SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The San Francisco Giants made a pair of trades Tuesday, sending infielder Deivi Cruz to the Washington Nationals and reliever Jason Christiansen to the Los Angeles Angels for three minor leaguers.

The deals came a day before the Aug. 31 deadline for traded players to be eligible for the postseason.

“September is not even here yet,” Giants manager Felipe Alou said. “Throw some new blood out there. … Trades help. I don’t believe this team is trading the young guys – it’s the opposite now.”

Also Tuesday, the Giants purchased the contract of infielder Angel Chavez from Triple-A Fresno, and he was scheduled to start at shortstop against the Colorado Rockies in place of Omar Vizquel, who had a tension headache and was experiencing dizziness.

The 24-year-old Chavez, third among Giants farmhands with 83 RBIs this season, was promoted from Class-A San Jose to Fresno in May. He hit 16 home runs in a combined 119 games at the two levels and had a strong August.

“He’s a very good defensive shortstop,” Alou said. “He’s always been known as a guy who can really play defense. In spring training, he started showing he’s really coming around as a hitter.”

The Giants’ roster has undergone quite the overhaul this season. Nine players on the opening day roster are no longer around: pitchers Christiansen, Matt Herges, Jim Brower, Jerome Williams, Kirk Rueter; Cruz; catcher Yorvit Torrealba and outfielder Michael Tucker, traded Saturday to the Philadelphia Phillies.

“Our guys are going to some pretty good teams,” Alou said.

Christiansen, who was designated for assignment last Friday, was 6-1 with a 5.36 ERA in 56 relief appearances this season. The Angels, who entered the day one game behind Oakland in the AL West and one game behind the Yankees in the wild-card race, did not have a left-hander in the bullpen before this deal.

The 10-year major league veteran limited left-handed hitters to a .253 batting average.

“Jason’s a guy who had a very, very live ball a couple of years ago. He probably doesn’t have quite the same stuff, but he still can be effective and we’ll see where he fits in,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Statistically, he’s definitely a guy you want to match up against lefties, and that’s a role that we’ll look at.”

Cruz was hitting .268 with five homers and 19 RBIs as Vizquel’s backup at shortstop. The Nationals are desperate to upgrade at the position, currently manned by Jamey Carroll and Cristian Guzman.

Nationals general manager Jim Bowden wanted to give manager Frank Robinson another bat for the playoff push. Washington also plans to call up third baseman/shortstop Ryan Zimmerman, the fourth overall pick in June’s amateur draft, from Double-A Harrisburg.

“Guzie is hitting under .200, (Jose) Vidro is playing with sore quads and is going to have to play hurt the rest of the year,” Bowden said. “We’re not scoring any runs … so we need some choices. I need to give Frank some choices.”

Giants owner Peter Magowan is eager to see the young players and new faces to start planning for next year.

“I think it’s good for us to get an idea what 06 might look like,” Magowan said. “If we don’t play these guys this year, then we don’t know and we have question marks that affect all the offseason plans.”

Guzman, who signed a $16.8 million, four-year contract in the offseason, was batting .196 with three homers and 19 RBIs in 362 at-bats heading into Tuesday night. Carroll was hitting .246 with no homers and 17 RBIs. The Nationals began the day 21/2 games behind Philadelphia in the wild-card race.

The Giants received right-hander Benjamin Cox from Washington, and lefty Dusty Bergman and right-hander Ronnie Ray from Los Angeles.

Cox, 23, was 4-4 with seven saves in a 3.00 ERA in 41 relief outings for Class-A Savannah. He has 52 strikeouts in 63 innings and is holding opponents to a .224 average.

Bergman, 27, who went to high school in Carson City, Nev., was 8-5 with a 3.25 ERA and eight saves in 44 relief appearances at Triple-A Salt Lake.

Ray, 21, was 7-6 with a 4.40 ERA and one save in 39 games at two levels of Class-A ball.


AP Sports Writers Charles Odum in Atlanta and Ken Peters in Anaheim, Calif., contributed to this report

AP-ES-08-30-05 2038EDT

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