By Matt Meyers
December 22, 2005
In a trade of two former all-stars who are past their prime, the Angels sent outfielder Steve Finley to the Giants for third baseman Edgardo Alfonzo.
Finley was signed by the Angles to a two-year $14 million deal before the 2005 season on the heels of hitting .271/.333/.490 for the Diamondbacks and Dodgers in 2004. The 40-year-old saw a steep decline in his performance with the Angels, hitting .222/.271/.374, and lost his starting job in center field by the time the playoffs rolled around. He will be joining an outfield in San Francisco with the 41-year-old Barry Bonds, the 39-year-old Moises Alou and the 31-year-old Randy Winn. Based on Winn’s performance in 2005, Finley will most likely be the fourth outfielder when everyone is healthy, but because of Alou and Bonds’ recent injury history, Finley should have plenty of opportunities to play. Originally selected by Baltimore in the 13th round in 1987 out of Southern Illinois, Finley is a two-time all-star and five-time Gold Glover, but his range in the outfield has diminished.
Alfonzo signed a four-year deal worth $26 million before the 2003 season but never approached the level he reached while with the Mets, who signed him out of Venezuela in 1991. Alfonzo won the National League Silver Slugger in 1999 as a second baseman when he hit .304/.385/.502 and made the all-star team in 2000.
The 32-year-old, who’s owed $7 million in salary for 2006 with a $1 million bonus due Jan. 31, has a history of back problems that has sapped almost all of his power. He has never slugged higher than .407 in his three years with the Giants while hitting a total of 25 home runs. Alfonzo will most likely backup Adam Kennedy at second base while providing the Angels an insurance policy for Dallas McPherson at third. McPherson had hip surgery that cut short his rookie season after just 205 at-bats.