La Russa on Ziegler trade: Don’t question my integrity

Jul 20, 2016, 12:32 PM | Updated: Jul 21, 2016, 8:57 am

On July 1, the Arizona Diamondbacks traded closer Brad Ziegler to the Boston Red Sox for prospects Jose Almonte and Luis Alejandro Basabe.

It came as no surprise that Ziegler was dealt, but with the trade deadline still weeks away and the players they got in return, some questioned the team’s decision.

One of the people baffled by the move is a NL general manager who believes there is another reason to the trade.

La Russa responded to the comments Wednesday on the Doug and Wolf Show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.

“Dave Stewart and our group were doing our due diligence, you know, we thought there was a chance that we could do something for Ziegler,” he said. “The clubs that are complaining, we looked at their prospects and there weren’t anything there that we liked for Ziegler.

“And all of a sudden Dave comes up with two guys that we think have potential to play in the big leagues and it was an urgency because they just lost (Craig) Kimbrel.”

In 50 games with the Hickory Crawdads, Almonte hit eight home runs with 24 RBI and a .286 batting average. With the Greenville Drive, Basabe had four long balls and 25 RBI with a .310 batting average in 64 games.

The NL GM hasn’t been the only one to chime in on the move. Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan said the trade was a surprise and the team could have gotten more for the closer.

One thing is for sure, La Russa is not pleased with Gammons, among other people, broadcasting the rumor and questioning his integrity.

“I’m really offended by it by somebody like Peter putting it out there because he’s known me since my first day in uniform and since then he’s apologized and in the end you believe whatever you believe,” he said. “I know what I’m supposed to do as a CBO and you’ll get my best shot.”

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La Russa on Ziegler trade: Don’t question my integrity