John Odom, who had spent three years at San Francisco’s Class-A affiliate, was traded to an independent minor league team on Tuesday…for new baseball bats.
No, not “bats in the lineup.” Ten actual baseball bats.
For now, Odom is headed to the Laredo Broncos of the United League. They got him Tuesday from the Calgary Vipers of the Golden Baseball League for a most unlikely price: 10 Prairie Sticks Maple Bats, double-dipped black, 34-inch, C243 style.
“They just wanted some bats, good bats — maple bats,” Broncos general manager Jose Melendez said.
According to the Prairie Sticks Web site, their maple bats retail for $69 each, discounted to $65.50 for purchases of six to 11 bats.
“It will be interesting to see what 10 bats gets us,” Melendez said.
The deal went down because Calgary couldn’t get Odom into Canada because of a “minor” criminal charge that showed up during his immigration process. Odom, who was staying at a hotel near the border while waiting for his paperwork to clear, may have spent more of his own money than the amount of the bats for which he was traded.
As hilarious as this story is, it’s not terribly unusual to see minor-league teams in a financial pinch. This same Calgary team once tried to use some of their old stadium seats to pick up a pitcher. But they could have taken a shot at a bigger name; David Wells could have been acquired for a pack of Marlboros and a case of beer.