August 01, 2004
The trading deadline
First of all, everybody knows that July 31 isn't really a "deadline" for making a trade in Major League Baseball, right? It just means that now teams must put any player they want to trade on waivers first, which allows all the other teams to make a claim for those players, which either forces the original team to pull the player back or let him go to the team that made the claim. So whatever happened yesterday isn't the end of the action.
Good thing, because there's no way it makes sense for the Diamondbacks to keep Randy Johnson. I know he has the right to veto trades, but all that means is that he hasn't been properly incentivized yet. Sooner or later he'll move on, whether to a team he now says he'll accept a trade to or not.
Can anyone explain the logic of the Nomar Garciaparra trade to me? What a huge pickup for the Cubs, and what an edge it should give them in the wild card chase. But seriously, what were they thinking in Boston? Help me out here, I'm confused.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 01, 2004 to Baseball
I think the Red Sox had gotten tired of Garciaparra's attitude in the dugout (if you saw the last Red Sox - Yankees series, you would understand what I mean.) and his being injury prone. Granted, he has one of the best bats in the game, and Wrigley Field can only help him in that area, but they need to be aware of the injury bug as well.
Also, the Red Sox were put into a position where they more or less had to trade him after the aborted series of trades they were trying to make last year. With Pokey Reese playing better at the position defensively, he became expendable.
As for Randy Johnson, he really doesn't have anything left to prove, since he's already going to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot. The Diamondbacks will have to dump salary, but perhaps they can find a better deal elsewhere.
The view from the top of the Tobin Bridge isn't quite clear, but the situations may resemble this.
1) Boston was not going to be able to sign Nomar to a contract extension.
2) Boston is still in the wild card hunt; so the customary rental for prospects deal is not going to appeal to the customer base.
3) Given recent events, losing Nomar now is as popular as it ever could be.
4) There's been a lot of negative spin in the last few days, suggesting that Nomar was going to insist on some off time "to rest up" for September October, and that the need for that went away as soon as a trade to the Cubs became possible.
5) Relating to five, they may have felt that, being in race for the last playoff spot, they couldn't afford the extra burden of an unhappy Nomar in the clubhouse.
I don't think you can get anything useful for him under those conditions.