuries, didn't come close to making any trades, GM Larry Beinfest said.

METS: All-Star CF Carlos Beltran went on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 25, with a strained left abdominal muscle. C Paul Lo Duca remained out with a strained right hamstring.

ORIOLES: Dave Trembley, who is 21-15 after taking over as interim manager on June 18, will finish the season, the team said.

ROCKIES: RHP Rodrigo Lopez's has a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow, putting him on the DL. Rookie RHP Jason Hirsh, on the DL since July 3 with a sprained right ankle, will take his place in the rotation and start Thursday at Florida.

BECK UPDATE: Police found evidence of cocaine and drug paraphernalia at former major-league pitcher Rod Beck's home on the day he died. A police report indicated evidence in several places at the Phoenix house, where the 38-year-old was found dead June 23.

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