On Baseball: Fishers prospects sweat out deadline day
MANCHESTER -- Major League Baseball’s trade deadline comes once a year, and that’s enough for some players.
The trade deadline can be a stressful time, even for minor league players like outfielder Dalton Pompey and left-handed pitcher Daniel Norris. Pompey and Norris both play for the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats, and were considered by some to be two of the Toronto Blue Jays’ top trading chips heading into Thursday’s deadline, which came and went with both players remaining Toronto’s property.
Pompey, who Toronto took in the 16th round of the 2010 draft, admitted that he did spend time this week reading about trade rumors involving the Blue Jays.
“I check things out because I am from Toronto and I like to see what’s going on with the team,” Pompey said before Thursday night’s game against Reading. “I’m from there, so I’m a fan of the team. I heard my name a couple times thrown out there in (possible) trades, so it sparked my interest a little bit.
“All I’ve known is this organization and being from Toronto it’s my dream to play for the Blue Jays. It was a little stressful thinking I could be traded. Going to a new organization, not knowing anybody, having to move — all that stuff plays into it. (Thursday) was obviously the biggest day because teams were running out of time, but now that it’s over everybody is going back to the way it was. All the stress that was there for me is pretty much gone.”
Norris was likely a prospect other teams inquired about. He was Toronto’s second-round pick in 2011, and Baseball America listed him as Toronto’s No. 1 prospect in its midseason update earlier this summer.
He said he tried to avoid most of the media reports about possible trades this week.
“For example today I went to the grocery store for two hours just because I didn’t want to be by the TV and stuff,” he said. ‘It’s one of those things you can’t control, so why worry about it? Just go on with everyday life. At the end of the day you still have to throw a baseball.”
Norris said the rumor involving his name that he heard the most came weeks ago, when there were reports he could be part of a trade to the Chicago Cubs for Jeff Samardzija.
Earlier this week, Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos said he would prefer to not trade top prospects, but added that he would pull the trigger on a trade for the right package in return.
“You’re always reluctant, but in the right context you certainly would do it,” Anthopoulos told MLB.com. “It all depends on what you’re going to get back versus what you’re going to give up. The more talent you give up, the more years of control and the more talent you want back.”
Although the possibility of being traded is increased at this time of the season, Pompey said it’s not a distraction.
“I don’t think so,” he said. “You just go out there and try to take care of what you can control on the field. Being traded is something you can’t control. Anything can happen. One day you’re here, the next day you’re not.
“A lot of things happen in this business and you just have to be prepared for the best possible situation, so that’s what I try to do and that’s what I did. Just let that stuff play out as it will and do what you have to do on the field, that being to do your job as a professional baseball player.”
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SECOND baseman Jon Berti collected at least one hit in each game during New Hampshire’s recent seven-game road trip. Berti is batting .378 in his last 10 games. … First baseman K.C. Hobson has also been hot at the plate lately. He has 10 hits in his last 30 at-bats. … New Hampshire and Reading will play a doubleheader tonight (two seven-inning games) starting at 6:05.