Recent Outlaw Trades
Outlaws Say "Later" to Controversial Rocker
The Outlaws acquired Tim Salmon and Brent Abernathy from the Morris Monarchs for Ellis Burks, Robin Ventura, John Rocker, and $2.5M.
Money doesn't always guarantee a championship. After last season's devastating game 7 loss in the first round of the playoffs, the Outlaws have dumped three integral parts to their 2001 Wildcard team. Ellis Burks, Robin Ventura, and John Rocker were sent packing in exchange for outfielder Tim Salmon and second basemen Brent Abernathy.
Tim Salmon will become the Outlaws new right fielder. The Monarchs signed Salmon to a 4-year, $12M contract during the 2000 Free Agency process. He is a proven all-star that can carry a team on his own. Salmon has averaged 30 plus homeruns the past few seasons, and looks forward to playing in Oceanfront Stadium.
"My goal is to drive in as many runs as I can to help us win. But it's no secret that Oceanfront Stadium is a hitter's paradise. I should get a few more homeruns here that would have been doubles in other ballparks." If Salmon stays within himself and does not try to hit every ball he sees out of the ballpark, Salmon could have a very fine season.
Brent Abernathy, a former Olympian, is probably a year away from settling in as the Outlaws second baseman. Abernathy appears to have a slight edge over prospect Warren Morris for the job. Scouts claim he has the ability to hit a soft .300 and can get on base. That would set the table nicely for the Outlaw sluggers.
Former #1 Pick "El Duque" Hernandez Traded for Cash
The Outlaws traded their former #1 draft pick Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez to the Morris Monarchs for $1M cash. Hernandez's days were numbered when the Outlaws signed minor leaguers Matt Clement and Doug Davis to big league deals. Both received 4-year contracts, and the money needed to come from somewhere. The trade of veteran "El Duque" not only freed up cash for Clement and Davis, but also cleared a spot in the starting rotation. "We felt Doug Davis and Matt Clement earned the opportunity to join our starting rotation. "El Duque" is a proven winner and was in the final year of his contract. It was a hard decision, but we felt that trading him was in the best interest of the team," said Budzyn.
Cashing Out: Outlaws Swap Backstops, Send Javy to Division Rival
In another surprising move, the Outlaws sent starting catcher Javy Lopez to the Brooklyn Bulldogs for minor leaguer Ben Petrick. The Outlaws also acquired approximately $8M in cash in the deal by dumping the remainder of his contractů another sign that the team is in financial trouble. Just two seasons ago, Javy Lopez was signed by the Outlaws as a free agent and was declared the starting catcher. Finally, the Outlaws had a starting catcher to rely upon. Since Chris Hoiles was behind the plate (1995 - 1997), the Outlaws never had the type of leader behind the plate that could win a championship. Lenny Webster, Mike Matheny, and Jim Leyritz were not the answer. The Javy Lopez era is over. The battle for catcher will begin the spring. Michael Barrett, Wiki Gonzalez, and newly acquired Ben Petrick will all battle for the spot.