Saturday, December 1, 2007

Mets Trade For Church With Nats

Trading Lastings Milledge was something the Mets thought about early and often during the highly touted outfielder's young career. In those discussions, Milledge was considered in deals for the likes of Manny Ramirez, Barry Zito and, most recently, Johan Santana and Dan Haren.

But when it finally occurred Friday and Milledge was shipped to the Nationals, the trade did not yield a future Hall of Famer or Cy Young winner.

Instead, the Mets accepted catcher Brian Schneider and outfielder Ryan Church in return for the former first-round draft pick, a deal that general manager Omar Minaya praised for bringing "balance" to a team that capsized at the end of last season.

Church, another lefthanded hitter, is expected to start in rightfield. He batted .272 with 15 homers last season.

The Mets believe a 2005 incident involving Church, 29, and anti-Semitic comments attributed to him won't be an issue with his new team. In a discussion with a team chaplain, Church asked if Jewish people are "doomed" because they don't believe in Jesus. He then added, "I was like, man, if they only knew. Other religions don't know any better. It's up to us to spread the word."

Church apologized afterward and said Friday he's "not one to judge people." Minaya said he investigated the incident himself before making the trade and is satisfied it will not be a problem moving forward.

Source: Newsday

No comments: