NEW YORK -- Two days after angrily leaving the New York Yankees' clubhouse, Raul Mondesi was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night for outfielder David Dellucci, relief pitcher Bret Prinz and a minor leaguer.
If you own Mondesi in an ML league, chances are you were losing patience. The guy was far from 30-30 lately, as he had hit under .200 the last two months. This might rejuvenate him. Mondesi's top years came in Los Angeles, in the same division as Arizona, and if you bat this guy sixth behind Luis Gonzalez and Shea Hillenbrand, he will get RBI chances and will probably start running again. Don't underestimate how attitude plays into Mondesi's performance. He was happy in April and the numbers were terrific. He was unhappy since. Look for improved play immediately out of the limelight. Also, if you've got the injured Danny Bautista stashed away, you're outta luck there.
As for the Yankees' right field situation, Karim Garcia has a chance to be a big sleeper here. He's got power; the short right field porch is perfect for him. He's a must grab in AL leagues, and don't be shocked if he starts putting up nice numbers immediately as well, even batting ninth. I'd recommend Garcia over David Dellucci for fantasy. Dellucci has no power.
What about the other big deals from this week? Here's all the fantasy spins in one place.
Mondesi was furious when Yankees manager Joe Torre had Ruben Sierra pinch hit for him in the eighth inning of Sunday night's 6-4 loss at Boston. The right fielder was not on the team's charter flight to California, and traveled on his own.
"After he was pinch hit for by Joe Torre, he decided he was
going to shut it down, shower up and leave," Yankees general
manager Brian Cashman said. "That's what made Joe Torre and I
decide on another venue for Raul. At that point, we were pointing
in two different directions and weren't on the same page.
"He plays hard when he's between the white lines, no one
questions that. But he also has to respect the manager's decisions,
even though he disagrees with them."
According to the New York Daily News, Torre was outraged by Mondesi's bolting Fenway and asked Cashman to get rid of him, team sources told the tabloid. Mondesi also had irritated Torre two weeks ago by reacted angrily to being benched in Cleveland.
"It's not acceptable what he did," Torre was quoted as saying in the Daily News. " ... Brian and I pulled the trigger on this one."
New York wanted to act quickly to rid itself of Mondesi.
"To me, discipline is a big part of being a good team," Torre
said. "And a lot of the discipline has to come from within
yourself. I know he was frustrated, ... He's not a bad person, and
I want to make sure everybody knows that. I just think he got
emotional about it, and it's not good for the club."
Yankees captain Derek Jeter thought it was a good move.
"It gives Mondi a fresh start somewhere else," Jeter said.
"You want everybody to be on the same page. That's what a team is
about. I guess he had some problems with some decisions that were
made, and now he doesn't have to worry about it."
Mondesi, 32, is joining his fourth team in five seasons. He
returns to the National League, where he was the rookie of the year
with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1994.
"We're very pleased that we were able to make this deal,"
Arizona general manager Joe Garagiola Jr. said in Fort Lauderdale,
Fla. "Raul Mondesi is a terrific offensive player, and we needed a
terrific offensive player because we are struggling to score runs.
I think that's a fair assessment."
Arizona (56-51) trails first-place San Francisco by 11½ games in the NL West but faces only a three-game deficit in the wild-card race.
"To get Raul Mondesi back to the National League competing
against the Giants and Dodgers and teams he competed against when
he was with the Dodgers, I have a hunch that will get him fired
up," Garagiola said.
New York is paying Arizona about $2 million as part of the
trade, which was announced as the Yankees played at Anaheim. The
Yankees also received catcher John Sprowl.
Mondesi batted .258 with 16 homers and 49 RBI in 98 games this
season, but had only five hits in his last 27 at-bats.
He was acquired by the Yankees from Toronto on July 1, 2002 for
right-hander Scott Wiggins, and hit .241 with 11 homers and 43 RBI
in 71 games with New York.
New York had been scheduled to pay $7 million of Mondesi's $13
million salary this season, with Toronto paying the rest. Mondesi
is owed $4,333,333 for the rest of the season and Dellucci is owed
$300,000 from his $900,000 salary. The money the Yankees are
sending Arizona means the teams split the remainder of the salaries
for both players.
Arizona, which recently got pitchers Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling back from the disabled list, has been outscored 10-8
while playing six consecutive one-run games, a club record. The
Diamondbacks have lost four of the six.
"We've very consistently had good pitching really throughout
the season, even with Randy and Curt hurt," Garagiola said.
"Since the All-Star break, we have just struggled to score runs.
It's been no secret that our focus was on offensive players.
Nothing that's happened the last few days has swayed us in our
view. I don't want to put it all on Raul Mondesi to hit a five-run
home run his first at-bat for us or he'll let the team down. But he
has been a big offensive player throughout his career."
Dellucci, 29, has appeared in 70 games with Arizona this season,
batting .242 with 11 doubles, three triples, two homers and 19
RBI. He was a member of the Diamondbacks' team that beat the
Yankees in Game 7 of the World Series two years ago.
"David Dellucci is a player who plays extremely hard and has a
great deal of pride in what he does," Cashman said. "Hopefully,
he'll be on the same page with us on what we're trying to
New York assigned Prinz to Triple-A Columbus of the
International League and Sprowl to Class-A Battle Creek of the
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.