Blogger’s note: Starter Nick Green had been in the midst of a solid season for York. One of the Revs stronger starters, he had a 3-0 mark and 3.64 ERA in nine starts. Placed on the inactive list after being contacted by a Mexican League club, here’s why Green is happy to be back in York after being stuck in limbo for about two weeks.
Nick Green didn’t know what to think. He received a phone call from a man telling him a team in the Mexican League wanted to sign him, but the man wouldn’t tell Green what team was interested in him. Green’s first reaction: The whole thing seemed shady.
“He told me once I compensated him, he would tell me what teams were interested in me,” Green said.
He had never played in Mexico before, but he knew Mexican League teams paid more money to bring in foreign players. Perhaps this is how the league does business, Green thought.
So Green provided his passport to the man, and the next day he received another call from a Mexican League representative. This time the caller identified himself as someone with Yucatan.
“It was straight-forward, do you want to play for us? When can you be here?” Green said about the second phone call from Mexico. “What do we need to do to get you here? Everything was going through fluidly.”
Green informed the Revs he was negotiating with a team in Mexico, and he was placed on the inactive list June 7. But then negotiations hit a snag.
Remember that first phone call, the one that Green felt didn’t feel right? Well, the man on the other end did share Green’s information with the Mexican League team Laguna.
“So now there was an issue on which team had my rights,” Green said. “So I was in a holding pattern. The Yucatan team contacted the Laguna team on what they needed to acquire my rights, it was all confusing. … I was just watching the days going by, going by, going by and after a while it was hurting me more than anything.
“I’m not on the mound, I’m out of my routine.”
Green asked to return to the Revs and he joked that he might have been the happiest man in the Revs clubhouse Tuesday when the team returned from a nine-game road trip Tuesday.
“I was shaking guys’ hands: ‘I was like I’m Nick Green, nice to meet you.’ I was just happy to smell the grass (at the stadium).”
Green had been having a good season before the Mexican League confusion, going 3-0 with a 3.64 ERA in nine starts. He had struck out 36 and walked 18 in 54 1/3 innings. Then he was put on the shelf for two weeks.
“He said it was killing him,” Revs manager Mark Mason said. “It was really hard on him because he was in a good routine and on a good program and it got disrupted.”
He returned to the mound in a relief appearance for York Thursday, his first game since June 3.
“Everything was starting to click,” Green said. “And the game of baseball is all about responding.”
To have missed so much time, Green felt like it would only be natural to feel like: “I’m going to sink a little bit because I’ve been away for so long.”
In hindsight, Green said if he would have waited and not talked to the first contact – the one he felt was shady — from the Mexican League, he would have been able to sign with Yucatan without hesitation. But because the Mexican League does not allow players to negotiate with more than one team at a time, Green found himself in a weird limbo situation: More than one team wanted him, but no team managed to sign him.
“I’ve had a GM call me; I’ve had a manager call me,” Green said. “It’s been an ongoing roller coaster. I was sitting at home listening to the guys on the road. I’d come to the ballpark every other day and throw with the clubbie, because no one else was here.”
Despite the weird situation, York has one of its better starters back in the clubhouse.
“He’s been throwing the ball really well,” Mason said. “He’s one of our main guys, and it was just a weird situation.”