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Walker sent to the Rockies in 3-man swap

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MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins have traded their once-promising second baseman Todd Walker and outfielder Butch Huskey to the Colorado Rockies for Class AA prospect Todd Sears, the American League club said Sunday.

The 27-year-old Walker, who had been touted as a possible future batting champion, failed to reach expectations and fell out of favor with long-time manager Tom Kelly. He was banished to Class AAA Salt Lake of the Pacific Coast League a month into the season and responded by hitting .325 for the Buzz.

Huskey, 28, who was sent outright to Salt Lake July 7, had five homers and 27 RBIs in 64 games for Minnesota.

The 24-year-old Sears, a first baseman, was batting .303 with 21 doubles, 12 homers and a league-leading 72 RBI in 85 games for Carolina of the Southern League. He also leads the league with a .434 on-base percentage.

Walker hit .316 for Minnesota in 1998, .279 last year and was just 18-for-77 this season before his demotion.

Walker had 41 doubles, 12 homers and 62 RBI in 1998 — his first full major league season—and had 37 doubles the following year.

The eighth overall pick in the 1994 draft, Walker won All-American honors three times at Louisiana State.