It didn't take long for Todd Greene to find another place to play.
After being released by the New York Yankees last week, the former Evans High School star has latched on to another team. The 30-year-old slugger signed this week with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Greene's agent, Craig Fenick, fielded nearly a dozen inquiries, so it was a matter of finding the right fit, and the best deal.
"There were about seven or eight clubs that showed a serious interest," Fenick said.
Shortly after signing, Greene arrived in Las Vegas, where he will begin the season with the Dodgers' Triple A affiliate. His contract contains a clause which allows Greene to force L.A.'s hand no later than May 15.
At that time, he can demand to be called up, or can request his release.
Considering those terms, it's safe to say Los Angeles didn't sign Greene with the intention of keeping him in the minor league.
Torre, Clemens & Co. backs Greene
Greene's release by New York didn't mean he wasn't wanted.
All along, team General Manager Brian Cashman wanted a defensive catcher to back up Jorge Posada. When Greene committed a few errors during spring training, his chances of making the roster took a hit.
New York manager Joe Torre, however, wanted to keep Greene. Torre even went so far as to poll the pitchers on who they preferred to be the backup behind the plate.
As Torre expected, the pitching staff was behind Greene.
In fact, Roger Clemens even called a meeting with Cashman to air his views. The five-time Cy Young Award winner informed the G.M. that the club had faith in Greene's ability to step in if Posada was injured.
Simply put, the Yankees veterans wanted to see Greene in pinstripes.
Well, as it turned out, Torre, Clemens & Co. lost their case - Cashman went with Albert Castilla and released Greene.
Time Ticking Away
There are a couple of reasons why Greene would like to be called up to the majors as soon as possible.
Obviously, he wants to be in the big leagues.
More importantly, however, Greene has a little over 4 1/2 years of service time, and at 10 years Greene becomes eligible for Major League baseball's pension plan. That would set Greene and his family up for life, financially.
So, Greene joins his fourth Major League organization in the last four seasons. That's tough to swallow, but Greene keeps fighting back. There's just no quit in him.
"I've just got to go to Vegas, do what I've been doing, and I'm confident everything will take care of itself," Greene said.
The bottom line for Greene's fans? It's time to exchange the New York pinstripes for some Dodger blue.
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