SEATTLE -- Mike Sweeney had just one request before leaving town on Wednesday. Before catching a flight to join the Phillies, he called the Mariners' clubhouse and asked for a "Chef J" sandwich. The team's chef wasn't sure whether to make a chicken or beef sandwich, so he made one of each for Sweeney, who was traded to the Phils for a player to be named later or cash considerations in a waiver-claim deal on Wednesday. "It's a sad story for me because we've been together for three years," manager Don Wakamatsu said. "We had a tremendous relationship and I know Mike has had a strong desire to be a playoff situation, and I wish him all the best."More
Sweeney, who was as valuable inside the Mariners' clubhouse as he was on the field the past two seasons and is a five-time All-Star, has never been on a team that reached the playoffs. The Phillies are attempting to win their third straight National League title. Asked what made Sweeney tick as a player, Wakamatsu said, "The passion, and how much he cared about other people rather than himself. He played reckless, regardless of his body. He loved the game and loved the fact that he wanted to give something back. He knows how fortunate he is to have the career he's had, and he genuinely cares about other people. That's a special trait." That recklessness put him on the disabled list several times in the past two seasons. Prior to the transaction, Sweeney returned from his rehab assignment at Triple-A Tacoma and was activated from the 15-day DL (though not to report). He had been on the DL since June 27 (retroactive to June 26) with back spasms. The 36-year-old Sweeney played in 30 games with the Mariners this season and hit .263 (26-for-99) with six home runs and 18 RBIs. In 16 games in May, he hit .310 (18-for-58) with two doubles and all six of his homers. He was also on the 15-day DL from June 3-17 with lower back inflammation. In 12 rehab games at Tacoma, he hit .366 (15-for-41) with three doubles, two home runs and nine RBIs. In two seasons with the Mariners, he combined to bat .276 (94-for-341) with 14 home runs and 52 RBIs. Sweeney's 20-day rehab period ended on Wednesday, and it would have been difficult for Wakamatsu to find much playing time for him, as Russell Branyan has been handling most of the DH duties. "He is one of the greatest teammates I have ever had the privilege to be around," Wakamatsu said. "I respect him dearly."
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less