CHICAGO (AP) -- The NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs acquired outfielder Michael Tucker from the Cincinnati Reds on Friday for minor league right-handers Chris Booker and Ben Shaffar.
Tucker is the second outfielder traded by the Reds in two days. They sent Alex Ochoa to the Colorado Rockies on Thursday for second baseman Todd Walker and a minor leaguer.
"Michael Tucker is a great player. He is going to fit in our lineup very well," Cubs star Sammy Sosa said. "It was a good move. No doubt about that."
The Cubs have one of the league's top pitching staff, but need to upgrade their offense. They worked out a trade with Tampa Bay for first baseman Fred McGriff, but he blocked it by invoking a no-trade clause in his contract.
"We're looking to get some help offensively," Cubs manager Don Baylor said after a 5-2 loss at Houston. "He can help us out in center field. We've been struggling there all year."
"Hopefully, he will generate some offense from the left side, too. We've been looking at this for a long time," he said. "What we came up with is that his experience can give us a lot of help. Instead of just trying to play the season out in Cincinnati, now he has a chance to play for the pennant."
The Cubs lead Houston by two games in the NL Central.
Tucker saw plenty of playing time for the Reds while Ken Griffey Jr. was injured this season, but has been primarily a backup since he returned last month. He hit .242 with seven home runs and 30 RBIs with 12 steals in 86 games.
A streaky hitter, he has 15 multihit games this year but is currently in an 0-for-16 slump.
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