Tuesday, July 31, 2007

? No. 20: July 31st trade deadline blues

For as much hype as the trade deadline receives, teams rarely deal big-name players anymore in the month of July. That's especially true on July 31, the final day to deal before a player must clear waivers. For every Nomar Garciaparra to the Cubs as part of a four-team deal (in 2004), there are twenty variations on the Shawon Dunston-for-Craig Paquette theme. The last truly jaw-dropping July 31st trade we had came in 1998, when the Mariners dealt Randy Johnson to the Astros in exchange for a batch of top prospects. Two of those prospects were destined to be All-Stars: Freddy Garcia and Carlos Guillen. The third, however, was not. He was the "player to be named later" in the deal, and spent four seasons in Seattle before bouncing around the rest of his career. Who is he?

Yesterday's Answer: I love my old copies of Who's Who in Baseball, the annual with the cover design that never changes. It's one of the few quick references available if I'm looking for minor league career stats for major league players. It tells me, and the internet verifies, that Sosa has hit 35 dingers in the minors, and that A-Rod has him beat by one, with 36. In 1994, Rodriguez hit a combined 21 in single- and double-A before getting a cup of coffee. He returned to triple-A the next year and hit another 15 before finally sticking with Seattle. Sosa, by contrast, spent part or all of four seasons in the minors before finally sticking with the White Sox in 1990. Griffey hit 27 minor league bombs in his two seasons in single- and double-A at ages 17 and 18. Thomas hit 23 in single- and double-A, and much later in his career hit another in 2005. Bonds hit just 20 — 13 in A-ball and then 7 the following year in triple-A.

2 comments:

Listmaker said...

the 1998 version of me is livid at the 2007 version for not knowing the answer to this.

tim said...

no clue. pieniero (sp?)