San Francisco left-handed reliever Steve Kline has confided to intimates his belief that the Giants will trade him before the year is out -- likely to Philadelphia, MLB News Online has learned.
Though it could not be learned whether Kline is privy to whatever talks may have taken place between the Giants and Phillies, Kline believes he will be dealt to a contender in need of bullpen help, and the Phillies foot the bill.
Kline, 35, who will be a free agent next year, is without a no-trade clause in his contract. But Kline likely would prefer to be traded to the Phillies as he is a Pennsylvania native and followed the Phillies when he was growing up. His father -- a former minor leaguer who played with Giants Hall-of-Famer Willie Mays -- resides in Williamsport, Pa., home of the annual International Little League championship series.
The 11--year veteran is valuable not so much for his career 3.50 ERA and 39 saves, but because he is left-handed and held left-handed hitters to a .287 average last year.
Kline and veteran Eddie Guardado of Texas are tied for 11th all-time among left-handers with 796 career appearances. They will join the top 10 this year when they pass Los Angeles coach Rick Honeycutt at 797.