By Jon Weisman
It was 10 years ago this July that a 23-year-old prospect with three games of Major League experience was involved in a blockbuster trade that included one of the greatest shortstops of his generation.
Now, they’re both in the world of the Dodgers.
July 31, 2004
As part of a 4-team trade: The Boston Red Sox sent Nomar Garciaparra and Matt Murton to the Chicago Cubs. The Minnesota Twins sent Doug Mientkiewicz to the Boston Red Sox. The Montreal Expos sent Orlando Cabrera to the Boston Red Sox. The Chicago Cubs sent Francis Beltran, Alex Gonzalez and Brendan Harris to the Montreal Expos. The Chicago Cubs sent Justin Jones (minors) to the Minnesota Twins.
Garciaparra, of course, later became the Dodgers’ 4+1 hero and is now a SportsNet LA and KLAC AM 570 analyst. Harris, who signed with the Dodgers in November, is one of the crew vying for time in the Dodger infield.
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With Beltran and Gonzalez, Harris was in the last group of Major Leaguers to be acquired by the Expos before they would become the Washington Nationals. The Dodgers would be Harris’ seventh-major league team if he makes the active roster at any point. In 1,876 plate appearances over eight seasons, Harris has a .314 on-base percentage while slugging .381. He peaked in 2007 with Tampa Bay, going .343/.434 in 576 plate appearances with 12 homers.
Among other claims to fame, Harris was the last MLB batter to hit in the Metrodome in Minneapolis, making the final out in Game 3 of the 2009 American League Division Series for the Twins against the Yankees.
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By the way, in case you’re wondering what the Dodgers were doing on July 31, 2004, they were trading Reggie Abercrombie, Koyie Hill and Bill Murphy for Brent Mayne, Steve Finley and the 2004 National League West title.
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