Redundant players change teams

By Jim Callis

July 27, 2001

The Giants traded for Andres Galarraga on Tuesday and designated outfielder Felipe Crespo for assignment to make room on their roster. Earlier Friday, the Phillies dealt for relievers Turk Wendell and Dennis Cook, creating a bullpen surplus. So later that day, Philadelphia sent reliever Wayne Gomes and cash to San Francisco for Crespo.

Gomes, 28, was projected as a closer when the Phillies drafted him fourth overall in 1993 out of Old Dominion. Despite a low-90s fastball and sometimes-nasty curveball, he never was able to nail down that role. In six years with Philadelphia, he went 27-21, 4.42 with 28 saves, including a 4-3, 4.31 mark in 42 games this season. Gomes is less overpowering and more hittable than his stuff would indicate, because he lacks command and durability.

Crespo’s strongest suit is his versatility. The 28-year-old is a switch-hitter capable of playing several positions. He batted .290-4-29 in 131 at-bats in 2000 but slumped to .197-4-10 in 66 at-bats this year. He has hit .252-10-63 in 229 games over five years with the Blue Jays and Giants. Phillies GM Ed Wade said that Crespo fills his team’s need for a lefthanded bat off the bench.