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Tigers add lefty McBride in swap

Tigers add lefty McBride in swap

WASHINGTON -- The Tigers traded pitcher Wilfredo Ledezma to Atlanta in exchange for pitcher Macay McBride on Wednesday. The swap gives Detroit more flexibility to make roster moves.

The action may not be over, either. Tigers manager Jim Leyland will need to free up a roster spot to make room for Kenny Rogers, who returns to action on Friday.

"Stay close to the phone," Leyland told reporters. "There's going to be some action here in the next couple days."

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McBride won't have to do any traveling just yet. He'll stay in Atlanta and join the Tigers for their three-game series against the Braves that begins Friday.

"I don't think it has really sunk in yet," McBride said. "If I had to go somewhere else and play, it might have sunk in a little quicker."

He spoke with Leyland, who told him that he'd join the team on Friday, and everything else would be day-to-day.

Detroit general manager David Dombrowski said one of the primary motivations of the move was because McBride has options remaining, meaning he can be moved to the Minor Leagues at any time, something that couldn't be done with Ledezma. But Dombrowski also said that McBride wouldn't necessarily be the player sent down to make room for Rogers. That decision has yet to be made.

McBride has appeared in 18 games this season, allowing six runs in 15 innings pitched, and striking out 17. His specialty is retiring left-handed hitters, against whom he has been especially successful this season.

"Macay is still a young guy and has a lot of pitching left in him," Braves general manager John Schuerholz said. "He certainly is able to get better. But we feel Ledezma can get better, and obviously we think Ledezma will provide us with greater plus than Macay."

Ledezma was a part of the Tigers' American League championship team in 2006. He was a Rule 5 Draft pickup who has allowed 19 runs in 35 2/3 innings pitched this season.

Leyland said that he thinks Ledezma ultimately wants to be a starter, something he wouldn't have been able to do in Detroit, which has an excess of starters.

"I think that he has a chance to be a [good] Major League pitcher," Leyland said. "I think that he believes he could be a starter, but he knows that wasn't going to happen here."

Schuerholz said that starting was a possibility down the road for Ledezma, but he didn't know when or if that would happen. The Tigers gain much-needed roster flexibility with the move, but lose a prospect they had developed.

"We've seen him grow a lot," Dombrowski said. "He was a good pick with a good arm. It's just one of those things that happens in baseball. he has the chance to be a fine big-league pitcher."

Michael Phillips is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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