The Phil Nevin proposed trade to the Baltimore Orioles over the weekend for Pitcher Sidney Ponson was a 918kiss simple case of management finally getting back to them what they’ve been giving to the players over the past few years. In case you haven’t heard, the Padres organization announced this big trade on Sunday without uttering a word about the fact that the slugging first baseman had a limited no-trade clause written into his contract. They even got Xavier Nady prepped and ready to take over at first base since the Nevin deal was supposedly “done”.
They wanted Nevin out of there for good, and since are now willing to damage this man in the national media if necessary. Say what you want about Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones, but he took care of his top players, even though it hurt the on-field performance, even to this day.
Basically, because of Nevin’s commitment to this Padres team and his family, he now stands at odds with an organization that has tried to unload him on several different occasions since becoming a hometown favorite since his heroic play in the 1999 season (the year they went to the World Series). After putting up 24 homeruns and 85 rbi’s that season, Nevin followed that up with an even better year in 2000 (31 HR 107 RBI) and even better than that in 2001 (41 HR 126 RBI).
Then, came his big back-loaded contract ($34 million) after the 2001 season; followed by two injury plagued seasons in 2002 and 2003. General Manager Kevin Towers tried to unload Nevin in 2000 for Jeromy Burnitz, but it was Burnitz who vetoed that deal. After that, Towes was talking trade with the Cincinnati Reds for Ken Griffey Jr, but Nevin’s agent scuttled that one before it got out of the gate. Once Nevin starting getting healthy, San Diego ownership didn’t help matters much for Nevin when they decided to make Petco Park into a pitchers paradise, even though their top hitters were all sluggers (Nevin, Ryan Klesko, and Brian Giles). Obviously, 2003 was a season of discontent for the Padres batters; they were heard loud and clear (and told to shut up).
Nevin is now 34 years old and not putting up the numbers he did in previous years. You can blame the ballpark, or the constant trade rumors; hard to have a good relationship if you’re always in jeopardy of being dumped, you know. But, management now gets to drink their own medicine for once. Nevin’s current contract doesn’t expire till after next season, so the Pads will have to absorb a big chunk of the contract either by releasing him, or trading him to one of the 8 teams where Nevin would be willing to go.