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BASEBALL NOTEWednesday, August 13, 1:56 AM
(ADDING INFORMATION) *Dodgers acquire OF Otis Nixon from Blue Jays* ---------------------------------------------- The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired veteran speedster Otis Nixon from the Toronto Blue Jays tonight for minor-league catcher Bobby Cripps. The 39-year-old Nixon was removed from tonight's game against the Minnesota Twins just before the trade was announced. The switch-hitting outfielder is batting .262 with one homer, 26 RBI and 47 stolen bases in 103 games. This season is Nixon's eighth straight with at least 40 steals and 10th in a row with at least 30. He ranks fourth among active players with 545 career thefts, trailing only Rickey Henderson, Tim Raines and new Dodgers teammate Brett Butler. "He's been a tremendous asset to this club, both on and off the field," Blue Jays general manager Gord Ash said. "His teammates will miss him, Cito (manager Cito Gaston) will miss him." Nixon also is durable, having spent just one stint on the disabled list during a 15-year career that started with the New York Yankees in 1983. He also has played for the Cleveland Indians, Montreal Expos, Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers. The Dodgers are his fifth team since 1993. "He is a player who brings a great deal to the team with his speed and experience," said Los Angeles executive vice president Fred Claire. Nixon received a 60-day suspension in September 1991 for violating baseball's substance-abuse policy. The 6-2, 200-pound Cripps is a 20-year-old catcher who was hitting .310 with four homers and 25 RBI in 46 games at Class A Great Falls of the Pioneer League. The native of Powell River, British Columbia was the Dodgers' 40th-round pick in the 1995 amateur draft and batted .309 with two homers and 28 RBI in 49 games last year with Great Falls. "We don't have a lot of young catching prospects," Ash said. "I'm told he has an outstanding throwing arm. I spoke to Mickey Hatcher, his manager at Great Falls, and he said this kid has one of the best throwing arms he's ever seen. "He's certainly a long-term prospect, but somebody who has all the tools you want to see a catcher have." To make room for Nixon on the roster, the Dodgers designated outfielder Eric Anthony for assignment. The 29-year-old Anthony was batting .243 with two homers and four RBI in 41 games.