Work in Sports
Trade makes Green highest-paid non-pitcher
Posted: Tuesday November 09, 1999 09:37 AM
DANA POINT, Calif. (AP) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers made Shawn Green one of baseball's highest-paid players Monday, agreeing to a six-year, $84 million contract to complete a deal that sends Raul Mondesi to the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Dodgers acquired Green and minor league second baseman Jorge Nunez from Toronto in exchange for Mondesi and pitcher Pedro Borbon.
Green's average salary of $14 million per season is the second-highest ever in baseball, trailing only the $15 million earned by his new teammate, pitcher Kevin Brown, in a $105 million, seven-year contract he agreed to with the Dodgers in December.
It's the fourth-highest package ever in baseball, trailing only Brown, New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza ($91 million for seven years) and New York Yankees outfielder Bernie Williams ($87.5 million for seven years).
Dodgers general manager Kevin Malone said Green is a perfect fit for the team.
"The fact that he hits from the left side, and I think most important, his importance and his integrity," Malone said during a news conference at the general managers' meeting.
Green is a native of suburban Tustin, some 35 miles from Dodger Stadium.
"It's something to get a chance to play at home in LA," Green said at the news conference. "Everybody who knows baseball knows what a class organization this is."
Mondesi, 28, had asked the Dodgers to trade him last season. The Dodgers and Blue Jays agreed to the tentative deal Friday night, and Los Angeles was given 72 hours by the commissioner's office to work out a contract with Green.
"Shawn Green has a chance to come home to Southern California, where he went to school and spent much of his youth," said his agent, Jeff Moorad. "Raul Mondesi gets a chance for a new start in Toronto."
Moorad, also Mondesi's agent, said he had mixed feelings about the trade because both players would be leaving the teams they had spent their entire major league careers with.
Mondesi leveled a profanity-laced tirade against Malone and manager Davey Johnson, saying they were trying to blame him for the Dodgers' poor season, on Aug. 11, after being benched for the second straight game.
Moorad said Mondesi told him Monday morning, before the deal was finalized, that he thought it was time to move on.
Green, an outfielder who turns 27 Wednesday, made $2.9 million last season, when he hit .309 with 42 homers and 123 RBIs. He was eligible for free agency after next season and had turned down a $45 million, five-year offer by Toronto.
He gets a $4 million signing bonus, $8.75 million in 2000, $11.5 million in 2001, $12.75 million in 2002, $15 million in 2003 and $16 million in each of the final two years.
As part of the deal, Moorad said Green will donate $250,000 each year to the Dodgers' Dreams Foundation, which refurbishes youth ballparks in the Los Angeles area.
Mondesi, who hit .253 with 33 homers and 99 RBIs, had two years remaining on a $36 million, four-year contract. As part of the trade, the Blue Jays exercised two option years, making it a $60 million, six-year deal with $44.5 million remaining over four seasons.
Borbon, who turns 31 on Monday, was 4-3 with a 4.09 ERA in 70 appearances for the Dodgers in 1999. He missed the previous two seasons after elbow surgery.
It was the third major trade of what promises to be a hot winter for dealing; several other big-name players are on the block, with Ken Griffey Jr. the biggest name available.
Griffey, who would become a free agent after next season, told the Seattle Mariners he wants to be traded so he could be closer to his Orlando, Fla., home.