Bubba Crosby with Jason Romano and Paul Loduca at the Vet, two days before Bubba was traded.
Five years ago today, a deadline deal brought Bubba to the Bronx
Bubba Crosby and Jason Romano were sitting on the couch in the Dodgers' clubhouse at the Vet in Philadelphia, a couple of rookie reserves staring up at the clock and kidding each other while they waited for it to strike 4 - the trading deadline on July 31, 2003.
Now it was 3:52. Romano elbowed Crosby and said, "You're going to get traded to New York." And they went back and forth, playfully trading names of prospective teams.
Now they were staring up, and it was 3:55 and 40 seconds. Suddenly, Crosby felt a tap on his shoulder. He looked at Romano, and their mouths dropped. Because for all the jokes, they weren't expecting anything to happen this close to the witching hour.
Crosby turned around, and there was third-base coach Glenn Hoffman with a message from manager Jim Tracy.
"Trace wants to see you," Hoffman said.
Then the outfielder found out his destination. The joke was no joke - New York. The Yankees wanted to dump Robin Ventura and his salary since they had just acquired Aaron Boone that day to replace him at third, so they dealt him to L.A. for two prospects, Crosby and hard-throwing righty reliever Scott Proctor.
Bubba was upset to find himself traded to a team with a reputation of letting their minor league talent rot on the farm. I was upset at losing Robin Ventura for a couple of no-names like Bubba Crosby and Scott Proctor. We both got over it. ;-)
I was a more casual and less-informed fan back then. Now I would recognize it as a good trade for the Yanks.
This year there have been a bunch of blockbuster deadline deals. The Yanks got Nady and Pudge, of course, and also traded the Attorney General, Alberto Gonzalez. Not sure what they'll do if they need a backup SS. I guess Betemit could serve in a pinch. And there's always A-Rod. Nick Green is the starting SS in Scranton.
Teixeira is a Halo. Manny Ramirez has been traded to the Dodgers...and Red Sox Nation seems happy to see him go. (If anyone can deal with "Manny being Manny," I guess it's Joe Torre.) Jason Bay is headed to Boston. And the Reds have traded Ken Griffey, Jr. to the Chicago White Sox.
I'm not sure the Griffey trade is a great deal for either side. I suppose he could always DH with the White Sox, but it sounds like they're expecting him to play CF or 1B. He's never played 1B, and he can't play CF any more.
It's not as much of a salary dump for the Reds as many fans hoped. Cincinnati is paying about half of Junior's salary and buyout. The deal saves them about 4 million.
The two players the Reds got in return aren't expected to amount to all that much. One of them in an infielder. He will probably end up in Louisville; he still has options. Not sure who will take Griffey's roster spot. Perhaps Hairston, who should be coming off the DL soon. Good news for Andy Phillips, I guess. If Griffey weren't traded, Andy might have been DFA'd to make room for Hairston.
As expected, Chad Moeller has been DFA'd by the Yankees to make room for Pudge. If he clears waivers, he'll probably be offered a job in Scranton.