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07/30/08 8:31 PM ET

Yankees deal Hawkins to Astros

New York acquires second-base prospect for reliever

NEW YORK -- As Brian Cashman tells the story, he reported to his Yankee Stadium office on Wednesday morning intending to take care of some smaller business, not pull off a trade for a frontline starting catcher.

After putting Ivan Rodriguez in pinstripes, the Yankees general manager also finished off what he had intended to start, shipping right-handed reliever LaTroy Hawkins and cash considerations to the Astros for Minor League second baseman Matt Cusick.

Hawkins, 35, had been designated for assignment on July 26. He was 1-1 with a 5.71 ERA in 33 games for the Yankees, having been signed originally as a sixth or seventh inning reliever and working backward into the role of a long man. His stint in pinstripes was rocky all around, including hearing jeers after he originally donned Paul O'Neill's unretired No. 21 as a tribute to Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente.

Astros general manager Ed Wade said that his club had tried to sign Hawkins during the offseason before losing him to the Yankees, who inked Hawkins to a one-year, $3.75 million deal that was intended to replace departing reliever Luis Vizcaino while securing Draft compensation.

Cusick, 22, was the Astros' 10th round pick in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. At the time of the trade, he was batting .285 (100-for-351) in 94 games this season for Class A Lexington with 55 runs, 23 doubles, nine home runs, 38 RBIs and 40 walks. He was a college teammate of right-hander Ian Kennedy at the University of Southern California.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.