Joe Saunders had an ashen expression. He had been stretching with his teammates before Sunday night's game against the Rangers when Angels manager Mike Scioscia summoned him back to the manager's office.
After learning he had been traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks, Saunders was so choked by emotion that he could barely conduct an interview with reporters. The Angels signed Saunders out of Virginia Tech in the first round of the 2002 draft, and he had played with many of his teammates for eight years.
"They're my family," Saunders said.
Saunders had heard his name mentioned in various rumors during the offseason, but it hadn't occurred to him that he could be on the move this season.
"You never really think it's going to happen. Then all of a sudden, bam, it happens," Saunders said.
On one level, the trade could have been more disruptive for Saunders, his wife, Shanel, and their young daughter. They make their home in the Phoenix area, so he won't have to scramble to find living arrangements.
"He gets to sleep in his own bed," Angels center fielder Torii Hunter said.