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Baseball: Yankees add pitcher in wake of Tanaka injury

The New York Yankees, desperate for pitching help after an injury to Japanese star Masahiro Tanaka, traded for Oakland left-handed pitcher Jeff Francis in exchange for cash.

NEW YORK: The New York Yankees, desperate for pitching help after an injury to Japanese star Masahiro Tanaka, traded for Oakland left-handed pitcher Jeff Francis on Friday in exchange for cash.

The Yankees have lost four of their five starting pitchers from the Major League Baseball club's season-opening roster, the latest of them being Tanaka to a torn ligament in his right elbow.

Tanaka, whose 12 wins lead the American League, could return in six weeks with successful rehabilitation but if that fails could need "Tommy John" ligament replacement surgery that would sideline him for a year to 18 months.

C C Sabathia, Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda are the other New York pitchers who have been sidelined by injuries.

Tanaka, 25, signed a seven-year deal worth US$155 million with the Yankees after an unbeaten campaign last year for the Japan League champion Rakuten Eagles.

Francis, a 2002 first-round draft pick by Colorado, was to be released by Oakland after compiling a 6.08 earned-run average over 13 1/3 innings in nine relief appearances for the A's.

Francis, 33, also pitched for Cincinnati this season. He has a career record of 70-80 with a 4.95 earned-run average and 847 strikeouts in 238 games.

The Yankees also promoted right-handed pitcher Matt Daley from their top developmental club.

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