NEW YORK — General manager Billy Beane has often said the worst trade he's made was sending pitcher Steve Karsay to Cleveland for Mike Fetters.

Nearly nine years later — and four teams later for Karsay — Beane

reacquired the hard-throwing, but injury-riddled pitcher from the Cleveland

Indians in a minor league transaction Sunday for cash.

Karsay, 34, is 1-1 with a 2.00 earned-run average in 18 innings for Triple-A Buffalo. He's allowed a .188 opponents batting average, walked one and struck out 14.

"He's been throwing very well," A's assistant GM David Forst said. "We feel like he has a chance to contribute sometime soon."

As soon as Tuesday, according to a source, although the A's need to clear another spot on the 40-man roster. Jeremy Brown will be optioned back to Triple-A Sacramento.

Karsay was a top prospect when the A's originally acquired him in a 1993 trading deadline deal for Rickey Henderson.

But injuries derailed a promising career. He's made seven trips to the disabled list and missed two entire years. The Yankees received just 101 innings out of Karsay in four years, while paying him $21 million, before releasing him last year.

Forst said the A's need bodies desperately, so all that matters is Karsay is healthy now. Karsay's on a minor league deal and comes cheap.

ONE-HOPPERS: The A's will take advantage of today's off day to juggle their rotation — keeping Joe Blanton (Tuesday), Barry Zito (Wednesday) and Dan Haren (Friday) on turn, while having fill-in starters Kirk Saarloos (Thursday) and Brad Halsey (Saturday) pitch on seven-days' rest.


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