One of my favorite baseball writers/evaluators is ESPN’s Keith Law who writes extremely well, is smart, witty, snarky and an excellent judge of talent (even if he doesn’t like Anna’s Tacqueria); I trust his eye. During his time as a special assistant to JP Ricciardi in Toronto he witnessed any number of interesting and bizarre choices by his GM, including passing on Troy Tulowitzki in favor of Ricky Romero. Sure, Romero has come on recently and looks to be a good pitcher, but Tulo is a 30 HR Gold Glove shortstop and those simply don’t grow on trees.
Anyhoo, in his chat yesterday on ESPN, Keith Law dropped this little nugget that absolutely FLOORED me:
Eddie (Milwaukee): What was Steve Phillips thinking? Almost trading a 19 year old David Wright for Jose Cruz Jr.? Ridiculous.
Klaw: I’ve been asked about that trade rumor for three years but never answered while Ricciardi was still GM. The offer was made, though; I was there when the call came in. It was the first time I’d heard of Wright, since I wasn’t with Toronto in 2001 nor had I followed the draft when Wright was in it. JP’s reaction was, “I’m not trading a major league player for some guy in the Sally League.” And that was pretty much that. We had a chance to trade Cruz after that for Rafael Soriano, but JP refused to do it unless Seattle included Clint Nageotte, who, at the time, was a pretty hot prospect. It’s weird; I can’t remember some things that happened last week but I remember those conversations (over seven years ago now) like they just took place.
This makes BOTH Phillips and Ricciardi look bad. I can’t believe Stevie-boy offered D-Wright for Jose Cruz Jr. who had his best year as a rookie and then never followed up on it. This is the same Jose Cruz Jr. who is OUT OF THE LEAGUE, and the David Wright who is a regular pre-season MVP pick and one of the best young players in the game (if he ever gets his power stroke back.) Wow. WOW. WOW.