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Revolving door

Yanks ship Mondesi to D'backs for Dellucci, minor leaguers

Posted: Wednesday July 30, 2003 12:08 AM
Updated: Wednesday July 30, 2003 2:24 AM

  Raul Mondesi Raul Mondesi had 27 homers and 92 RBIs in his stormy 169-game stint with the Yankees. Al Bello/Getty Images

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Two days after angrily leaving the New York Yankees' clubhouse, Raul Mondesi was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night for outfielder David Dellucci and two minor leaguers.

Mondesi was furious when Yankees manager Joe Torre had Ruben Sierra pinch hit for him in the eighth inning of Sunday night's 6-4 loss at Boston. The right fielder was not on the team's charter flight to California, and traveled on his own.

"After he was pinch hit for by Joe Torre, he decided he was going to shut it down, shower up and leave," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. "That's what made Joe Torre and I decide on another venue for Raul. At that point, we were pointing in two different directions and weren't on the same page.

"He plays hard when he's between the white lines, no one questions that. But he also has to respect the manager's decisions, even though he disagrees with them."

Earlier Tuesday, the Yankees traded right-hander Dan Miceli to the Houston Astros for a player to be named or cash.

Yankees trade Miceli to Astros
ATLANTA -- The New York Yankees traded right-hander Dan Miceli to the Houston Astros on Tuesday for a player to be named or cash.

Miceli, 32, was taken off the Yankees' roster Friday when he was designated for assignment, clearing a spot for Nick Johnson to come off the DL.

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New York wanted to act quickly to rid itself of Mondesi.

"To me, discipline is a big part of being a good team," Torre said. "And a lot of the discipline has to come from within yourself. I know he was frustrated, ... He's not a bad person, and I want to make sure everybody knows that. I just think he got emotional about it, and it's not good for the club."

Yankees captain Derek Jeter thought it was a good move.

"It gives Mondi a fresh start somewhere else," Jeter said. "You want everybody to be on the same page. That's what a team is about. I guess he had some problems with some decisions that were made, and now he doesn't have to worry about it."

Mondesi, 32, is joining his fourth team in five seasons. He returns to the National League, where he was the rookie of the year with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1994.

"We're very pleased that we were able to make this deal," Arizona general manager Joe Garagiola Jr. said in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. "Raul Mondesi is a terrific offensive player, and we needed a terrific offensive player because we are struggling to score runs. I think that's a fair assessment."

Arizona (56-51) trails first-place San Francisco by 11 1/2 games in the NL West.

"To get Raul Mondesi back to the National League competing against the Giants and Dodgers and teams he competed against when he was with the Dodgers, I have a hunch that will get him fired up," Garagiola said.

New York is paying Arizona about $2 million as part of the trade, which was announced as the Yankees played at Anaheim. The Yankees also received right-hander Bret Prinz and catcher John Sprowl.

Mondesi batted .258 with 16 homers and 49 RBIs in 98 games this season, but had only five hits in his last 27 at-bats.

He was acquired by the Yankees from Toronto on July 1, 2002 for right-hander Scott Wiggins, and hit .241 with 11 homers and 43 RBIs in 71 games with New York.

New York had been scheduled to pay $7 million of Mondesi's $13 million salary this season, with Toronto paying the rest. Mondesi is owed $4,333,333 for the rest of the season and Dellucci is owed $300,000 from his $900,000 salary. The money the Yankees are sending Arizona means the teams split the remainder of the salaries for both players.

Arizona, which recently got pitchers Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling back from the disabled list, has been outscored 10-8 while playing six consecutive one-run games, a club record. The Diamondbacks have lost four of the six.

"We've very consistently had good pitching really throughout the season, even with Randy and Curt hurt," Garagiola said. "Since the All-Star break, we have just struggled to score runs. It's been no secret that our focus was on offensive players. Nothing that's happened the last few days has swayed us in our view. I don't want to put it all on Raul Mondesi to hit a five-run home run his first at-bat for us or he'll let the team down. But he has been a big offensive player throughout his career."

Dellucci, 29, has appeared in 70 games with Arizona this season, batting .242 with 11 doubles, three triples, two homers and 19 RBIs. He was a member of the Diamondbacks' team that beat the Yankees in Game 7 of the World Series two years ago.

"David Dellucci is a player who plays extremely hard and has a great deal of pride in what he does," Cashman said. "Hopefully, he'll be on the same page with us on what we're trying to accomplish."

New York assigned Prinz to Class AAA Columbus of the International League and Sprowl to Class-A Battle Creek of the Midwest League.

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