Nevin nixes blockbuster trade to Reds for Griffey Jr.Posted: Thursday December 05, 2002 8:15 PM
Nevin said Thursday that he told Padres general manager Kevin Towers that he wants to stay in San Diego, where he resurrected his career in 1999 after arriving as a backup catcher in a spring training trade with Anaheim.
"I let them know that's where I want to be," Nevin said by cell phone from Las Vegas, where he was golfing with Padres manager Bruce Bochy. "I just don't really want to talk about it, honestly. I'm staying in San Diego and we'll just take it from there. Those are things that are supposed to be left between the teams."
Towers said he had no comment.
A baseball source familiar with the proposed deal, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the teams agreed to the swap over the Thanksgiving weekend.
Griffey has been bothered by injuries the past two seasons after orchestrating a trade to Cincinnati in 2000.
He tore a tendon in his knee during the first week, setting up another season limited by leg injuries. He also pulled a hamstring and strained hip muscles, limiting him to 70 games, a .264 average, eight homers and 23 RBIs.
Nevin's agent, Barry Axelrod, wondered why the Padres would even discuss a Nevin trade in the first place.
"There never could have been a deal, at least from our point of view," Axelrod said.
The Padres included a no-trade clause in the $34.5 million, four-year contract extension Nevin signed in November 2001. That extension kicks in with the 2003 season.
But with Nevin again vacating third base in favor of Sean Burroughs, he's apparently become the target of trade talks. Nevin is expected to play right field.
Last spring, Nevin moved from third to first, and first baseman Ryan Klesko moved to right field so the rookie Burroughs could play third.
That experiment failed, though. Burroughs struggled because of a shoulder injury, was benched, went on the disabled list in late May and then spent 1 1/2 months at Class AAA Portland.
Nevin moved back to third base after Burroughs was benched, but broke his left arm diving for a ball two days later. He had a frustrating season, capped when he made an obscene gesture to a heckling fan late in late September, angering Towers and Bochy.
Axelrod said Towers asked him before the recent general managers meetings whether Nevin, an All-Star in 2001, would ever waive the no-trade clause.
Nevin and his wife have a new home in the San Diego area and he has a a daughter from a prior relationship who lives in the area, Axelrod said. The only way he would consider agreeing to a trade is if it were to a West Coast team that has spring training in Arizona and that he'd play third base.
"Clearly, Cincinnati would not be one of those," Axelrod said.
Nevin was the top pick overall in the June 1992 draft, by Houston, but developed a reputation as a hothead and bounced around the majors until settling in with the Padres. He became their starting third baseman in August 1999.