The reasons will probably never really be known, but there are certainly some
clues as to why Randy Johnson is still a Diamondback while Steve Finley is now a
First, Finley. The Dodgers traded power for speed. In addition to
adding Finley, the Dodgers also moved Dave Roberts to Boston for a minor
leaguer. The Dodgers outfield is now set with Milton Bradley in left,
Steve Finley in center, and Shawn Green in right. Newly acquired Hee Seop Choi is the first baseman, Alex Cora at second, Cezar Izturis is the SS and
Adrian Beltre is at 3B. Choi of course came over from the Marlins in the
deal that sent Paul LoDuca to Florida, which was supposed to be no big deal
because the Dodgers had worked out a deal with Colorado for Charles Johnson.
Oops. The Dodgers might have history, but they were at the mercy of
no-trade clauses with Finley, Randy Johnson, and Charles Johnson, and we know
for sure at least one Johnson (Charles) said, "No, thank you."
The Rockies catcher invoked his no trade clause and shunned the Dodgers, leaving
them without an everyday catcher. Thus Mayne gets included in the Finley
deal, and this might be the first clue as to why the Big Unit is still a snake.
A source inside the Diamondbacks front office told FutureBacks.com that there
was a deal in place to send both Johnson and Finley to the Dodgers, but when the
Dodgers lost Charles Johnson, suddenly they wanted to include Mayne in the
deal. The Diamondbacks asked for another player, the Dodgers were unhappy
with the D'Backs selection, and suddenly things broke down.
So the deal became Finley and Mayne, and the Dodgers give up Koyie Hill,
Billy Murphy, and Reggie Abercrombie. Hill and Murphy were expected, it is
believed that the Dodgers insisted on getting Murphy from the Marlins in the
LoDuca trade because they knew the Diamondbacks were interested the young
lefty. Abercrombie is another matter. A young, well built outfielder
who has a chiseled frame and incredible speed, Abercrombie suffered a knee
injury at the beginning of last season, and since his come back this season has
struck out 99 times in 301 at bats between A ball Vero Beach and AA
Jacksonville. The Diamondbacks are obviously intrigued by his speed (19
stolen bases between his two minor league teams this season) but with so much
outfield youth in the system (Luis Terrero, Carlos Quentin, and Conor Jackson
figure to be the Diamondbacks outfield sooner than later) it seems an odd
choice. Without the Unit in the deal the Dodgers were unlikely to deal
either Chad Billingsly or Edwin Jackson, two highly touted pitching prospects
that were reportedly involved in the original Johnson/Finley deal.
It may be that the deal was fine, but Randy Johnson nixed it himself with his
no-trade clause. Earlier in the week Johnson it had been widely reported
that Johnson told Diamondbacks management that it was the Yankees or no
one. ESPN reported yesterday that the Diamondbacks had asked Johnson to
reconsider the Dodgers, and that Randy had said he would think about it.
When Johnson took the mound last night against the Rockies many believed that
meant he would be staying in Arizona, simply because if he were to be traded the
Dodgers would want him ready to start as soon as possible, and avoid the
possibility of injury.
All along the Diamondbacks said they wanted Major League ready players.
Koyie Hill appears to be that player. In addition to power, Hill has shown
a strong arm behind the plate, and according to one scout, the fact that Hill
has handled many of the Dodgers good young arms was a big draw for the
Diamondbacks, who's staff will seemingly get younger and younger over the next
|AAA Las Vegas
Billy Murphy has been on the fast track ever since signing with the Marlins,
and was a prized prospect that the Diamondbacks were after. He was to be a
key in the potential deals that would have sent Finley to the Marlins, and then
he was apparently just as big a part of a potential Johnson to LA deal as was
Brad Penny. A left handed starter with a low nineties, strikeout ready,
fastball and good control, Murphy could be in the Diamondbacks starting rotation
on opening day 2005.
Abercrombie on the other hand is a project, and one the Diamondbacks are
hoping can be rushed. While he won't be expected at the Major League level
for at least two years his speed is the type that combined with a decent on-base
percentage could become a prototypical lead off man.
|at A ball
|at AA ball Jacksonville