After Sugar Land signed outfielder Jason Botts earlier this month, the Atlantic League updated its transactions page to note that his rights had been traded from York to Sugar Land.
Since then I’ve been able to talk to some members of the Revs coaching staff to explain why the Revs lost the switch-hitting slugger.
The Revs confirmed they protected Botts in the league’s expansion draft held in January. They wanted to bring him back for 2012. But Botts contacted York manager Andy Etchebarren about working out a deal to move Botts to Sugar Land.
Botts has a young family, and his wife’s family lives within driving distance of Houston. Instead of uprooting his young family to live in the Northeast — like they did in 2011 — Botts wanted to keep his family in Texas and play for Sugar Land, Etchebarren said. When he’s on the road, his family will not be in a new town surrounded by people they may have just met.
Etchebarren said he had no problem trading Botts because he knew it was a matter of a player trying to do what’s best for his family.
He traded Botts rights to Sugar Land for future considerations, believing former Revs director of baseball operations Michael Kirk — who holds a similar position in Sugar Land now — would return a player of equal value to York later in the year.
“I sent him a pretty good player,” Etchebarren said about the deal, “but who’s to say Botts won’t get signed in the first two weeks of the season either.”