Two Trades Shock Panther Fans
December 14, 2029
by Samantha Guerin (Sports Editor)
Portland Panther fans woke up this morning to hear a shocking story as they got their morning news fix via the Oregonian’s website or on their favorite radio or television news program. Fan favorites Russell Bell and Sandy Anderson were no longer members of the Panthers after two unanticipated trades.
Bell was dealt to Altoona in a straight-up deal for Curve third baseman Cristóbal Yan.
Portland General Manager John Gagan was quoted as follows:
“Portland faced a serious financial situation approaching the new season . We would have been carrying way too much salary to make financial sense, and something had to be done. While it would be easy to perceive that we didn’t get like value in return for Bell and Anderson, we have now solved the financial issues facing the team and we did get back players that can contribute now.
“Remember, we had these guys last year, and the best we could do was finish two games under .500. With the financial situation precluding any serious participation in the upcoming free agent market and with no prospects ready to help make us better, we would have fielded the same team in 2030. Furthermore, we would have been in a financial bind by the end of the season.
“These two deals solve the financial concerns and give us some serviceable players who can contribute this year. Ortega will take a spot in the starting rotation and Yan will likely replace Bell in the infield. Ayala will provide some versatility with his ability to play excellent defense in the infield AND outfield. Sweigart is a bit of an unknown and could end up as a swing man if he makes the Panther opening day roster
“Don’t be surprised if there are more deals to come. No one is untouchable. But any future deals will require that Portland get equal (or better) value in return. We are no longer compelled to reduce salary.”
Russell Bell played for four and a half years for the Panthers. He had excellent power, averaging more than 30 home runs per season. He hit has high as .313, but slumped to .269 last year although he had his career best RBI total (122). Bell was also an excellent base runner and base stealer; he stole 35 last year in 43 tries. His biggest shortcoming was his defense. In 2028 he had a -14 zone rating as a shortstop; last year he moved to second base but still had a -6.7 zone rating there.
Sandy Anderson totaled eight years in a panther uniform and has been the Panther closer for the last four years. Although labeled as a bit of a loafer, his lifetime ERA was 2.73; he averaged 25 saves a year over the last four years. Unlike many relievers, he had four solid pitches in his repertoire.
Both players were well liked by the fans and will be missed. We look more at the newcomers when we review the Panther roster for 2030.