08/10/07 12:24 AM ET
Sweeney now in Dodgers blue
First trade between Los Angeles, San Francisco since 1985
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
That's right, the Giants.
San Francisco will receive a player to be named or cash in the first trade between general managers Brian Sabean of the Giants and Ned Colletti of the Dodgers, who was Sabean's assistant for nine years until he joined Los Angeles in 2005. It's also the first deal that the traditional rivals have made since Dec. 11, 1985, when Los Angeles sent outfielder Candy Maldonado to San Francisco for catcher Alex Trevino.
Sweeney leads the Major Leagues with 16 pinch-hits, 10 pinch-walks and six pinch-hit doubles. He's expected to help balance out a predominantly right-handed-hitting bench. The Dodgers did not announce a corresponding roster move to make room for Sweeney.
"Baseball-wise, it's a better opportunity for me, being with a contender and doing the utility job," said Sweeney, 37, who's batting .256 overall and .327 (16-for-49) as a pinch-hitter. "It's not necessarily that I wasn't fitting in here [with the Giants]; it's that they have to evaluate guys."
Sweeney will be united with Dodgers coach Manny Mota, a man he reveres. Sweeney recently passed Mota for second place on the all-time pinch-hit list. Sweeney has 155, ahead of Mota's 150 and behind Lenny Harris' 212.
"That's special," Sweeney said of his impending alliance with Mota, who gave him an autographed jersey when the Giants played in Los Angeles last week.
Los Angeles becomes Sweeney's seventh team. He's also played for St. Louis, San Diego, Cincinnati, Milwaukee and Colorado. Sweeney, who's earning $900,000 in the second season of a two-year contract, jovially called the trade an addition "to my rainbow of colors for Major League uniforms."
The Dodgers originally selected Sweeney out of the University of Maine in the 39th round of the June 1990 First-Year Player Draft, but he returned for his senior season and was drafted by the Angels the following year. He can play first base and the outfield.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. MLB.com's Chris Haft contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.