Tyler Kepner reports in The New York Times today that pitching prospect Mark Phillips made the deal that sent Rondell White to the Padres and brought Bubba Trammell to New York viable.
"The key component in this deal, for us, is Mark Phillips," General Manager Brian Cashman said. "That's not to put any extra pressure on him, but adding an extra power arm to our system was important."
..."He's a guy they asked about; we didn't offer him," Kevin Towers, the Padres' general manager, said. "I think he's got a chance to be a front-end-of-the-rotation starting pitcher. It's going to take a while, because he's a high school draft choice and he hasn't pitched out of A ball. What's kept him behind some of our other guys is command, but he has an above-average fastball and breaking ball, and he has size."
As for Bubba, well, couldn't every team use a Bubba? Trammell is set to make $2.5 million this year, and $4.75 million in 2004 (White is due to recieve $5 million this season). There is a $250,000 buyout of Bubba's contract next year, which was covered by the Padres.
"Trammell's pretty much a standard, average player," one National League advance scout said. "He doesn't run real good, doesn't throw real good. He's got some power. He's just a nice, steady major league player with no outstanding tools, yet he kind of maximizes what he has."
David Pinto thinks that the inclusion of Mark Phillips could make this trade a steal for the Bombers in the long run.
AROUND THE LEAGUE...
Charlie Nobles had a puff piece on Tony Clark in The Times yesterday.
The good people over at Baseball Primer have their 2003 Mets Preview. It was written by Chris Dial and can be best characterized as cautiously optimistic.
Tom Glavine was brought over from the Braves to be an ace. He's 37, and everyone, including me, has said he couldn't keep it up forever. Well, Braves fans always chuckled. Of course, now they are the ones predicting his collapse. Funny how that works. I look forward to Bobby Cox getting run for complaining about Glavine's wide strike zone.
There is a report in the Boston Globe today that says that 3B Shea Hillenbrand will be staying put, after all.
The Red Sox youth movement continued, when 26-year old Peter Woodfork was named the new director of baseball operations/assistant director of player develpment earlier this week.
Woodfork is a native New Englander, who met Theo Epstein when the Sox GM was working for the San Diego organization.
Woodfork, 26, graduated from Harvard in 1999 with a degree in psychology. He comes to the Red Sox from the office of Major League Baseball, where he worked for two years in the labor relations department.
He is expected to spend a large portion of his time working on contract issues. Woodfork will also assist Ben Cherington, director of player development and special assistant to general manager Theo Epstein, in day-to-day baseball operations.
[Woodfork] said working on salaries and contracts will take up at least 50 percent of his time, with the rest being spent helping the front office in the player development area.
"It will be a good division of where players fit in salary-wise, and development-wise," he said.
At 26, Woodfork is only two years younger than Epstein was when he was appointed the team's general manager last year. And he certainly wants to advance in the baseball business - and perhaps even become a general manager himself.
"I think everyone's overall goal is to get to the top," he said. "Everyone wants to get there, and someday I hope to get there."
If nothing else, the Sox have cornered the market on the Sabermetric Sammy Glick's of the world.
Mugs Scherer, who operates the "Mugs' Thoughts on Baseball," blog, has a variety of interests, but his main focus is the Toronto Blue Jays. Here is his take on the signings of stud-outfielder Vernon Wells, and 2002's AL Rookie of the Year, 3B Erick Hinske a few days ago.
Finally, Jay Jaffe, the futility infielder, has a follow-up column on the Dodgers. Jaffe is currently making the rounds in spring training, and I eagerly look forward to his report next week.